Hotmail has introduced an alias feature which Microsoft said would enable users to manage their online identities.
Hotmail users can now create alternative e-mail addresses (called aliases) that link to their primary Hotmail account - so instead of having to create a brand new e-mail address when signing up for something which may send spam, users can sign up to Hotmail's alias feature, get the e-mail and delete the alias when they're all done, said Bryan Saftler, Hotmail product manager.
He said: "People used to have just one e-mail address, but now they use three or four across multiple services, and using them all to manage their personal e-mail for different purposes is time consuming." The service aims to simplify this by enabling users to use their e-mail alias just once.
Having being forced to sign-up to BT Shop, only to be told the product was out of stock, I can see real value in having a place to manage aliases you only ever use when buying online. Far too often websites ask you to sign up with an e-mail address and credit card number, just to take a single transaction, which does not seem very responsible. So I'm all for aliases.