Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Microsoft has created a lot of confusion with how it names its mail products. Add the transition from MSN to Windows Live branding and it gets worse.

What's the difference between Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Hotmail and MSN Hotmail? I keep getting them confused. And aren't some of them the same thing?

You're confused? You and the rest of the world.

And no, with another case brilliant naming, all four of those things are all quite different.

I wish Microsoft would have learned from the mess that resulted from all the different names for something called messenger or the two unrelated email programs with the word Outlook in their name, but no. Here we are. Again.

Windows Mail is a mail program that's included with Windows Vista. It replaces Outlook Express which came with previous versions of Windows, and it has a pretty similar feature set. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that it really is Outlook Express but with another name and a few tweaks for Vista. I know of no way to get Windows Mail other than by installing Vista.

Windows Live Mail is another, different, mail program. This one is still in Beta at this writing. Windows Live Mail confuses me for several reasons: it's also a replacement for Outlook Express, it's slightly more full featured than Windows Mail, and it's a free download that also works on Windows XP. Basically it does more than Windows Mail, above, so why does Windows Mail exist at all? I'm certainly at a loss to explain it. Anyway, as I said it is the replacement for Outlook Express. In fact, so much so that you can no longer even find an official download of Outlook Express (which was in the Internet Explorer download), but you can most certainly download Windows Live Mail.

"... to purposely end up with such a confusing mess of product names ... well, it's really unfortunate and leads to a lot of confusion."

Windows Live Hotmail is unrelated to anything I've talked about so far. Windows Live Hotmail is Microsoft's free web-based email service. Visit http://mail.live.com and what you're really visiting is Windows Live Hotmail. It's designed to be accessed via the web, meaning no program is used or needed, and you can access it from any machine on the internet using just a web browser. And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out my concerns about relying on free email services.

MSN Hotmail is nothing more, or less, than the previous version of Windows Live Hotmail. The confusion exists because the transition from MSN Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail was done slowly over time. That means that for a while both were available at the same time. The upgrade from MSN Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail appears to be mandatory (there's no going back), and at this writing I believe it's complete.

Those are the names. Unfortunately there are more issues beyond the naming that add to the confusion:

  • for a period, Windows Live Hotmail users could switch back to MSN Hotmail. This is no longer available.

  • Windows Live Mail (program) will allow you to download your Windows Live Hotmail (web mail). Windows Mail does not.

  • The premium (for pay) version of Windows Live Hotmail apparently has additional capabilities that the free version does not, including POP3/SMTP access, which would allow it to be downloaded into any mail program including Windows Mail.

  • Windows Live Messenger is a whole 'nother source of confusion.

It's frustrating. I know naming products is difficult, I've been there. But to purposely end up with such a confusing mess of product names ... well, it's really unfortunate and leads to a lot of confusion.

Article C3242 - December 19, 2007 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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65 Comments
Jack Gannon
December 19, 2007 12:58 PM

That one of the world's most influential companies in the history of Earth would allow such a chaos of names to evolve is astonishing and perplexing. What the heck?!

Not only is it perplexing, but it's comedic -- if I was reading a novel, and the author had written this in the book, I would have thought it hilarious, but I would have also thought "There's no way a real company in the real world would ever do that!"

So its kind of surreal this naming scheme they've come up with -- it's like something right out of a slapstick comedy.

I really hope that Microsoft uses some of their resources to greatly enhance and improve marketing and public relations. They need up the "hip" and "cool" factor by a few notches.

I might now be a minority in saying this, but I really think Microsoft makes amazing products. For example, I've been running Windows-XP Media Edition as my kitchen TV now for years, and it has performed flawlessly. All my friends who have seen it say, "How come I don't know about this? Why doesn't Microsoft advertise these media features?"

Also, my entire office runs on MS-Server-2003, and there are networking features that I simply couldn't easily configure with anything else.

So Microsoft is a great company -- but I'm worried that Microsoft's pace in alienating the public, and digging its own downfall with things like this naming convention is accelerating.

Too bad.

David B
December 20, 2007 7:38 AM

Aw Leo - let's just go back to WzMail on Xenix! Let's see, what was the name of that server? Kermit? Piggy? Gonzo?

Chris Ottaway
December 22, 2007 4:34 AM

Windows live Mail is no longer Beta. I have the update from Windows, that made it no longer beta.

