Microsoft has announced that it will stop supporting Outlook.com linked accounts in the next couple of months. Linked accounts were introduced back in 2006, they offered an easy way of switching between multiple e-mail addresses from Outlook.com. This feature is being phased out in favor of aliases, which are tied to one particular Microsoft account, but may contain an entirely different name. Microsoft acknowledges that many people wish to use multiple e-mail addresses for a variety of reasons, aliases lets them do that while receiving e-mail on one standard account, instead of making a separate address for every separate account.
They say that security issues are one of the reasons why support for linked accounts is being phased out. Users would generally keep the passwords on their primary accounts up to date, but would not do the same for secondary linked accounts. Malicious users were able to gain access to primary accounts by first hacking in to less secure secondary ones. To make this transition easier, Microsoft has added a couple of new features. All e-mail from a secondary account can now be forwarded to a primary account, folder structure across accounts can be retained. Alternatively, the secondary account can be configured as a “send-only” address. When combined with e-mail forwarding, users will be able to send and receive e-mail from that particular address while keeping one primary Microsoft account. They’ll being un-linking Outlook.com linked accounts in late July.