Hotmail Offers Disposable Email Accounts via Aliases Feature

Paul Lilly

According to Microsoft, the average person maintains three different email addresses. If you're a power user, you might be juggling many more than that. Managing all those usernames and passwords (assuming you use a different one for each account) is, in a word, "inefficient," Microsoft says. The solution? Hotmail aliases.

"Starting today, you can create and manage multiple email aliases from a single Hotmail account," Dharmesh Mehta, director of Windows Live Product Management, said in a blog post . "Together with features that we introduced in November that let you use Hotmail with any existing email address , the new aliasing feature makes it easy to use a different email address and still get all the benefits of Hotmail without having to change your primary email address and online identity."

At this point, you're probably thinking, 'Big flippin' deal, Gmail and a host of other email providers already do that, just add a plus sign (+)!" And you're right. If your Gmail address is xTechStud1977x , you can divert potential spam when registering for a site by using, say, xTechStud1977x+BestBuy@gmail.com and creating a filter.

"However, with the plus addresses that many services offer, it's still very easy to determine your actual email address and there are times when you simply don't want to give out any part of your real email address -- that's where our new alias feature helps you out," Mehta explains. " Email aliases let you create completely different email addresses tht you can use to receive email into your primary account without anyone knowing what your primary email address is. "

Bolded for emphasis by Mehta, not us. But the point remains, this really is a cool feature. Effective immediately, Hotmail users can add up to five aliases per year, and up to fifteen in total. So in other words if you later decide that one of your aliases sucks, or has become too cluttered with junk, you'll be able to drop it and add another. And you still have the option of using the plus sign.

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