So I recently received an email from Microsoft that would have to be one of the worst pieces of communication I have ever seen about a really important change that will dramatically affect the way I currently access my email:


Important Information About Your Email Service




In the next few weeks we’ll be making some updates that will impact your, @hotmail, @live or @msn email account. Those changes will prevent your email from getting delivered to the Outlook desktop application that you use. When you notice that you stop receiving messages, simply follow these two steps:


For Outlook 2003 customers:


1. Remove your email account from your Outlook 2003 desktop application


2. Re-add your email account to your Outlook 2003 desktop application


For Outlook 2007 customers:


1. Remove your email account from your Outlook 2007 desktop application


2. Re-add your email account to your Outlook 2007 desktop application


For Outlook 2010 customers:


1. Remove your email account from your Outlook 2010 desktop application


2. Re-add your email account to your Outlook 2010 desktop application


When the update happens, you may not be able to refer back to this email in your Outlook desktop application. We recommend bookmarking or saving the two links (remove and re-add) in steps 1 and 2 above that apply to the version of Outlook that you’re using. Remember, you can always access this message by logging in to your account at at any time.


If you don’t know what version of Outlook you have, you can click here for instructions to find out.


Thank you for your understanding and continued use.


With some diligent searching, it would appear that this probably relates the the move of the above accounts from servers to Office 365 servers and that the only access when using Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 after this change will be via IMAP! The above links are really generic and nowhere does it state that deleting and re-adding your account will mean the need to re-download all email, or that there will no longer be access to Calendar or Contact details within Outlook because of the need to use IMAP.

Reading between the lines, it would appear that upgrading to Outlook 2013 or 2016 will mean that native support will still be there. However, I have not been able to find an official Microsoft page with any of this information. All of it has come from forums or other third party sites.

I also have a particular worry in that my private email domain is a grand-fathered (and I use that term loosely - more like unsupported) Windows Live Custome Domain whose email accounts are currently still accessible via the Office Outlook Connector and the web interface. I have no idea whether they will still be accessible after this change, nor even how I could possibly find out.

As I said in the title, as an official communication about these changes it completely sucks and does not even begin to touch on the consequences of this change.