Eli Coten
December 22, 2007 10:13 AM

And there was a time when what is now called Windows Live Hotmail was called simply Windows Live Mail, but then they decided to rename Windows Live Mail (beta) to Windows Live Hotmail (beta). Now the service is out of beta, and the current Windows Live Mail is not the same as what they originally used the name for!

Elliot
December 23, 2007 2:29 AM

I guess we are lucky that Microsoft hasn't tried to trademark the term "email". :-)

don
December 24, 2007 5:24 PM

To split hairs even further Windows Live Hotmail is called exactly that on the log in page but when you arrive at your inbox page it says simply Windows Live.

THanks for this article. I though I was in early stages of Alheimers. LOL

don

Lesley
January 7, 2008 5:17 PM

I installed Windows XP sp2 and IE7. My Outlook Express ceased working so I took your suggestion and installed Windows Live Mail and Messenger to replace the Outlook Express. Looked great until I tried to send an email. It defaults to my hotmail address and won't allow me to send mail from my shawmail address. However, both hotmail and shawmail appear on the page and both are accepting incoming emails. Do you know how I can send shawmail from windows live mail? Thanks for your assistance....you are a great resource!

himanshu
February 23, 2008 10:27 AM

hello,
after installing vista , i was in deliema whether to use windows mail, or windows live mail as my default. but finally decided to switch to windows live mail since it is more updated than windows mail and secondry it provides more facilities

Viront
March 20, 2008 11:05 AM

I was also at a confusing stand point on whether to use Mail of Live Mail as a default. In the end I decided to use live mail for some of the same reasons listed above. More options and etc.

Bob
March 29, 2008 2:49 PM

Windows mail is sometime supported by antivirus (ex bitdender), but windows live mail (like windows live messenger) is not (except for the antivirus features offered within it by microsoft). This sucks big time.

Jaykrishnan
June 12, 2008 3:09 PM

Well, I tried windows live mail and it is good. But I prefer not use such mail programs as over a period of time I end up carrying a lot of unwanted mails. If you have easy Internet access, it is better to use hotmail/yahoo mail directly.

I do not agree with Leo's worries of free email. They are free, get very less spam, are constantly improving as competition heats up. The theoretical possibility that they might freeze your account or something is highly improbable.

Leo
June 13, 2008 9:20 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

You don't see what I see. A constant stream of people having
problems with free email accounts, people who've lost all
their contacts and email, and with nowhere to turn and no
hope of recovery.

I used to believe as you do. Then I started getting
questions and requests for help.

Leo


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Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)

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Shelley
June 22, 2008 7:20 PM

how do you eliminate one or the other? shouldn't you just have one? i'm confused.

Sherri
July 8, 2008 9:35 AM

Thank you so much. I was so confused. Windows Vista I think is a great program, but i didn't understand what Windows mail was.

Graham
August 10, 2008 5:43 AM

Hi, many thanks for your explanations. I particularly like the layout of your website: a model of clarity which is so hard to find elsewhere on the net.

Wist
October 4, 2008 9:32 AM

Another difference between "Windows Live Mail" and "Windows Mail" is that most desktop search engines (Copernic, Exalead,..) know how to index the "Windows Mail" database, but cannot (or cannot yet..) index the "Windows Live Mail" database. If you are a frequent user of your desktop search capability, it makes a HUGE difference !

Terri Baier
December 4, 2008 3:38 AM

I am using Windows Live Mail, problem is that when I receive any emails with images in them the images are coming in as an attachment and not in the body of the email. Is there anyway to change this? I want them in the body of the email and not as an attachment.
Thanks

Gene Rheault
January 21, 2009 3:53 PM

I have Windows Live Mail but I tried to send Works or Word files by Email. Recieved message that "Windows Mail is not your default mail.Would I like to make it my default." What do I do with my Windows Live Mail - the actual default?

Ivan
January 26, 2009 4:07 PM

Comment: Great article, it certainly explained (even if not corrected) a very confusing situation.
Question: I use Sympatico (Canadian Bell ISP) that uses MSN Hotmail or Windows Live Hotmail as the server. Since I can use POP mail access, I assume it is the "for fee" version. When away from home, I would like to download e-mail to my laptop (Vista Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail) and when I am back home, I would like to download same e-mail messages (or at least those I leave on the server) again into my XP Outlook. Is this possible? i.e. how do I tell the server that I want to download the already downloaded messages again?

vimal kumar
February 11, 2009 1:44 AM

i am using windows live mail in vista home premium.the problem is when i try to open a mail, security center warns me that REVOCATION CERTIFICATE IS NOT AVAILABLE DO YOU WANT TO PROCEED ?YES NO VIEW CERTIFICATE .what i must do to overcome this security message. any one please help !

