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back to article Microsoft: Here, we'll make it easy for you Gmail lot. Meet our Outlook.com movers

Microsoft is opening a new front against Gmail with a special moving service to lure Gmailers to Redmond's relaunched Outlook.com email service Redmond today announced new functionality in Outlook.com that it claimed would take the heavy lifting and hard work out of abandoning Gmail for Microsoft's service. Microsoft's Naoto …

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Change of address

Surely the most awkward, annoying and time consuming of any such change is letting people know your new address (ok, letting the people who you actually want to know what your new address is, rather than everyone just by redirecting/forwarding so that you can temporarily lower your spam influx)?

Somehow I doubt MS's service will do that for you, nor go through all the sites that you have emails and notifications set up for and change all those. For me that's the heavy lifting that you'll still have to do yourself. Set-up and content migration is normally not too bad, at least if you also take it as a good time for a clear-out and spring clean (and of course also actually download emails to a mailer program occasionally too for the ones you do want to keep for whatever reason).

So sounds like a lot of hope and hot air to me I'm afraid...

Oh and while also letting you set up your Gmail account as a "send-only" account

What use is that, as opposed to just shutting the thing down if you are really looking to migrate? Or did the author actually mean a "receive-only" account (which can also easily be done by just not sending from it I guess).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Change of address

Well, I mainly use my gmail account these days but have my old account/provider still. Gmail just pulls everything from there and allows me to sort of impersonate my old account from gmail by sending emails "on behalf of" my old account address, works really well. I suspect Outlook might offer the same sort of service.

You keep your Gmail account, copy everything over, then have outlook.com periodically poll your Gmail account (or forward the email automatically) etc.

Why anyone would do this is beyond me though. Outlook is nowhere near as good as Gmail, it's amateurish:

- My wife uses Outlook through her Uni since that's what they've chosen for their students. Her laptop screen has a rubbish but standard resolution (1366x768) and occasionally when she re-opens a draft email the layout hides the send button, in which case she saves as draft, then sends from her mobile. Perhaps using IE instead of Firefox would help but who would want that?

- One evening she prepared an email, added an attachment (all on the laptop), then finished the text the next morning on the train on her mobile and sent it, only to find that the uploaded attachment had been lost. I suspected she had just forgotten to attach so tried it and lo and behold, it's true, that doesn't work.

- The spam filter is a joke compared to Gmail's. Presumably outlook.com should after all do some scanning of their user's emails, at least in order to stem the flood of "junk mail".

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Re: Change of address

You do know that the service doesn't actually change your address? it not only imports it but lets you KEEP your address by setting it up within Outlook.com so you can send e-mails using your Gmail address.

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@Test Man

You mean it does the same as setting up Thunderbird to control all my email accounts?

Or using K9 to do it?

Or the shitty Android gmail client?

Or more than one of them in parallel?

Remind me why Outlook doing that is so interesting?

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LDS
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Re: Change of address

Setup your wifeva mail client on her laptop, it will make her happy...

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Hoe

Re: Change of address

I am pretty sure they are referring to Google Apps & Outlook.com both of which allow you to use your own personal domain so no need to change address if this already exists.

Furthermore this will be aimed more as businesses which may have many user accounts in gmail which they would otherwise need to export, import etc.

All in all a good idea then if they want to get Google customers which we all know they do.

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Re: @Test Man

"You mean it does the same as setting up Thunderbird to control all my email accounts?"

No. It means it imports your e-mail, then changes a few settings so that within the Outlook.com interface you can continue to send e-mails using your already-existing GMail address in the Outlook.com interface.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Change of address

> Setup your wifeva mail client on her laptop, it will make her happy...

She has Thunderbird, partly to back up the Gmail account but hardly uses it since she finds the conversation view in Gmail much preferable. But for Outlook it's actually a good idea, will do!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Change of address

From live.com you can set up your own-domain email for free (like Google Apps used to do for free but no longer does) and it uses Outlook.com and SkyDrive. In which case, *in the future* you won't need to change your address as you just don't use @outlook.com at all.

