Do you know that some email addresses aren’t what they seem? It’s nothing particularly sneaky or underhand. Just that some that have one name actually work the same as ones with a different name.
For example, if you have an email address ending in @tiscali.co.uk and you hear emails ending @talktalk.co.uk are having problems, you might not think you’d be affected. But actually tiscali emails are run on the same system as talktalk. And if you have a hotmail account, that’s now the same as an outlook.com account. And until fairly recently, behind the scenes, BT emails were run by Yahoo, which sometimes caused all manner of confusion when an issue came up that was to do with it being a Yahoo account.
Most of the time, you don’t need to worry about this. It doesn’t really matter what system is running your email, as long as it works properly! It’s only really an issue if something goes wrong… or if you hear there’s a problem with one type and you don’t realise you have that type.
This all popped into my head this morning because I was about to write about an email that you might have had if you use an outlook.com email address… or a hotmail or other Microsoft emails address.
It warns you that if you use Windows Live Mail 2012 (and although they don’t say it, I think it’ll affect older versions of Windows Live Mail as well) and you have an outlook.com email address, then it’ll stop working.
The thing is, the email looks a bit like it could be spam. But it isn’t.
There’s an issue between the new system Microsoft are going to be using to run their emails and Windows Live Mail – and they’re not planning to sort it out. So if you use Windows Live Mail and you have a Microsoft email account, that’s basically tough luck.
Microsoft’s take on it (and their full advice if you’re affected) is here.
But in a nutshell, if you’re affected, you need to change how you access your emails or from sometime in June it won’t work any more. They suggest using the Windows mail app, which is in Windows 8 and 10. I’m not convinced the mail app is as good as they make out, though if you get on OK with it, that’s fine. Another option is to login to your emails on their website. And one option they don’t mention is to install Mozilla Thunderbird, as covered in some of our books.
Or if you currently check your emails on your PC but you also have a tablet, you could switch to checking your emails on that instead.
Anyway, if you have an email address ending in outlook.com or hotmail.com or anything else from Microsoft, it’s worth having a look at their guidance at the link above, otherwise in June your emails will stop working properly.
How to get a little more from us
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re signed up to the free email newsletter “Tim’s Tech Tips”. It’s the best way to get any new tips, advice and news from me.
And if you are reading this but aren’t signed up to it, maybe because a friend forwarded this on or because you stumbled across it on the web, best sign up now – it’s free and we won’t share your email address with anyone else. Here’s where you can join up, in the yellow box on this page.
But I’ve also started using our Facebook page for the occasional tiny snippet of news. Anything really important or that needs explaining in a bit more detail I’ll still save for the emails, but if you use Facebook and you might be interested to hear other snippets from us, why not like our Facebook page.
Our Facebook page is here and once you’ve gone to it, you can click the like button with the little thumbs up symbol on it so you’ll get updates and news from us when you’re looking at Facebook.
Of course, this is only relevant if you already use Facebook! But don’t worry, as I say, the important stuff will still be in the emails.