Feeds

Microsoft ends free Hotmail access from Outlook

Script-happy spammers to blame

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Hotmail users who use Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express clients will now have to pay for the privilege. Users must sign up to either a Hotmail Plus account for $19.95 a year or an MSN Premium account, at $99.95 a year to continue accessing the service from their desktop client.

Microsoft cited abuse by spammers as the reason. Because its email clients are scriptable, Microsoft had been grappling with spammers who automated the sign-up and bulk sending processes. Rivals such as Yahoo! also charge a premium for POP3 access to their email services.

This being Microsoft, things aren't straightforward. Just as Outlook uses common email protocols and obfuscates them in dense wrappings of RPC (Remote Procedure Calls), Hotmail shuns POP3 for a Microsoft implementation of WebDAV, a much richer web publishing protocol for which email is just one application. So, apart from a few clever hacks, client access to Hotmail has been limited to Microsoft email clients. Ximian's Connector software scrapes Exchange Server's WebDAV interface to provide Office interoperability for its Linux desktop, so it's theoretically possible that third party email clients will take up the onerous challenge. It's just very unlikely that they'll see much reward in the task.®

Related stories

MSN hikes Hotmail storage
Hotmail bins email accounts on hearsay
Hotmail spam plan grand slam
MS opens Hotmail to bulk mailers
Hotmail back online
Microsoft meets real world half-way
MSN email spoofer pleads guilty to wire fraud
Hotmail caps email
Hotmail, Yahoo! erect roadblocks for spam sign-ons
Junk mail evades Hotmail filter
MS addresses Hotmail spam blizzard. At last

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.