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HMB
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Re: Change of address

"Perhaps using IE instead of Firefox would help but who would want that?"

Hey, did you know they've released newer versions since IE 8? Have you actually tried them, or is that sort of statement like a reflex reaction?

I use IE10 all the time to watch 4oD when it fails to work properly on Chrome because of some weird issue with Chrome's built in flash. I find it a fast and competent web browser with excellent rendering speed. I'd switch to IE11 but I'm a bit annoyed at Microsoft for having removed simulation of old browsers from IE's development tools.

That's right guys, web developers don't all hate IE any more.

It's a brave new world.

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Re: @Test Man

"send e-mails using your already-existing GMail address"

...you mean, exactly the same as I'm doing with Thunderbird right now? email clients stopped being service specific decades ago. If MS have done something clever, this ain't it.

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Gold badge

That's right guys, web developers don't all hate IE any more.

Some people carve designs into their own flesh with dull, rested, unsterilized bits of metal.

I don't think they're sane either.

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Anonymous Coward

"Microsoft said this was because of a decline in Outlook.com advertising revenue"

Nothing to do with MS cutting their own throats by claiming that Outlook.com doesn't scan your emails to do targeting ads and you can also opt out of personalised adverts. If you do that then by definition adverts on outlook.com are going to be so generic and potentially uninteresting to the viewer that they're unlikely to click on them and thus the price you can charge for them drops... and its bye-bye income....

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LDS
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I just use my outlook account - or gmail -only through a mail client, thereby i never see a damned ad...

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Linux

what are they smoking...

and can I have some of it?

Seriously though, I signed up for outlook.com simply because I had no bloody choice to take part in their "christmas deals".( Before you ask I was hoping to get a $99 or even a $199 Dell Pro 8 I could stick ubuntu on...no such luck).

At the moment, I use gmail simply to be a forwarding account for other accounts. My local machine downloads everything from gmail, so should they go titsup, I lose only that account.

What benefit is M$ going to offer that Gmail doesnot? I mean, they can't guarantee not spying can they? Will they make a nicer web interface? I have used the Outlook one at Oxford and it is awful.... I mean it works to read email, but nothing like the functionality of the HTML5 thing that chrome is using.

As it is Google ads are almost invisible. With a bit of work I bet you could make them *really* invisible....

My $0.02

P.

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Proverbial move.

"Out of the frying pan...into the fire"

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FAIL

Re: Proverbial move.

Indeed. I'm obliged to use Outlook 365 at one of my key clients, and while I can access it with a better MUA, it is still slow, unreliable, and generally painful to use. I can't see it being attractive for anyone who isn't already a diehard Outlook lover.

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Why not a full migration?

Migrate my email, contacts and calendar. Seriously. My calendar goes back to mid-2002, am I expected to create a PST and upload it? Also Outlook 2013 is crap (though I like the rest of the standard 2013 suite).

Telling people about a new address is just about the worst part of the migration, as was mentioned above by AC@1741, but forwarding can be a workaround. Currently I actually forward from a gmail account to a mygbiz account so I can use their Outlook sync tool because local Outlook 2010 is just about perfect for my needs. Over the years though you just end up with a public facing email name that follows a forward chain back to where you really are. Ugh. Just no.

I don't log in to my Win 8.1 gaming rig or work laptop with an MS account, but I do log in to my tablet and phone with a Google account so I actually have a use for one of those.

Sorry MS, you're just not quite there yet.

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Re: Why not a full migration?

What the HELL are you talking about? This refers to the WEBMAIL service, not the client program.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not a full migration?

What the hell are YOU talking about ? Have you used outlook.com and/or gmail ? Have you not noticed that both include calendar and contacts ? Would it not have been possible for outlook.com to include these via CalDAV/CardDAV for users that want to migrate ?

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Re: Why not a full migration?

