I've had a free hotmail account for about 10 years now and I like having the same address so friends/family always know where to e-mail.
About a month ago I got an announcement from MSN that hotmail would no longer support POP3 which I was using to access hotmail via Outlook 2003--which enables me to to get important e-mails off the hotmail server and into my local personal folders so I can hang onto messages and organize them.
Instead of just being told I was S.O.L., Microsoft created the Outlook Connector which is free to download and use. I've been using it now for about three weeks and find it far superior to POP3. E-mails download faster and Outlook doesn't freeze up like it did with POP3.
Moral of the story: Instead of aggravating existing users, MS found a superior solution and made it available free of charge.
MS has gotten a lot of criticism throughout years, some of it justified, but it's important to point out the good as well.