Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta released!!

This is very, very cool. We all love Hotmail and now you can connect it FOR FREE to Outlook.  Check out the details from my fellow program manager Jared Brown:

This week, Microsoft released a new beta of an add-in that allows people to access Windows Live Hotmail in Outlook and best of all, it’s free!  It’s called the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector.  If you’re familiar with Windows Live Hotmail’s history, you may have heard of this add-in before.  It used to require a subscription but with the new Windows Live Hotmail, we’re now able to offer it free (for most features).  Every Hotmail customer can now take advantage of some of the best features Outlook has to offer, like Offline access, Categorization, Flagging, Instant Search, Electronic Business Cards, the To-Do Bar… the list goes on and on.

In addition to the new Ajax user interface that allows for richer capabilities on the web, Windows Live Hotmail includes a new protocol which the Outlook Connector uses to communicate with the service.  The new protocol is called Delta Sync and is very efficient, so your experience using the connector should be faster too.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.

You probably noticed that the new beta is free for most features.  It synchronizes Hotmail e-mail (including all your folders) and contacts for free, but still requires a paid subscription to MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials or Office Live Premium to synchronize calendars, tasks and notes. 

With the new Outlook Connector beta, you can get the most of Windows Live Hotmail and Microsoft Office Outlook, so Download it Today!

-jared brown

Comments (19)

  1. PE says:

    Is Outlook 2003 supported, or 2007 only?

  2. Jared Brown [MSFT] says:

    Outlook 2003 and 2007 are both supported 🙂

  3. Joshua Moore says:

    Is this essentially a light verson of OWA?

  4. Sam says:

    Please some one upload this file some where like rapidshare of megaupload cause it doesn’t approve OGA

  5. Thomas says:

    Great news. Unfortunately only a few languages are available. Any plany for a german beta?

  6. Jared Brown [MSFT] says:

    Yes a German beta is on its way!

  7. Zlavock says:

    Can we used this protocol with our application ? Where can we found specifications about this new protocol Delta Sync ?

  8. Jared Brown [MSFT] says:

    Delta Sync is an internal, Microsoft proprietary protocol, available for use only by Microsoft clients.  At this time, we have not determined if we will make this publically available.  Would you like to use Delta Sync?  If so, how do you imagine you might use it?

  9. Daniel says:

    Does it use an encrypted connection or does it transmit the password in plain text?

  10. Jared Brown [MSFT] says:

    Passwords are not sent in plain text.

  11. Jared Brown [MSFT] says:

    The German beta is now available, in addition to the following languages:

    – Dutch

    – Italian

    – French

    – Spanish

    – Portuguese (Brazil)

    That is in addition to the languages that have already been available:

    – English

    – Chinese Traditional

    – Chinese Simplified

    – Japanese

    – Korean

    These eleven languages are the only languages for this release.

  12. H says:

    My contacts within Outlook 2003 and web-based Hotmail are different.  If I install the Outlook Connector and read my Hotmail within Outlook, can I decline the import of contacts from my web Hotmail during the initial synching process?

  13. Orrin says:

    I had Outlook configured for a local calendar, and then I installed the Outlook connector beta.  Now, every meeting request I receive via my hotmail plus account is placed on my Hotmail calendar, not my original one.  Can I specify which calendar I want the Hotmail connector to use, perhaps declare a primary calendar?

  14. Jamie says:

    I was unable to get it to work with my Windows Live Custom Domains email account.  It did, however,  work with the basic Windows Live Hotmail.  I tried it on XP/Outlook 2003 and Vista/Outlook 2007 with the same results.  Any suggestions?  It is definitely a useful tool, if I can get it to work.

  15. Jared Brown [MSFT] says:

    I’ll try to answer each of these questions :)…

    First, H, the contacts from Hotmail get synchronized into a different folder so they will not pollute your existing Outlook contacts.  There is no way to disable synchronization but as I mentioned they will still remain different and distinct.

    Orrin, for existing items, you can copy the events from your default Outlook calendar to the connector’s calendar.  For the future, you can specify which account you would like to be the default account (which will set the default calendar for new appointments, etc.) in the Outlook account settings.

    Jamie, the connector should work with custom domain accounts as well as default Windows Live Hotmail accounts.  I’m sorry you’re having trouble.  Please click the ‘Contact Us’ item in the ‘Outlook Connector’ menu in Outlook so we can get you some help!

  16. Orrin says:

    Thanks Jarod.  I’ve made the changes to have my default client be the local one, but the calendar continues to default to my Hotmail calendar.  Same is true for my Contacts.  Any other suggestions?  Also, I am using Office 2007 and I do not have an ‘Outlook Connector’ menu in Outlook to click on the help button, as you sugggested to Jamie.  Are these Office 2007 issues?

  17. James says:

    I too am having the same issue of having success using the connector with my old hotmail account but no success with my new custom domains.

  18. Anju Khetan [MSFT] says:

    Jamie and James –

      if you look in your detailed report (click on the exclamation mark in the server status toolbar),you can see trouble shooting information that can help you determine why you can’t connect.

  19. James Saull says:

    If I click on the Server Status it shows an accurate summary of my server quota  (mail storage) and then shows mail, calendar & contact in a permanent state of connecting and the detailed report is pasted below:


    Outlook Connector Version 12.0.4518.1047


    Signed in successfully at 15/07/2007 20:44:28                                                                          




    Errors :

    Time: 15/07/2007 20:44:34

    Error in Calendar

    Information is missing from your Microsoft Passport Network profile. In Calendar, click Options, and then update your personal profile.