Are you smoking something? Yes I have used Outlook AND Gmail (AND Outlook.com, Hotmail, Yahoo! and the rest). Your rant was mostly filled with nonsense about the client app, none of which applies to the article.

Maybe importing calendar is coming. But right now you have something you didn't have last week - importing all your e-mails from GMail - and you can link your calendar stuff in Outlook in the meantime.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not a full migration?

Why on earth are you using a generic @gmail (or similar) address on someone else's domain?

As you are posting on the Register I assumed you would know better?

For those who don't know, MS will host your own-domain email on outlook.com for free.

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Yahoo Mail would be more fertile ground.

Microsoft may be targetting Google but I've heard few complaints about Gmail. By contrast Yahoo has been sorely trying the patience of its Mail users.

More spam recently than I recall.

Account hijacking incidents.

Forced move to new version (which does have some good new features).

No longer support Opera browser.

New Yahoo Mail seems slow, not helped by ad panels.

Recent outages and very slow spells.

Yahoo now changing to SSL (probably a good thing) but this may inconvenience some users.

Help FAQs on SSL introduction only for Android and iOS -- no mention of WinPhone, Symbian, Blackberry users.

If the above continues to the extent that moving would be less hassle, Yahoo users could be persuaded to move to alternative Mail service.

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GMail vs LookOut? Such a hard decision.

But honestly, a plague on both their houses.

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WTF?

GMail > Outlook.com

In my humble opinion of course. But I can't see any reason to switch, I actually prefer the interface of GMail and with AdBlock I see no ads whatsoever.

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Ohh yes lets move from gmail to

Outlook where Microsoft openly handed the NSA they front door key willingly

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SVV

Some creative accounting going on here......

"Gmail is number one with 425 million active accounts versus what Microsoft claims is "more than" 400 million such accounts for Outlook."

You know, this is funny as I have never received a single mail from an outook.com mail account. Whereas lots of people seem to be happy with gmail from my own personal experience.

Could it be that they have just converted all those millions of spam hotmail accounts in order to achieve this figure?

Anyway, it's only flipping web based email, and the fact that I can open every attachment I get sent with no problems, and some people only email me every year or so means that (like the great majority of gmail users I would expect) my response to this will be just like most people's response to most things Microsoft does these days : "Why should I move to this new thing you have when this old thing I have does everything perfectly well that your new thing does, and moving to your new thing will cause massive upgrade headaches"

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Right now Gmail does everything I need it to. What does Outlook do to warrant the switch?

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Outlook.com (or live.com) still lets you use your own domain for e-mail. Google shut that option down about a year ago. And if you are inclined to use the full Outlook client, you can for free. Google shut down the calendar sync freebie software too a while ago. If you don't need those, you might as well stay with Gmail. Unless, of course, you prefer not to have a G+ account.

I've set up the custom domain thing on both several time, the MS option seems a bit easier but YMMV. Or not, in this case, since Google only allows it for paying customers nowadays.

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Google still allow custom email domains, they just shut down the free version. Anyone who had the free version is still allowed to use it without cost.

You can sync your google calendar using CalDav: https://support.google.com/calendar/topic/1665163?p=syncdesktop&rd=1

If your mail client of choice doesn't support standard protocols then take it up with them. It's been around officially for 6 years and 10 years as a draft so it's not as if they haven't had time to implement it...

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You can't logon to your outlook account from an alternate IP address from the one you sign up with. If you do, they lock it because "someone else is trying to use your account".

They've locked two of my accounts back to back for having done that.

Oh, and their fix is for you to type in emails that you've sent from that account.

Unfortunately for me, both accounts were for commerce, and I never sent any mail from either of them.

I was able to fix the first one, because they had just rolled out outlook and were still pretending customer service mattered. But now all those original links are dead.

It seems that Microsoft has decided everything is just perfect and no one needs help, ever.

The most recent one just happened to me last night.

