Microsoft has updated the security features for Hotmail by adding secure sockets layer encryption to protect users' e-mail sessions.
The SSL encryption is being advertised as the next "big" security feature to come to Hotmail. For perspective, Google's Gmail has been offering SSL encrypted e-mail sessions for the past two years.
A Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to The Register: “We will continue to incorporate leading-edge security features to better protect our customers. With today's addition of full-session SSL encryption to Hotmail, we are delivering even more secure Hotmail sessions.”
A major drawback of the SSL encryption feature, which was highlighted by The Register, is that the encryption does not work on e-mails that have been downloaded from Microsoft's own Hotmail apps, like Outlook Hotmail Connector and Windows Live Mail.
Google's SSL encryption, on the other hand, works much more smoothly, not only with Gmail apps, but also with third party e-mail clients such as Thunderbird, Eudora and Outlook.