To make Windows Live Hotmail reply to incoming emails in your absence:
1.) Sign in online at www.outlook.com to your Hotmail or Outlook email account.
2.) Click/tap on the gear icon at the top right, and click/tap on the More mail settings option.
3.) Click/tap on the Sending automated vacation replies option under the Managing your account section.
4.) Select (dot) Send vacation replies to people who email me, and enter the message you would like to send.
5.) Uncheck the Only reply to your contacts box, and click/tap on the Save button.
6.) When you now receive an email, the sender will receive this automatic reply message.
Hope, this helps!