Frederick Mew
February 27, 2009 11:53 PM

I am using Windows Live Mail, problem is that when I receive any emails with images in them the images are coming in as an attachment and not in the body of the email. Is there anyway to change this? I want them in the body of the email and not as an attachment.
Thanks

tom brown
June 1, 2009 3:58 AM

I'm using Windows Mail which came pre installed with Vist Home. Recently I started to "lose2 barches of emails from mt inbox even though they had not been accessed. How do I recover them? My ISP says they were "delivered" and have been deleted from the ISP server

Regarding email attachment problems i experienced similar problems with attachments not being able to be opened ( i removed IE8 from my system to cure the problem!)

Regards

Christian Young
July 19, 2009 5:02 AM

I'v been a fan of Windows for years, 3.1 days, and while it seems like Microsoft has somewhat of a 'memory problem' when it comes to program cleanliness and organization, there's still nothing that can compare. Thanks for the helpful outline, though - it helps a lot to be able to find a source that eliminates some of the confusion!

Arnob
August 12, 2009 3:35 PM

Hello Leo,

again, like many other, would want to appreciate the fantastic web-page layout. This certainly is very simple, yet effective (to navigate to the required information one is looking for).

My Q.s here is simple, i'm using 13.3" notebook with a Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 processor with a 2GB RAM (with feather-light weight n over 8hrs of workable batt time) and i just got started with Win Mail. Also, read updates regarding WLM. I wanted to understand, which of the before mentioned (WM, WLM) will be a lighter version of a mail client for a Solo Processor powered Notepads like mine..

Regards
Arnob

suttlem
September 4, 2009 2:58 AM

i seem to have both wlm wlh gmail and ny local mail. they all go to wlh but i get loads of duplicates. what can i do please.
rgds
suttlem

Joan Devendorf
October 20, 2009 4:34 PM

The above email address has somehow been changed to hotmail windows live, so I am not receiving emails and have lost about 3 months of emails that were in my inox. How can I change the default to my address in Windows Live and delete the hotmail windows live address? Is there telephone support for Windows Live (I searched and only tech businesses numbers came up)? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

john c murray
October 21, 2009 2:54 PM

we are all being taken for idiots with this guff from microsoft..what was wrong with oe..nice and simple to use never caused offence ...so why do these people mess up the whole thing to try and make a fast buck

Diego
November 1, 2009 11:01 AM

I use Outlook because it's the only one that will sync with my smart phone. I do use both window mail & window live mail (thinking they were the same). I have the Outlook Connector, but not real sure if it works with wm or wlm...so I'n not real sure into which program I should enter my appointments and "to dos"?
I like Outlook because I can upload multiple files at one time, plus I'm able to include a fancy signature w/picture in my signature. Is there a window mail program that has these capabilities?

Nate Ocean
November 6, 2009 10:12 AM

You think your are confused? So is Microsoft!

After my account was recently hacked (as were about 10,000 other Hotmail accounts) I spent two hours on the phone being transferred between about 8 different Microsoft departments (including Vista, Office, Outlook, and MSN) only to finally be told that Windows Live Mail had NO telephone support and that I would have to use the online support instead.

After that, people from India kept calling me about my "Windows Mail" problems, despite telling them clearly that I had problems with "Windows LIVE Mail". (But between accent problems and bad satellite phone service much of the conversation was unintelligible.)

In the end, they lost all my Contacts, and because of version changes the contact backups on my machine were not readable by the new version.

A friend recommended gmail, but I was shocked at some of the limitations in that program.

Can anybody recommend a good--non-Microsoft--mail program?

Gale
November 7, 2009 3:03 AM

Windows Live mail has just refused to open and has lost all my contacts and emails.There is a fix on the microsft site for getting the messages back, but you have to be an experinced user to follow the instructions. They all get imported again into an imported folder. This gives you a duplication of emails folders. I so far have not worked out a way to get my contacts back.

