Truth be known, I do have a HoTMaiL account just for registration to sites that almost certainly will spam me. There have been rumors that access to Hotmail accounts through things like Outlook Express, Entourage, and third party plugins, such as the one for Mail.app would be shut off. You’d be forced into using the web interface (which still sucks).
It became official today:
Dear MSN Member,
Recently, Hotmail announced that in order to improve customer experience and reduce spam and junk e-mail abuse on MSN services, Hotmail will no longer allow new e-mail accounts to be accessed via Microsoft Office Outlook and Outlook Express.
We are pleased to inform you that because you are an existing and valued customer, at this time your current Hotmail and MSN account(s) are exempt from this restriction and you will be able to continue enjoying access to those accounts from Outlook or Outlook Express. However, any new Hotmail or MSN accounts you create will not be accessible via Outlook or Outlook Express.
Note that only new accounts will be affected. That means your existing accounts will keep working with these services. Hoard those existing addresses or dump it all together and get Gmail (I have over 40 invites left).