MSN services such as MSN Spaces and MSN Messenger require one to create a Passport account to use them. Passport requires the use of an email address which is used as the login name of the user. However as time progresses people often have to change email addresses for one reason or the other. On such occassions I’ve seen a couple of requests internally asking for the ability to change the Passport account an MSN Spaces or MSN Messenger account is associated with.
Doing this is actually quite straightforward in the general case. All one has to do is go to the Passport.net website and click on the ‘View or edit your profile’ link which should have an option for changing the email address associated with the Passport. And that’s it.
Thanks to a recent changes made by some of the devs on our team, the renaming process now works seamlessly in MSN Messenger. You don’t have to import your existing contact list to the new account nor do your contacts have to add the new email address to their contact list. Instead the change to your email address propagates across the MSN network in about an hour or so.
The are some caveats. The first is that renaming a Passport to a Hotmail account isn’t supported at the current time. Another is that you may be prevented from changing your display name from the new email address in MSN Messenger for some time. This means that your friends will see you in their contact list as firstname.lastname@example.org (if that is your email address).
The above information also applies if you’ve been asked to change your MSN Messenger email address because your employer is deploying Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005 with Public IM Connectivity (PIC).