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back to article Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 

Microsoft has launched a successor to its venerable Hotmail web-based email service, in hopes that a revamped UI, integration with social networks, and tighter ties to the software giant's cloudy online services will woo users away from rivals, in particular Gmail. "We think the time is right to reimagine email," Microsoft's …

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Security?

And will they tighten security so that I don't keep getting emails from people I know with hotmail accounts telling me that they're on holiday/at a conference at short notice in (insert exotic place here) and have been mugged/left their briefcase and papers in a taxi and need $1000 to pay their hotel bill.

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Don't even need a PC for that; talk about desperate trolling.

What happens when you get a phone call from 'someone you know' at 'some exotic place' asking for your $1000? Or, say, get IMs in your iPhone, Blackberry, Android device, or whatever?

Next you'll want MS to block all e-mail referring to Western Union. Because, like, anything asking you to send money through Western Union is automatically a scam, just like anything related to MS is automatically insecure.

I'd hate to be a shareholder in Western Union these days. Or Microsoft.

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Re: Don't even need a PC for that; talk about desperate trolling.

Talk about missing the point. He doesn't want the emails blocked, he wants security improved so they don't get sent in the first place. Either all Hotmail users are idiots who use "Password" as their password, or there's a security issue in there somewhere as Hotmail accounts do seem to get compromised at an alarming rate.

It could be as simple as a shit selection of reset questions, but there must be some common factor for so many of the buggers to get their accounts pwned. I've moved people from Hotmail to other accounts and they've had no further issues, though that could also relate to my asking whether they were using secure passwords.

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And how long have you worked in IT?

all [s/Hotmail/gMail|Yahoomail|inbox.com] users are idiots who use "Password" as their password

Pick one and the preceeding original rant would still read correctly.

My point was stop singling out Hotmail just because they're Microsoft.

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seems ok

just looks like hotmail but with more blue but tbh I find hotmail.com absolutely fine and considerably better than gmail.

What I might approve of is if they gave the option of the clean exchange webmail type view

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"We think the time is right to reimagine email"

Where does this crap come from?

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Re: "We think the time is right to reimagine email"

That's just marketing speak for saying that they don't have a clue how to invent anything new, so instead they try to rebox existing crap.

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Re: "We think the time is right to reimagine email"

'Imagination' and 'Microsoft' are two words that belong together as much as 'Boris' and 'Spandex.'

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Re: "We think the time is right to reimagine email"

I think the time is right to "reimagine" email... but not how Microsoft is doing it. I'd rather ditch SMTP and replace it with a more secure transfer protocol that makes it a lot harder to spoof email addresses.

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Re: "We think the time is right to reimagine email"

"Where does this crap come from?"

..from the same dedicated dickhead marketing teams that repeatedly take well known, established brand (names) and for the sheer hell of it, rename them and make them worse every time.

Skype will be next...

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Facepalm

Re: "We think the time is right to reimagine email"

Oh, they've reimagined it well enough. In fact, they've done it so well, that it doesn't work properly on IE8 (can log in, but can't read the introductory e-mail and can't log out). Will try with Chromium and Firefox when I get home.

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JDX
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Sounds nice

Will wait and see though. MS have done a great job integrating social media on WP7 so they could get users by repeating that.

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Re: Sounds nice

I'm not so sure. I don't know why I would want any kind of integration between my email and social "media" . They're just different things. Email's boring and simple and I like it that way. I don't want to "like" an email or "tweet"...well, an email.

Couldn't just be a case of Microsoft jumping on a bandwagon for lack of any better ideas, could it?

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Windows

@JDX

Uhm...

They've done a "decent" job is more like it IMO. I mean; how come that 3rd party social media apps. are way more popular than the native support? Because those provide much better access.

Don't get me wrong; I tend to agree with you. But I'd be more impressed if MS would have fixed the option which allows us WP7 users to sync todo lists with Outlook 2010 and WP7 /first/ (the Outlook Hotmail connecter still can't cope with this).

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"Half the screen space in Gmail is wasted...People just learn to tune it out."

Some people select the Compact setting and have more info than you can shake a stick at. I can get 23 emails in the main panel and 24 folders etc on the left. The Reply button only appears when I'm reading an email too.

