Microsoft email account purgeYahoo! recently revised their policy on email address recycling and made significant strides to simplify the way in which they will implement that process. It now appears that other webmail providers are starting to follow suit.

Microsoft has recently announced that they may start deleting accounts held under their branded services (Outlook, Hotmail or Windows Live) if there has been no login activity over a 270 day period.

Their policy statement reads as follows: “The Microsoft branded services require that you sign in to your Microsoft account periodically, at a minimum of every 270 days, to keep the Microsoft branded services portion of the services active, unless provided otherwise in an offer for a paid portion of the services. If you fail to sign in during this period, we may cancel your access to the Microsoft branded services. If the Microsoft branded services are cancelled due to your failure to sign in, your data may be permanently deleted from our servers.”

Unlike Yahoo!, Microsoft’s official terms of service do not state whether or not the closed email accounts will be recycled, but, in a statement to PCWorld, the tech giant recently explained that this is indeed within their plans: “The email account is automatically queued for deletion from our servers. Then, after a total of 360 days, the email account name is made available again.”

Once again, this can only be deemed good news for email marketers. Inactive or recycled email addresses shouldn’t be present in subscriber lists and Microsoft’s user account spring clean is another timely reminder for us all to start purging inactive accounts ourselves.

Google is yet to jump on the recycling bandwagon and have recently said that they will not be reissuing email addresses even if they have been deleted for years.