Microsoft endorses multiple personalities with "alias" email

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Everyone has a throwaway email account used to sign up for free coupons and newsletters that you would never want delivered to your real account.

Logging in after a two-month hiatus to find 3,000 emails worth of spam messages can often be disturbing and force users to abandon one junk email address for another.

Well, Microsoft recently rolled out a new feature that allows users instant access to "throaway email accounts."

The feature allows users to access multiple email accounts from a single inbox without forcing them to enter additional login or password, which makes for super fast spam.

"Today we all often have multiple e-mail accounts for many different reasons," Windows Live director of product management Dharmesh Mehta told CNET.

"One of which is that I don't want to give my real address out to any site in the world. I might be worried they'll spam me with newsletters, or they might resell it to other marketers. Who knows what can happen?"

Mehta  adds that multiple email addresses are convenient for people who have a professional appearance and an alter ego as well. He says, "If I'm a hardcore gamer in one environment, and a conservative professional guy in another environment, there are different reasons for multiple accounts."

Microsoft allows users to add up to 15 aliases per email account so you can read all messages from alternative emails within one inbox.

Previously, alias features available in Gmail and Hotmail were primarily designed to filter, rather than truly hide your identity like Microsoft’s new feature.

For example,  users could filter emails by providing emails with a username plus a filter (for example, Lydia+tips@hotmail.com), which would send emails to a particular folder within your Lydia@hotmail.com email address.

That said, your real username is still revealed using this feature. With Microsoft’s new feature, you can read messages sent to your hardcoregamer@hotmail.com address within your superprofessional@hotmail.com inbox.

Just make sure you respond using the correct alter ego.

Perhaps this feature will help revive Hotmail, the once popular email taken over by Google’s Gmail. Or perhaps Google will simply copy the feature and continue to cash in on Gmail’s success.

(Via CNET)