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I'm running with 'cosy' and around 10% of screen is empty. There's not much difference between all 3 display densities anyway, most visibly just more vertical spacing in text.

Unfortunately Gmail achieves that information density by using cryptic icons and dropdown selectors that frequently leave me wondering how to do even simple things. MS seem to have done better with clearer controls, at the cost of pissing away much more screen space. It just isn't empty screen space letting them tell porkies about use of space!

TBH neither of them are more than crippled ways to handle email, a single screen/window interface is too limiting.

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Space for ads

There a sodding great ad bar down the right-hand side (when using outlook.com in a browser with no ad blocker) which I consider to be wasting quite a great deal of space.

Still on first viewing it seems as good as most webmail options.

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WTF?

Wasted Screenspace

Indeed, and so I went to try this Outlook.com and what did I experience....even greater acres of wasted screen space! It^s terrible. The whole Win 7 / Outlook 2010 / Windows Live experience is of wasted space. I much prefer WLM/Hotmail as a solution compared to Gmal (sic), but going for all things touchy and feely and girly is driving me nuts. I want to keep my desktop and mouse interface, not poke my finger (or d1ck ?) at everything like a 3 year old loving his/her fisher-price environment. Grow up MS and cut the cr@p.

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@Paul

I don't like the images either, there is a solution though. Go to settings and about half way down there is a 'button labels' option, set it to 'text' and everything is much clearer :)

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Re: @Andrew

...that looks better. Wonder why I never noticed that... was it the cryptic interface... ;)

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FAIL

" Rather, Outlook.com has its own, Metro-like UI that aims to minimize clutter and make efficient use of screen real estate, even on small devices."

... then why the fuck are you wasting nearly half the screen real estate on 3 attachments in the very next screenshot?

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Anonymous Coward

Imagining email

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) has just migrated from in-house Groupwise to this. Here's hoping emails don't become imaginery... :-(

Is there a "Campaign for Real Email" I can join?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Imagining email

my God Griefwise is still being used?

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FAIL

I use gmail with adblock in chrome and find with no ads etc it looks much better than this.

Why do they thing I want to wait for previews of documents etc to load every time I open an email ?

I only load pictures etc if I am interested.

Looks like a mishmash or ideas from half a dozen user groups and picking the average idea from each to produce something that makes me go Meh.....

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I don't know what the proportion of users around the world are that don't install ad-blockers but I would bet it's not that high actually. Similarly, I would bet that most people are different to you in that they just want to see pictures that come with an email rather than manually open them individually. You call it a mishmash of ideas from half a dozen user groups, but would you say that you are a typical person when it comes to IT? If not, then possibly they are right to build it around the responses from user groups rather than what Big_Ted wants... Whilst your post may be completely right for you, is it right for most email users is the point I'm making.

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@Big Ted

I generally use gmail via a Eudora client & imap, but when I'm out and about & use a browser, the ads are fairly unobtrusive, and as I've usually just emptied the spam directory, tend to be "Spam Strudle" shite. I've never resorted to ad-block (or its ilk) when using gmail, as I feel that as it's free & paid for by advertising it would be churlish to use it whilst running an "ad-block" plugin.

Actually anyone that "proudly" states they use gmail _with_ adblock are pretty stupid IMHO. Nuff said.

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Meh

Import

I might use it once I can import my existing gmail mailbox and calendars.

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Re: Import

I s'pose you could always get someone IT literate to do it for you.....

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Perhaps they could reimagine email

to get rid of all emails containing any HTML?

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Outlook Anywhere

I remember using Outlook Anywhere on a low bandwidth line in the middle of Belize over a decade ago. I was actually amazed at how performant it was. Certainly better than Gmail on my iPhone in 2012.

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Re: Outlook Anywhere

"on my iPhone "

There's your problem... :-)

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Facepalm

"Half the screen space in Gmail is wasted"

Says one of the assholes who thought it a good idea to waste a quarter of the precious pixels available to a handset with a stupid big black bar running the full length of the WP7 homescreen.

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Anonymous Coward

feared the worst

When I saw the headline of those article on the main page I feared the worst..... NOOOoooooooo dont metro-ify hotmail. I immediately thought there would be huge icons for each message, everything would be impossible to find, half the features would be removed and we'd all probably be forced to change our email addresses whether we wanted to or not etc etc etc......

However, from what I've seen so far, it doesnt look that metro-like, and so it looks ok.

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I like it

it's clean and it's simple and it appears to work. not that I really use my ancient old hotmail address any more.

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"when the user isn't reading a message, the "Reply" menu disappears completely."

So you can't reply to a message unless it is open? (If, say, you read it, closed it, and came back later to reply). You have to open it again - extra clicks or taps or whatever?

Why are they so keen on dictating how you will use the service, removing alternative ways to do things?

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IMAP?

I'd switch from Gmail in a heartbeat if I could find a sensible IMAP-based alternative.

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Re: IMAP?

Annoying, but I suspect we'll not be seeing much development of new IMAP based services. Activsync appears to have become the dominant standard (mostly thanks to mobile, I'm guessing).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IMAP?

Office 365 / outlook 365 allows IMAP access, unlike Hotmail. For 3 quid a month it's bloody good value.

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Re: IMAP?

Frank has posted advice/opinion and been voted down, but there is no explanation as to why. That's not very helpful.

Is the service not good? Is is not reliable? Is it not good value for money? Did it supplant what might have been a better service? What, FFS? Merely downvoting Frank has left me completely in the dark.

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Re: IMAP?

You can be downvoted just for saying you like a Microsoft product here.

I use Office 365. It is good. The online versions of the programs are better than Google's online office tools (imo), though not as feature complete as the Desktop versions. You can link it to the Desktop version of Office however and it has proper versioning of documents and sharing permissions, etc. and is pretty easy to set up and manage. But there's going to be a pretty massive overhaul and upgrade very soon when Office 2013 comes out. You can buy the particular services that you need - e.g. if you want Sharepoint or not.

Best thing to do rather than take someone's word for it (the above is just my opinion), is to try it out. You can get a free month long preview of both the new Office 365 and the new Office 2013. You should probably try them together as that's how they're planned to work.

Office 2013 Preview

Office 365 Preview

They don't interfere with existing Office installs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IMAP?

> You can be downvoted just for saying you like a Microsoft product here.

Or for suggesting that $3/month is a good deal when gmail does it for free?

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Re: IMAP?

"Or for suggesting that $3/month is a good deal when gmail does it for free?"

They said three quid, not dollars, USAian. And yes, ad-free with IMAP support is well worth a few quid a month to some people. Others balk at three pounds a month for it because it's not worth it. But it's nice to be able to use your own local client, or easily use digital signatures (which we all should be doing) or have it come from your own domain name (which you can do with the paid version).

Not everyone wants the same thing and to a lot of people, £3 a month is well worth anything that makes things more convenient. And many of us prefer to pay for something with cash rather than with privacy too. It's all personal choice, but as predicted, downvotes have come just for saying what I like and for suggesting someone get a free trial and make their own minds up... Someone asked a genuine question and I answered it. My point about how you can be downvoted here for liking a Microsoft product has been amply demonstrated too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IMAP?

> You can be downvoted just for saying you like a Microsoft product here.

Or for inserting free adverts under the guise of comments ...

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Now there's a turnup for the books....

I just visited Outlook.com out of curiosity and suddenly my Hotmail is all Metrofied! Seems to work well enough in Chrome so perhaps more browser agnostic than past Microsoft webmail products. I'm not too bothered by it (so far)......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now there's a turnup for the books....you mean turnip?

you really mean turnip

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Re: Now there's a turnup for the books....you mean turnip?

Jury's out on the issue of turnup vs turnip. I certainly wouldn't recommend visiting Outlook.com while already logged into a Hotmail session (especially if you depend on your Hotmail account to any degree).

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PTW
FAIL

It really is competition for gmail...

it doesn't work with Opera either...

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Re: It really is competition for gmail...

"it doesn't work with Opera either"

I noticed that too. I actually think it's a goal for MS, to frustrate Opera in every way possible.

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FAIL

Re: It really is competition for gmail...

Unlike Gmail, then which works fine in Opera.

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Re: It really is competition for gmail...

It does, actually...

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