Finally, there’s an update regarding the @live.com email addresses! Last year around this time, it was rumored that they were going to be released. We waited, and waited, and nothing ever came of it. Some of you had the opportunity to claim your address last year using tricks that we posted (here, here, and here). If you managed to get one, hopefully those email addresses will still be valid once Microsoft makes them available globally.
LiveSide pointed out a posting from the Product Manager for Windows Live in Toronto where he explains that @live.com addresses (and all @live.xx– depending on the country you live in) will be available starting sometime in the Fall. He also explains that current Hotmail addresses will remain the same, and there’s no guarantee that you will receive the same name for a Live.com address as you had for you Hotmail address.(e.g., just because you have firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t mean that you will get email@example.com). It’ll be on a first come, first serve basis.
Additionally, he points out that you’ll only be able to migrate your contact information to your new account. All of your emails that you have saved over time will remain with your previous account, and if you wanted them moved to your new account, you will have to forward them manually.
Many people have been patiently waiting to get their hands on an @live.com address, so it’s nice to get an official update and know that they will actually be coming sometime this Fall. Unfortunately, I think many Hotmail users will be disappointed when they find out that the only thing they’ll be able to migrate to the new account is contacts. Things such as “Windows Live Spaces contents (photos, blogs, etc), emails, subscription status (hotmail plus or premium), association with other products (Favourites, OneCare, etc) will stay with the existing account. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this will keep people from switching to the new brand, and just sticking with their trusty Hotmail account.