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Hotmail adds throwaway account functionality

HOTMAIL-alias

Creating throwaway email accounts is nothing new. But Microsoft has just made the process a whole lot easier with a new Hotmail feature that allows users to simply manage multiple email address through a single inbox, according to The Windows Blog.

The reasons for creating throwaway, or multiple, accounts can vary from person to person, of course. But it’s a great way to deal with spammers, manage various online services, or just brush off people you don’t actually want to keep in contact with.

“Today we all often have multiple e-mail accounts for many different reasons,” Windows Live director of product management Dharmesh Mehta tells CNET. “One of which is that I don’t want to give my real address out to any site in the world. I might be worried they’ll spam me with newsletters, or they might resell it to other marketers. Who knows what can happen?”

According to Mehta, the service is also good for anyone who must take on a different persona in different situations, like someone who is a “a hardcore gamer in one environment, and a conservative professional guy in another environment.”

The new feature lets users create up to five separate aliases. The messages for each of these addresses will be separated into their appropriate folders, and can be read and replied to from one inbox. Microsoft says it hopes to increase the number of aliases to 15 for those of us with intense email needs.

Yahoo offers a similar feature, but that requires paying the $19.99 per-year fee to upgrade to its Mail Plus service. The Hotmail alias function, on the other hand, comes standard.

As Mehta mentions, however, the feature may not appeal to “mainstream” email users, and instead only interest a select group of  email “enthusiasts” who require additional functionality, and the use of multiple addresses.

The feature is expected to be available to all Hotmail users by this afternoon.