ParanoidX2
December 6, 2009 8:10 PM

I Have been using WLM since it came out. I will never use another windows pre installed mail client again. I recently bought a vista machine installed WLM to it. Added the old hard drive to the new machine and was able to move all 8 of my email accounts including old mail with in 10 mins with out a hitch. Than I noticed "Windows mail" wondered and goggled what the difference was and ended up here.

Thanks Leo

Saamdu
December 8, 2009 10:10 PM

I used to use MS Office Outlook, which has similar feature like window mail and window live mail. I think MS is duplicating efforts. I appreciate the idea of having it window based because of the security, safety, and updation it provides and that it is assured with the window as the operating system. i would suggest (am too small a fry to recommend) that microsoft should have just one window based mail, calender, and contact system. Now I am using both. I have realised that if we changed the spelling of name in one of the contact books, it does nto change in the other. I changed the name in Window Mail, but the window live had same spelling (sonam tobgay to sonam tobgye). Please build on Window Live Mail and have a program to draw all the contents that is in the Window Mail.

Mike Weaver
January 7, 2010 6:15 AM

On Windows Live Mail, where can I click to a full page to read an e-mail? And, what happened to that tiny 'mail icon' near the clock that let you know a new e-mail is in your inbox when you're on the Internet Explorer page?

Loran Clark
January 12, 2010 4:28 PM

I did something in Windows Mail that prompted me to enter "user code and password" and I can't find them and don't know how to reset them. You can send me the solution to my wife at [email address removed].
Thank you

Carolyn Cipriano
January 27, 2010 12:15 PM

Can you let me know how to obtain the version of Outlook that will let me flag messages in different colors? Is this the version that needs to be purchased (about $100) and installed, or is the function I am looking for obsolete? If it is the version that needs to be purchased and installed, will it replace the Windows Live Hotmail I am currently using or will there be a conflict?

Brenda Watt
February 10, 2010 9:08 AM

I recently got high speed through Xplornet. They gave me an email address and I transferred one of my other 2 windows live accounts. All the mail transferred from that account into Gmail. Now nothing goes into Gmail. My question is: When I cancel my Sympatico dial up service will my Windows Live Mail continue under all my email address?
Thanks Brenda

John Pollard
March 30, 2010 5:05 AM

I thank you for clearing up the confusion about names. I have Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live (with all its appendages). Windows Live used to work and I was able to link to 2 other mail accounts. Windows live Hotmail works with the same 2 accounts.
Now when I load Windows Live Mail it loads but doesn't connect to the internet. The recommended fix is to logon to the site that you have explained is the Windows Live Hotmail site.

The reason that I like Windows Live Mail is that it has a neat 'add photos' feature. Windows Live Hotmail is a pain to add photos in - it gives no options.

I know its not in the scope of this article but I am also pretty sure that "I am not alone in this problem"

Any advice much appreciated before I ditch Windows Live.

John

wondering
May 2, 2010 6:19 AM

The Internet Service providers appear to need to know the windows mail password of the user in order for the windows mail to work. The call center for the ISP said they have access to our windows mail passwords. With the account information (complete info) and password can they get into our mail account and see our messages?
I am assuming they can, and that is somewhat troubling with bank statements, and other personal and business information being transmitted through these Vista windows mail accounts.
Is yahoo and other mail programs more secure if used instead of the windows mail account?

Thank you in advance for your email repy and post.

I see no reason for an ISP to need your mail password. Even if they provide the email service, they simply don't need it. That being said...

Your ISP can see your email with or without your password. See: Can my ISP monitor my internet usage?
Leo
02-May-2010

Casey
May 4, 2010 8:45 AM

I am currently using a Vista computer with Windows Mail. I have just purchased a new Windows 7 computer with Windows live Mail. I was using outlook express for many years before Windows Mail and was quite satisfied overall. I was always able to import/export messages and contacts from one computer to the next, until now. Even with Window Easy Transfer I cannot move messages to the Windows 7 computer. I have tried just about every method I can find, using a USB thumb drive did not work, using the network did not work. I have spent countless ours trying and failing, any suggestions?

aileen
May 16, 2010 9:29 AM

I have just about gone crazy with Windows 7 trying to get my e-mail set up via Windows Mail which is what I used with Vista. I do NOT want my mail to go via Hotmail and now I have to sign into Virginmedia every time I need to see my e-mails . Not only that but I am receiving about 50 spam msgs a day since swiching to Windows 7. Why can't they make things clearer????

