Microsoft has announced that it is making Hotmail that little bit more ubiquitous, revealing you can now use features of the service with other email accounts.

This new feature utilises POP, allowing you to import non-Hotmail data on to Hotmail.

What you do need is a Windows Live ID, but once you have this you can use Hotmail-specific features like the ability to send up to 10GB of photos in one email, without IT ringing you up in tears telling you that your actions have made your workplace's computer infrastructure 'go all Skynet'.

POP goes the Hotmail

Dick Craddock from Microsoft was so excited about the new feature, he wrote a blog on it, explaining: "We understand. You already have at least one email address and you probably don't need another.

"You may also use your existing address for things other than just email, such as signing in to online shopping sites, which makes changing even more challenging. Also, you might have an address that you really like, but a similar name might not be available on another email service. So we looked for a way to make it easier for people to give Hotmail a trial run."

And 'how has Microsoft done this?' we hear you cry. Well, Craddock writes: "Implementing this was fairly straightforward given the architecture of Hotmail, our POP aggregation support, and the 'Send As' feature that lets you send mail from any validated email address.

"We just needed to tweak the way we store and look up email addresses, build the first-run experience, and we had it."

Once done, you can send and receive mail using Hotmail but keeping your Gmail or Yahoo address.

This new feature should be rolled out to all users in the coming days.