The release of the Office 2013 Customer Preview is exciting, but one feature in particular has me nearly jumping for joy: Outlook 2013′s built-in Hotmail integration.

Previous version of Outlook allowed you to sync your email, contacts, and calendar with Microsoft’s email service using the Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector. Unfortunately, task sync was not supported. As an Outlook user and someone who uses tasks to manage nearly every detail of my life, this was extremely annoying. I liked Outlook’s tasks, but I didn’t want to have them shackled to a single PC. I tried to use Hotmail’s to-dos, which sync with Windows Phone, but even that was unsatisfactory. Eventually, I stopped using Outlook for task management altogether and simply kept a list of tasks in OneNote. But I never stopped hoping that, one day, Outlook 2013 would be fully integrated with Hotmail.

After downloading Office 2013, I immediately launched Outlook and set up my Hotmail account. I was pleased to discover that Outlook 2013 includes built-in support for Exchange ActiveSync – no Hotmail Connector required - which, yes, means that task sync is available at last. Now, my tasks are accessible via Outlook, Hotmail, and Windows Phone. This isn’t a major change, but it certainly made my day.