Microsoft announced in early May that it would make available within a few weeks a beta of a connector for Outlook 2003/2007 users who want to manage their Windows Live Hotmail accounts from inside Outlook.
The beta of that connector, as of this week, is now available for download from the Microsoft Downloads site.
(The same beta connector also can be used by Outlook users to manage their Office Live Mail accounts.)
On the Mail Call blog, Program Manager Ellie Powers-Boyle said that Microsoft is providing users with multiple ways of accessing their Live Hotmail accounts in the name of choice. She also notes that users who are paying for MSN Premium can access their Windows Live Calendar through the new Connector beta.
"With Outlook Connector Beta, you can use Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007 to access and manage your Windows Live Hotmail or Office Live Mail accounts, including e-mail messages and contacts for free! Calendar, tasks and notes can also be accessed and managed in Outlook for accounts with a paid subscription."
More details on what's in the connector are available on the Liveside.Net blog.
No word on when a final version of the Connector will be released.