Microsoft says that starting late July, those who are using and managing multiple email addresses from Outlook.com "will no longer be able to do so"--as it will stop supporting linked accounts and instead move users to "aliases."
Linked accounts were introduced in 2006 as a quick way to help people who don't want to give out their primary email address to companies and some individuals, to avoid junk email.
Microsoft explaining the discontinuing linked accounts for Outlook.com said the primary reason is "security."
While linked email accounts, lets you sign in to Outlook.com on the web and then switch to any other linked account without entering a password, are less robust, and less secure, Microsoft said that users keep their primary account's security info up to date, but they don't care much about the secondary accounts.
"It's easier for a malicious party to compromise one of those secondary accounts, which gives them full access to your primary account. Note that if we detect suspicious activity in your account, we automatically unlink accounts to try to help prevent this abuse, but we think we need to go further," explains Microsoft.
Microsoft notes, in the next few days, it'll send email about this change, including the steps to get your aliases set up. "Soon after, when you sign in with a linked account, you'll see a notice with the same info," Microsoft said.
To help a smoother transition to aliases from linked accounts, Microsoft has also added two new features. "When combined with email forwarding, it means you can both receive and send email from that email address, all within your primary Microsoft account," the company added.
- Mail forwarding allows you to forward all email from your secondary account to the primary account.
- And, the second feature send email from another account allows you to configure your secondary account as a "send-only" address.
Further, Microsoft said it is also working on a feature to allow you to "move an alias" that will let you move the email address and email from one account to another.