mohammad shafiq faryad
May 29, 2010 5:15 AM

my question is that how to make gmail messenger list like yahoo messenger list i want to see all my cantant list in gmail like yahoo messenger list

rmanish
July 18, 2010 10:33 PM

please give me informatoin about microsoft outlook express and windows mail

Timo Ahrnberg
November 26, 2010 11:35 PM

Windows Live Mail doesn't understand URL coded scandic characters like Thunderbird and Windows Mail do. If in html page mailto has for instance ''= code %C3%A4,it shows in email body part 'ä' and it should be ''. Similar error with '' and ''. It means Live is unfortunately useless in Scandinavia the html page's email (command mailto:).

Bob at Vancouver
November 29, 2010 11:27 AM

I have had Window Live mail for about 9 months. I used to send pictures (jpg) files no problem. Then came an upgrade and it changed the layout of the page - maybe more. So I went to send a picture again now I have trouble. Somehow it got me to sign in for something. Now the pictures go ok and it asks if I want a slide show. But also it asks me to sign in each time. It dosnt make any difference if I push the sign in button or not but it takes anywhere from 30 seconds to almost a minute before it signs in. How can I get back to the basic windows live email. thanks

John Goard
December 12, 2010 4:52 PM

Yes M$ have really have created a morass of utter nonsense I recently u\"updated" my Live Mail only to find it looking like some circus act and worse unusable following the UD. Luckilly I had to do a factory default on my machine (I say luckily only because it was out of necessity) and the old version reappeared and was like falling of a log reconfiging it.
As for my desktop well I'm stuck with the "circus" - in my mind a total and utterly waste of my tiem and desktop space.
Whoever thought this up was obviously not taking their medication or lives in a paralell universe - ought to stay there!

Peter B
December 28, 2010 11:15 AM

Somewhat related to this, Windows Live Messenger is pushing me to upgrade to the latest version, but then appears to insist that I take both this upgrade plus a Windows Live Mail update. I'm still happy with Outlook Express (on XP) and have no urge to change. Does anyone know if there is a way around it. (And if not, is it painless!!??). Thanks

When you install Windows Live Essentials you should be able to pick and choose which components you want.
Leo
29-Dec-2010

Kim
January 28, 2011 6:53 PM

Rebooted computer. Lost all data. Now I want to restore my @live.com. I need the POP3 and the SMTP codes to restore my mail reciept and delivery. What are they???


Geoff Laughton
February 4, 2011 7:53 PM

I am planning to upgrade my PC from Windows XP to Windows 7.
I currently access my Tesco email account via Outlook 2002. Buying Outlook 2010 for use with Windows 7 would cost £92 from Amazon, so I am considering using Microsoft Live Mail which can be downloaded for free. If I do this, can I keep my existing email address ({removed}@{removed}.net)?

Yes you can. Your email program and your email address are two completely different things. Your email address is determined by your ISP or email provider, and is something you configure in whatever email program you elect to use.
Leo
04-Feb-2011

Geoff Laughton
February 5, 2011 3:56 AM

Thank for your help.
Ask-Leo.com is the the best help forum that I have seen. I posted my question late evening (UK time) and the answer was in my In-box at breakfast time.

Justice Maja
February 6, 2011 6:49 AM

I have been using windows live and had no problems with regard to sending mass documents or photos, but I recently downloaded windows mail live and this is not allowing me sent photos or scanned documents to any one. Somebody advised me to install outlook I use Windows 7. Should I?

Without knowing exactly how it's failing I can't say for sure. Outlook is good, Thunderbird is good. There are many good alternatives.
Leo
07-Feb-2011

