Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail

Filed Under: Microsoft, Tech Tips

Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail

– We always wondered why Microsoft hasn’t introduced IMAP for Hotmail! We however told you on how to overcome the lack of Hotmail IMAP support, by making use of Gmail and its IMAP support. But that was a few months earlier, and Microsoft has now introduced ActiveSync for Hotmail.

Microsoft had recently introduced several new changes into its free web based mail program – hotmail.com. These included hotmail messenger, which is nothing but integration of its popular desktop IM client MSN Messenger. MSN Messenger is now available as windows live messenger and you can download windows live messenger 2011 for free.

Despite so many new features, Microsoft did not provide IMAP support though the demand for hotmail IMAP support was growing everyday.With more and more people now using smartphones like the iphone, it is natural for them to expect Microsoft to provide this support, as IMAP is a popular email protocol that has long been supported by Gmail.The advantage of IMAP over hotmail POP protocol is the two-way syncing capabilities between your mail clients and the web based hotmail accounts.The mail client can either reside on your desktop or iphone or Windows Mobile or any other smartphone.

Though microsoft did provide hotmail POP3 support, mobile users were expecting syncing capabilities and POP3 is not the right protocol for it. With the growing demand for syncing capabilities, Microsoft has finally (and silently) introduced Exchange ActiveSync for mobile devices! This is not the same as IMAP but with ActiveSync, a user can sync his hotmail emails to multiple clients, including ActiveSync clients on his mobile devices and DeltaSync clients like Windows Live Mail & Outlook Connector.

Exchange ActiveSync supports a wide range of devices including Windows Mobile 6.1 and above, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Nokia smartphones running Mail for Exchange application. It does work on android devices and others, though Microsoft has not officially included it in their list of supported devices. If you set up Exchange ActiveSync from a mobile device, applications like the mailbox and calendar are auto-provisioned.

If you are already running “WL for Windows Mobile” application, you must first uninstall it and then configure the ActiveSync application for syncing mail and contacts between Hotmail and the email clients on the smartphones.

How to configure ActiveSync for access to Hotmail?

If you have an iphone, the following steps will help you in setting up ActiveSync on it.

First, create a new mail account (profile) in Iphone. To create a new account, tap “Settings”, “Mail” and select “Add Account…“. Next, choose “Microsoft Exchange” and fill in the following information against the appropriate fields.

  • Server – Set this up as m.hotmail.com
  • Domain– Leave it blank. if you are using a Nokia device, you may do well to check out all the known issues.
  • User name – Enter the full name including the domain. e.g. john@hotmail.com
  • Password – Fill in the password to your windows live hotmail account.
  • SSL – This should be Enabled.

When you are prompted for an SSL certificate, accept it. You can then choose to enable ActiveSync for Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Tasks. That is it!

You can set up Exchange ActiveSync on your android device or any other smartphone, by creating a new account in your mail application using the above information.

If your device supports only one ActiveSync profile , delete the existing ActiveSync profile on your device if you already use one. However, the data will not be lost from the server for either profile and users can switch back and forth between the two profiles albeit with some extra typing.

You can learn about all known issues with Exchange ActiveSync for your mobile device – here.

Do remember that Exchange ActiveSync is not the same as IMAP, though it is all you might need to sync mails between the various devices.

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