Outlook.com to stop supporting linked accounts, say hello to aliases

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In an official blog post today, Microsoft has revealed that those who enjoy using more than one email address linked to Outlook.com will no longer be able to do so. Starting late July, Microsoft will stop supporting linked email accounts and allow users to use aliases instead.

“There are a number of people who have more than one email address and want to manage these multiple email addresses from Outlook.com. Linked accounts were introduced in 2006 as a way to quickly switch between different accounts each with their own email address. Over the next couple months, we will stop supporting linked accounts and instead help people move to a more robust and secure way of managing multiple email addresses: aliases,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.

The primary reason Microsoft is discontinuing linked email accounts for Outlook.com is due to security. While linked accounts in Outlook.com allow you to easily switch to another email account without entering a password, there are security drawbacks. First, linked accounts are less robust and less secure. Microsoft believes users will not keep their security information up to date with the linked email 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,” Microsoft explains.

Microsoft firmly believes that aliases will provide a more robust and secure capability for managing multiple email addresses. Microsoft will be sending out an email to Outlook.com users in the next few days explaining this change and how you can get your aliases set up.

The software giant has also introduced two new features to help consolidate your email accounts. Mail forwarding allows you to forward all email from your secondary account to the primary account. Microsoft is also allowing users to send an email from another account via a “send-only” address. These two features let you send and receive email from that secondary email address, all within your primary Microsoft account. Microsoft is also working on a feature to allow you to “move an alias” from one account to another.

For those of you who use linked accounts, how do you feel about this change?