Hotmail POP3 access on the way: Omar Shahine explains

We spent the day today (Jan 13) on campus, talking to some of the people who have helped to bring you Wave 3.  In quite a coincidence, one of them was Omar Shahine, who we spoke to last fall when POP3 access was announced.  We’ll bring you more from Omar coming up, but we wanted to get this bit out on POP3 now while the news is fresh.  Funnily enough, Omar doesn’t actually work on POP, although he has been working on Hotmail, and more recently on some of the social networking aspects of Windows Live, specifically People and Profiles.  We just happened to catch him, twice, right when there were POP announcements.

Last night we reported that users in the Netherlands were accessing their Hotmail via POP3 (as Omar explains in the video, POP is a kind of lowest common denominator for email retrieval.  It isn’t nearly as rich an experience as DeltaSync, which is what Windows Live Mail and Outlook use, but it does allow just about any email client – including most notably the iPhone – to access Hotmail), and we’ve since seen reports of access in the UK and in Australia.  If you’re waiting for POP access, perhaps for your iPhone, you shouldn’t have to wait long.  And if you are able to access POP for the first time in your region, let us know in the comments.

video

 (Our friend Arnout Hemel posted on Hotmail access in the Netherlands on the LiveLog blog today – it’s in Dutch but you can play with Windows Live Translator)

In the next few days, we’ll be posting the rest of our chat with Omar and our other interviews, just as soon as we can get the videos processed and posted.  Thanks to everyone for a fun day!