Friday, March 8, 2013

Hotmail replaced by Outlook -- What's the big fuss?

I barely remember that I have a Hotmail account, an account to be precise, let alone that last August there was some notification that Hotmail was going to become Outlook.  I rarely check the Hotmail account though I use to use the instant messenger feature to communicate with co-workers from the No-Name Software Company.  It must have been a slow week in august where I was bored enough to look into it.

My account came about because when I bought my first computer, a Dell whatever, among the useless software bundled with it came a free Dellnet email account and cheap internet service.  This was back in the Dark Ages when dial-up was the word and hi-speed was not the common currency it is today.  So I was happy to have an email account separate from my work account.  This too was a new thing back in the day.  Before that you had to surrender your work account and then complain that people were sending you nothing but jokes instead of real emails pissing your IT dept off.  With a separate email account you could use the "oh I don't check my personal email from work" excuse, even though 7 out of 10 people did.  Totally made that up.

Unfortunately, a year after purchasing the computer and after I renewed for another year, Microsoft swept in and bought up that Internet Service, or Dell sold it.  Don't know, don't care which.  In any event, I had to get a new email address because the one I was using was apparently in use already.  So I got a variation of my email address which I never liked but was stuck with forever.

So I'm happy about the replacement because among the options of keeping your Hotmail, or address, you can also change what’s known as the local-part of your email address.  For a quick lesson in Tech-speak, the format of email addresses is local-part@domain.

The local-part is generally your jdoe, chitwngirl7 or cubsfan4ever part and the domain is the Hotmail part.  The domain is changing.  The odds of someone else grabbing chitwngirl7 or dofus-whatever on the new domain is slim especially if you act quickly.

So I was able to completely switch from an email that was more of a throwback to when email addresses where your "handle" to one that is more identifiable and even, normal.  I guess that is part of growing up.

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