Hotmail is one of the world’s most successful webmail brands, offering free email to users through a web browser or through an email client.
Previously known as MSN Mail and now more regularly referred to as Windows Live Hotmail, this method for sending and receiving email messages has been copied by many, most notably by Google Mail.
However while Google Mail took the lead in offering cloud computing and related services to their users, Microsoft took a while to do this with Windows Live. Only recently have various additional services such as SkyDrive been added onto the Windows Live user experience, for instance, something that allows some interesting integration with Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Phone 7 handsets.
Using Hotmail itself is a great way to manage your emails. It affords a very useful spam filter and uses the Bing search engine to find for specific messages in your inbox, and best of all it is easy to use.
Creating a Windows Live Hotmail Account
You can’t use the vast Windows Live suite of online and offline tools without a username and password, and this is best done by visiting www.live.com and using the Sign up button where you will need to supply an email address/username, password, your name, country, postal code/zip code and birth year.
(Note that if you already have a Messenger or Xbox LIVE account that this can be used to login to Windows Live Hotmail.)
With this information entered you can then get started and login to your account. Head straight for the Hotmail menu item at the top and select Inbox to start composing emails!
Composing Emails in Windows Live Hotmail
Creating a new email with the web-based Windows Live Hotmail (which can also be accessed in in the Outlook and Windows Live Mail desktop email clients) is as easy as clicking New, entering a recipient in the To: field, adding a Subject line and then typing your message.
If you want to send to additional recipients, use the Show Cc and Bcc link to add carbon copy and blank carbon copy addressees – the latter will be hidden from all other recipients.
When writing an email with Windows Live Hotmail you are able to alter the font, size and colour, adjust the paragraph justification and add bullet and numerical lists as well as attach files from your computer, online Microsoft Office documents, Photos from your Windows Live SkyDrive storage and even include links to websites.
You will also find a Spell check tool to help you send as professional an email as possible, and if your message is likely to take some time to write don’t forget to use the Save draft button.
Finally, click Send when you’re done and the message will be forwarded to the various recipients!