Recently I came across a really cool live server called "Custom Domains". This service is currently evolving into "Windows Live Admin Center".

What does it do?!

You get an e-mail server for your custom domain for free! You can then create up to 500 mail accounts on this service, each with 5GB storage. Neat, isn't it? For universities and schools you can even get more accounts if you register in the free program "Windows Live @ EDU".

So these are the 10 steps how to register your domain:

  1. Go to http://admincenter.live.com
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  2. Click the button "Get started"
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  3. Enter the domain name (domain needs to be already purchased, you also need authority over it's DNS records.
    IMPORTANT: Select "Set up Windows Live Hotmail for my domain", because otherwise you can run into problems with the DNS.image
  4. Confirm your domain settings & accept the terms of use.image
  5. To confirm you have authority over your DNS (and are therefore the admin of the domain) add the following MX record to your DNS server (without mail service selected it would've been a CNAME record, which is not allowed to be customized by several providers).
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  6. After the DNS has been configured properly refresh the page.image
  7. Add users (they will automatically get a LiveId with user@domain.com - and can logon via mail.live.com)
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  8. Optional but useful: Set up a TXT record on your DNS service to notify other mail servers that hotmail.com is handling your mail (recommended for Spam-Filter purposes)
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  9. Optional but nice: Redirect a CNAME (subdomain) of your domain to the hotmail service: So people can enter webmail.mydomain.com and will get to the mail.live.com site.
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  10. Optional but neat: Allow anybody to sign up for accounts, co-brand you webmail interface or use the Live Webservice APIs to automatically manage users in a batch.