LIAM JONES
February 17, 2011 5:08 PM

Purchased a new desk top fron Dell in September 2010. I have Internet Explorer and Windows Live Mail. Everything was working great until about 2 weeks ago when I received a auto download from Microsoft. I then noticed on my e-mail page that my search engine was gone as well as the icon beneth. Also icons in the lower right were gone as well.
After a number of calls to Dell the issue was not resolved and they recommended that I call Microsoft which I did. I was given a number and therefore was entitled to a Technician. He also was unable to bring back the original screen with my search engine. Today I received a follow up call from Microsoft and was given a Tier 1 Tech. He also was not able to assist in correcting the issue. Like you this whole thing is very confusing as Windows Live Mail and Windows Hot Mail are the same but I am here to tell you and everyone else these progams fall short of this.
After an hour on the phone with the tech from Microsoft is stated to him to bring up Windows Hotmail page. Then, I instructed him to left click on an area in the upper left that brings a window where you can send this Windows Hotmail as an Icon to my screen. Wha La!! Now, when I go online by clicking the Windows Hotmail icon I have my search engine back as well as all the Icons. Without the search engine on my e-mail page Windows Live becomes null and void. I do alot of research and with out the engine I am lost.
Do you think by going about this problem in the way I did will work normally or am I looking at more issues down the road??

I honestly can't say, since I can't quite follow all your steps. But I do want to make one clarification: you said "Windows Live Mail and Windows Hot Mail are the same" - that is NOT true. Windows Live Mail is a program you run on your PC. Windows Live Hotmail is a web-based email service. There's no such thing called simply "Windows Hotmail".
Leo
18-Feb-2011

zoom zoom
March 28, 2011 8:47 PM

Just to add to the Windows Live Mail and Windows Hotmail - I can download my Windows Hotmail into my Windows Live Mail email handler no problem (and I don't pay a subscription for the Hotmail account). The nice thing about this is that since there are so many advertisements on the free hotmail, I don' t have to look at them anymore. Yahoo! (oh, careful, that's a competitor...)

Anonymous
March 28, 2011 9:12 PM

To Liam Jones: I think I know what he is talking about. When he uses his search bar to access his email program, he must have had the Windows Hotmail link on his favorites bar. If he accidentally deleted the favorites bar, gone are the lovely links. Of course he only has to right click on the top of the IE explorer and the menu to add the favorites bar comes back.
Liam, if you are at home, it is advisable to always open the Windows Live Mail Program from the start menu or from a short cut in your own computer's taskbar on the bottom of your screen (or wherever you put your shortcuts). This will activate your email program as well and you can set it to send/receive any messages automatically upon signing in.
When you are away from home, you will only be able to access your email by going on the web to the hotmail website and entering that way. You will have to syncronize your account when you get back home so that any items you sent or filed in online folders will sync back with your home computer. If you don't sync the account when you get home, you will be missing emails, which can be very frustrating. I think that's how it works. If you leave all your folders online you will be okay. If you use the storage folders section in Windows Live Mail at home, the emails in the Storage Folders section are NOT online, and you will have to manage these yourself. Be aware of how you do this, and learn how to make a backup of the Storage Folders. If you ever have to move the contents of your hard drive, make sure you take a copy of all your "Documents and Settings" along, as all your email storage folders are in there (unless you have saved them elsewhere, which you can do easily). There is a lot to learn with windows live mail, but it is better than Outlook Express, the old email handler not to be confused with MS Outlook.
I hope I haven't scooped you Leo on figuring out what Liam was trying to say.

zoom zoom
March 28, 2011 9:24 PM

To Justice Maja:
There is sometimes a limit to how many emails you can send on a hotmail account, and Windows Live Mail is intended for personal emails, not business. I would recommend using Outlook if you are doing mass mailings. Outlook also has tremendous contact list management and integrated reminder system and calendars that Windows Live Mail simply cannot beat. Also of note is that WLM files are not compatible with Outlook pst files so be forewarned that you should choose your email handler carefully so that you don't run the risk of having to find a converter for the files. From what I've heard, if you are a new Hotmail users, and you have also just started using Windows Live Mail email handler, it may take some time for hotmail to allow you to send large batches of emails. I've heard the limit might be 200 email addresses 10x per day as a maximum, but I'm not totally sure on that. You could visit the Hotmail website and post a trouble ticket; they are generally quite helpful if you carefully follow their instructions. Be persistent if you don't get an answer as perhaps someone cruising through the help centre has an answer. Make sure you set it up that you receive any emails or RSS feed on the topic until you are happy with the answer.

