Windows Live Hotmail now provides free POP3 access to the users who reside in the following countries: United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Japan, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. According to the official announcement more countries will be added later on this year.
Therefore you can now send and receive emails through Outlook/Outlook Express or your favorite other email client.
Currently the email settings are:
POP3 server: pop3.live.com
SMTP server: smtp.live.com
Username: full e-mail address
Password: Windows Live ID password
Authentication and the use of SSL are required for both POP3 and SMTP protocols.