With the recent release of the Microsoft Office 2013 Customer Preview, many have been hitting a giant wall when it comes to connecting Hotmail and Gmail accounts in Outlook.
Outlook 2013 supports Exchange ActiveSync as an explicit option when creating accounts, which kisses goodbye to the pesky Outlook Connector. The problem is when Outlook can't detect Hotmail (or Gmail) accounts correctly. Should a valid address be entered into the account setup assistant and it can't configure Exchange ActiveSync, it will resort to POP and SMTP protocols. This isn't ideal.
Lucky for those who suffer from the above issue, a simple workaround is available that enables Hotmail users to enjoy the new Outlook experience...
First, pop into the Outlook settings and select "Add Account" (see above photo). Instead of walking through the auto-setup, choose "Manual setup or additional server types" and hit next. In the following screen, select "Exchange ActiveSync" as the desired service.
Next you'll have to fill in your Hotmail account credentials (see above photo). When it comes to the 'Mail Server', enter m.hotmail.com. That's it! You should now be witnessing Outlook raid your email account and download all your messages. Outlook 2013 is a new vision for emailing on a Windows PC. Gone is the cluttered interface and unimaginative structure, replaced by a design that is fit for Windows 8, as well as complimenting the Windows Phone version.
From the Metro layout to introduced features and functionality, the new Outlook really is the cherry on the ice-cream in our opinion, which rounds off the Office 2013 Customer Preview nicely. If you haven't tried out the suite as-of-yet, we'd strongly recommend doing so. Microsoft is offering 5 installs per account to test out its latest productivity suite of apps.
As for Gmail users, things aren't looking too bright for now and when attempts are made to add a Google account in Outlook 2013 via ActiveSync they all prove to be unsuccessful. While Gmail does support Exchange ActiveSync for mobile devices, it's limited to POP and IMAP with Outlook. We'll keep our eyes peeled for any progress ona workaround.
Let us know should you encounter any issues with this walkthrough and be sure to sound off in the comments if it works for you.