Yesterday, I tried to use Gmail to receive emails in Hotmail, and found out that Hotmail already opens POP3 access to all users. At least for me, I am in China.
Here is the necessary settings:
POP3 Server: pop3.live.com (port 995)
Need POP SSL? Yes
User name: your Windows Live ID, like email@example.com (Please note: you have to include the @hotmail.com part, not just the name)
Password: your password
SMTP Server: smtp.live.com (port 25 or 587)
Requires authentication? Yes
Requires TLS/SSL? Yes
That is. You can start to abandon Hotmail.com slow and ugly interface.