Hotmail offers disposable alias accounts
Microsoft acknowledges that there are many reasons why users might want to use email alias accounts and, according to Dharmesh Mehta on the Windows Blog, has now added an easy option to Windows Live Hotmail to set up such accounts. Signing up for a new alias uses the same mechanisms as any new account, but the alias accounts don't require extra house-keeping or log-ins. Mails to these aliases are managed from the user's main Hotmail Inbox.
This allows users to create email addresses for internet ordering and to keep professional mail accounts separate from recreational and family accounts. Throw-away accounts can also be used to help minimise spam. To start with, each user will be allowed up to five alias addresses per year, and these can be deleted and replaced as required. Microsoft says this can eventually be increased up to 15 aliases over the course of three years.
In November 2010, Microsoft added the ability to use existing email addresses with Hotmail. Hotmail already supported the use of 'plus' addresses where a '+' followed by a descriptive word could be added to a user's existing Hotmail address. These 'plus' addresses could be used for organisational purposes, but the main Hotmail address could easily be deduced by removing the addition. The new alias option extends Hotmail's address flexibility even further by allowing the use of anonymous addresses.