Microsoft launched its all-new Outlook.com late last month, but Mac users and fans of IMAP were left out in the cold. Although Microsoft has never officially supported IMAP in Hotmail, a large number of users have always called for its inclusion. Explaining its decision not to support IMAP in Outlook.com, a team member, answering questions on Gizmodo this week, says "IMAP is an old protocol that supports only mail syncing (not calendar and people)." Despite the lack of support, the Outlook.com team also hint that it may support the protocol in future.
"I expect we’ll support IMAP for Outlook sometime down the line," says the Outlook representative. The same rep also admits that Microsoft's "client support on the Mac isn’t great" and that the company is "working on it." Existing Hotmail and Outlook.com users are forced to use POP3 or the web to access their email on Apple's Mac operating system, whereas Windows users can use a dedicated Windows Live Mail client or an add-in for Outlook.
Whether this means we'll see a dedicated Outlook.com mail client for the Mac remains to be seen, but Microsoft's preferred method for connections appears to be Exchange ActiveSync, which is supported in the Windows 8 Mail client, Outlook 2013, iOS, Windows Phone, and most Android handsets. Still, a hint at IMAP support is always a good sign — here's hoping that Microsoft is actively working to support the protocol soon.