MarkKw
April 6, 2011 5:43 PM

Thanks for clearing things up Leo! Much appreciated since Windoze auto-update attempted to give me an update for "Windows Mail" even though I don't even have the program on this box! Agreed, WLM is a vast improvement over OE but it refuses to export/import messages from one machine to the other - both running WLM, old box is XPsp3, new box is Vista Business. Tried moving them via the LAN, exporting to thumb drive and everything else I could think of and it just ain't happening. Now when I want to move a message from the old box to the new box I have to email it to myself. Another week or so and my total transition to Linux will be complete, I'm just tired of fighting Windoze instead of getting work done.

Jonathan P
April 7, 2011 4:46 AM

Well some of the above has cleared up some of my confusion, but I'd now like to throw into the mix the Windows 7 phone.....I seem to be syncing my contacts with Windows Live Mail but the phone calendar (supposedly windows live I believe) syncs with Hotmail calendar and not windows live calendar on my pc. Very confusing and utterly useless, plus in my contacts i seem to have aboour 3 different versions of everyone! My pc runs on windows 7 by the way. In my naievety I thought when i bought the phone that windows 7 phone office was completely compatible with my Windows 7 Microsoft Office - what a joke (my office is 2007 student version - would upgrading to Office 2010 help?)

Raymond Plouffe
April 23, 2011 10:27 AM

what is the difference between Hotmail
and Mail.com ?

Mail.com is a different service by a completely different company.
Leo
23-Apr-2011

Cathy M
May 24, 2011 1:15 PM

I have Windows 7. Somehow I got my Hotmail account and Windows Live Mail connected. They have the same log in ID and password. Is there a way to separate them? The accounts are identical. The only thing that's different is that I can send an e-mail with attached files from Hotmail and the postmaster will send it back to Hotmail and it will go through on Windows Live Mail. I sometimes send a dozen e-mails before I remember and send the attachments through Windows Live Mail. Can you suggest anything for me?

Janet
June 10, 2011 7:07 AM

I have been having a fit trying to get the PW straightened out dfoe windows live mail. I input it wrong the first time. Also, When I inputed my e-mail addresses from my scandisk, it said it went to my Windows mail??? I can't even find a windows mail, that is why I downloaded Windows Live Mail!!!! I'm about to uninstall windows live mailand start aLL OVER, CAN i?

kmay
November 20, 2011 12:57 PM

still horribly confused. cannot comprehend this mess. i want all my mail in one place and i still do not know how to do this or if it is possible or practical after all. and i dont want to open yet another email account. what can i do?

Connie
November 20, 2011 4:57 PM

@kmay
You should be able to do everything you want to do with your gmail account, so don't worry about opening another email. If you have more than one opened at this point, have them forwarded to the one account. Make sure you have a killer hard password, and have all your recovery options set properly.

glenise
June 30, 2012 11:05 AM

Thankyou for explaining this, have been wondering about the confusion between the 4 for sometime now. My internet service providers did not even know the difference! And yes, the way microsoft did it is a total mess!! Much confusion. Thanks again, for your help!

Sam N
July 31, 2012 4:55 PM

I don't know much about computers. I have gmail, which I use Windows Live Mail for email simplicity. When I log into to check my account, found a heading at top page called "Hotmail" with thousands of emails in it. Why is my email going to this and why are my deleted emails still there? Very confused.

Mark J
July 31, 2012 11:35 PM

@Sam
It's possible that when your Windows Live email program, or signed up for another windows Live service, you signed up for a Live Hotmail Account without realizing you were doing so.

Nguyen Van Minh
March 14, 2013 6:25 AM

It's even more confusing that they now have upgraded Microsoft Hotmail to Microsoft Outlook.com, which should NOT be confused with Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.

Windows Live Mail is still offered, and when you wish to reach Microsoft Hotmail or Microsoft Outlook.com via Windows Live Messenger, you see Windows Live Mail's logo... (-_-)

I love Microsoft, and I'm glad they're unifying their services, all Windows Live services are now (like during Vista) included in Windows 8, and ''the Traditional-XP-style app's'' we also enjoyed in Windows 7 are also (sic: still) included, which makes W8 the ultimate windows, but it's still confusing to see ''a mail app'' (Metro-Mail) next to your desktop Windows Live Mail app both linked to your @hotmail.com/@msn.com/@live.com/@outlook.com Microsoft-account... (-_-) not to mention the paid version of Microsoft Outlook (included in Microsoft Office).

But putting EVERYTHING in one O.S. does make standardization in the future more easy, so Microsoft's services won't be so confusing.

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