By Ed Oswald | Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm
The tech-savvy among us know its completely possible to have a single physical email address, yet be able to make it appear as if we have more through the use of an alias. Well, enter Microsoft, which is bringing this to the masses in the form of what it’s calling throwaway e-mail addresses.
Possible uses for this are almost limitless: For example, you can create an alias to give to untrusted web sites, then create a rule to forward all those potential e-mails to a specific folder to keep your inbox unclogged. Got a less than professional e-mail address? Hide it with a much more dignified one.
“The average person maintains three different email addresses,” Windows Live product management director Dharmesh Mehta reported. He added the updates save the user time by allowing one account to appear as many, rather than the need to maintain several disparate accounts.
Up to five email aliases can be added to an account per year, up to a maximum of 15. Setting them up is rather easy, and at setup you will have the option to forward those mails to a specific folder right away — negating the need to navigate through the process of setting up forwarding rules.
Hotmail had already been offering a alias-like system where users were able to add descriptive words to their e-mails (i.e. [email protected]) which would forward that e-mail to a folder with that word. Microsoft said that works well, but spammers can easily guess the real e-mail address using that system.
Users of the service should begin to see the option in their settings on a rolling basis over the next few days. If you’re using it, we’d be glad to hear your thoughts on it.