If you have a Microsoft provided email ID (Hotmail, Windows Live or Xbox), here is the procedure to set up free SMS alerts for your emails. Once done, you will automatically receive SMS alerts for every email that hits your Inbox.
Sign up for the service
Visit mobile.live.com. Scroll down a little and you’ll see SMS service on the right side. Click on the ‘learn more and sign up’ link. Once there, you will need to sign in to your account (if you don’t have a Windows ID, you can create one there too).
Simply sign in and follow the on screen instructions.
Enter your mobile number in the given format to receive a (4 digit) verification code. Hold your patience, it took a neat 10 minutes for the code to arrive, for me.
Once you have it, enter the code in the box and hit Enter, agree to the terms and conditions and you are done.
Compatible Mobile Operators
In India, this free SMS service is compatible with Aircel, Airtel, BSNL, Loop, MTNL (Delhi and Mumbai), MTS, Reliance (CDMA and GSM), Tata (Docomo and Indicom), Uninor and Vodafone.
Receiving the SMS alert is free, but in case you want to reply to the email, you can do so via an SMS, but at a STD charge. Each operator has a limit on how many free SMS can be received using this service and in case of Airtel, it is 300 per month.
One disappointment, however, is that the SMS message doesn’t contain the entire email but just a few lines (or in fact words) and a link to log in to the Windows email account (optimized for Mobiles that consumes very little GPRS Data). Nevertheless, you’ll at least know when there is a new email and also know who sent that email.