Outlook.com gets two-step verification, sign-in by alias and new international domains

As announced earlier today, over the next few days we are releasing an update to Microsoft account. For people who use Outlook.com, this includes a number of new features such as two-step verification, the ability to sign in with an alias and new international domains for your email address. 

Optional two-step verification helps keep you more secure

You can now choose to enable two-step verification for your entire account. Two-step verification is when we ask you for two pieces of information when you sign in to your account–your password plus a code sent to a phone or email that you gave us as security info. Many of you have asked for this and we’re delighted to be able to offer this capability.

Two-step verification is a great way to add extra protection to your account. Once you’ve enabled two-step verification, even if a criminal gets your password (for example, through malware on a friend’s machine that you used, or if you use the same password for another service that gets breached) they can’t access your account.

You can read more about two-step verification here, or just start setting it up at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage –it only takes a few minutes.

Sign in with any alias on your account

We’ve heard from a lot of you that you love using Outlook.com but you wish you had more flexibility signing in. Many of you have added an email alias to your account, but you can’t use the alias to sign in to your account. Previously the only option was to permanently rename your account, which is a hassle and requires you to reset certain devices.

With this release, you can now sign in with any alias that has been added to your account. We’ve also simplified the experience of adding and managing aliases, with better advice on when you should add an alias vs. renaming your primary alias.

You can set up or manage aliases at https://account.live.com/names/Manage.

Figure 1: Manage and set up account aliases

32 new @Outlook email address domains

We’ve been delighted by the reception to the new Outlook.com service. Many people have chosen to create new @outlook.com aliases, and as we previously discussed, many people have switched over from other email services.

But we also heard from some of you that you’d like to be able to have an @outlook address that is unique to your country (e.g. @outlook.de), so here is the list of new @outlook email domains that will be available in the next few days.

Help end the “Don’t open an email from me, I got hacked” updates

We encourage you to turn on and tell your friends to turn on two-step verification and help reduce the number of accounts that get hacked. And we hope you like the other new features released today. Thanks for all the interest in Outlook.com and Microsoft services and we look forward to hearing what you think.

–Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft account