Microsoft discovers disposable email

Next up, dancing hamsters

Microsoft is introducing throwaway email addresses for Hotmail users.

You might have thought that Hotmail was already for chuckaway email addresses, but the software giant will now make it easier to redirect mail to your existing primary address.

Hotmail subscribers can already use a +sign and add a word to the first part of their email address to create a sub-address. But doing this means you still give away part of your address.

Under the new rules you can add up to five new email addresses per year. Messages will be sent to a folder within your primary email.

Windows Live director Dharmesh Mehta used the Windows Live blog to explain the changes: "Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. There are a bunch of websites that will email you price quotes, sales alerts, etc. During your car search, these messages are helpful, but once you’re done, they become clutter that can be difficult to stop. By using an alias on these websites instead of your main email address, you can avoid this."

Microsoft reckons the average person has three email addresses for different parts of their lives, or spam. The software giant points out that maintaining three accounts, presumably with three different passwords, is a pain. ®

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