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Free Email Problems
Hotmail is no longer fully supported by Microsoft. Even when it was supported, it was free, and free email accounts have only the most basic level of support.
Having an email account is not as simple as it used to be. Hackers, spammers, and malware attacks on (mostly) Windows PCs that harvests your email address, and uses it to send spam that "comes from you". Of course it does not really come from you. Anyone can set up their email program to send email from email@example.com, or your email address.
Because email access and archival is so important now, free accounts usually do not have sufficient free or paid support available, for anything more than trivial problems. The free email system you use today might go away someday.
If you forget your password after years of having it stored on a computer that crashed, that's too bad. If someone hacks your account and changes the password, that's too bad. If a spammer uses your email address to spam, that's too bad. If someone tries to login into your account with the wrong password too many times that it blocks your account, too bad. With big problems like these, you need real, live support.
In the case of Hotmail, Microsoft's answer is Windows Live. This does not work on the Macintosh, which does not make sense to me because Intel-based Macs have become very popular. For most Hotmail users, Microsoft has transitioned their existing Hotmail accounts to Window's Live. (You can usually keep the same email address and password, that was used previously.)
However, the Windows Live Hotmail update is not always successful in preserving all of your old passwords, contacts, and folders. If it does not work, you can email Microsoft Windows Live support, and get an answer between three days and never, too often never. Perhaps logging into: http://login.live.com/login.srf? will work, perhaps not.
There is no phone, or any kind of support for Hotmail users who are locked out. If you have 200 contacts and 100 folders with 8 years of email, being locked out suddenly and permanently is not always easy to accept. Other than web sites that vaguely hint they will try to fix Hotmail problems for about $130, there seems no solution for Hotmail support.
If you cannot make Hotmail work, there are several choices for free accounts, for example Gmail, or Yahoo. If you use Yahoo, pay them $20 a year so you have access to their support.
If you can get into your Hotmail account, you can set it up to forward your emails to your Gmail account. Gmail is free, yet it is supported very well on the web.
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