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Anonymous Coward

Odd, that. I only get user complaints like this from GMail user (for their private accounts). Mostly people that travel a lot and are blocked because one day they're checking mail in Moscow, the next somewhere near Tirupur, India.

Easily fixed, a hoop or two to jump though but overall better for security IMHO. I hadn't heard that this issue also existed on Outlook.com. Was it just a different IP, or a completely different geographic location ?

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This is, of course, complete rubbish.

I've used Gmail, Outlook.com/Hotmail and Yahoo! from multiple computers in multiple places. If you couldn't use it from more than one IP address then all of those services would cease to be very useful.

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What's rubbish is the thought process that if it never happened to you, then it never happened.

Not only did they lock the account, but I used it from just a mile away. And to make matters worse, they only locked it when I logged on back at home!

Same identical IP address i've used since the first month they rolled Outlook out to the masses.

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Actually what is rubbish is you thinking it's got anything to do with using it at a different IP address - it hasn't, because if it had then no one with ISPs that reuse IP addresses would be able to use it at all!

Obviously the system will look at where you usually use it and maintains a log - if your account is suddenly being used from an IP address in Mexico in between London addresses on the same day for example then clearly the system will realise that something untoward is definitely happening, so will lock it. Merely logging in from an IP address at home then an IP address 10 miles away at work for example isn't going to routinely lock the account. Logging in from an IP address at home and then logging in from work which uses a proxy that is located in the States will probably cause the systems to look at this suspiciously and lock it!

If you really think that Outlook.com (or Hotmail or any other webmail clients) don't allow you to use it from any other IP address apart from the one you used when you logged into then you clearly need reeducating about how the internet works, in particular with the knowledge of ISPs in general (not always) changing your IP address regularly!

The fact that it happened to you is clearly related to something else that happened on your account that caused them to lock it - overzealous maybe but not anything to do with using it at a different IP address. For example, it could very easily be because your attempt at logging in somewhere else "a mile away" (as you said) was using a proxy that is located in the States - obviously that would trip the lock if you keep on logging in your usual place in the UK around the same time!

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And yet they did. And not only that, but she has the same exact internet provider as I do, Cox cable of N.E. Ohio. So their panic filters could just as easily assumed that it was simply a second account from my own home, as they both show up as the same geographic location when you use the whois sites.

And as I stated before, this was identical to what happened the first year it rolled out, only difference being that Microsoft allowed you to do a simple password reset back then, but not now.

So unless one of the several forums I posted about this come up with a customer support link that is more than their moronic single link that virtually every problem leads to (seriously!), then i'll be with gmail from now on.

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Anonymous Coward

Having seen the bloated turd that is outlook.com on my wife's phone...

I, for one, will not be moving.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Having seen the bloated turd that is outlook.com on my wife's phone...

Why using a web client to access *any* mail on a phone ? All of them (gmail, outlook, yahoo, whatever imap/pop server) are easily set up on a reasonably recent smartphone. Or was "bloated turd" a reference to your wife's phone ?

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Re: Having seen the bloated turd that is outlook.com on my wife's phone...

"Or was "bloated turd" a reference to your wife's phone ?"

Must be. Because all of those services have been accessible one way or another from any third-party client since the beginning.

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Anonymous Coward

> Why using a web client

It's an Android app - see the Play store for details. And it's a dog.

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Re: > Why using a web client

Yes I am aware of the Android app - but seeing as you've been able to use Outlook.com with POP and Exchange Active Sync (and IMAP recently) for years already, there's no need to use it, much less bleat about how terrible it is, none of which has anything to do with the article anyway.

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Linux

mobile security and...

For those interested in making your mobile device secure, some years back with my n900 I had email forwarded to myself with a mobile GPG key...(since N900 was trival to get GPG working -not so this bloody N8). Device is stolen, offline email stays, offline...

And of course you could use any client of choice (e.g. K9) for the N900.

For those who wonder how M$ get such large numbers signing up, perhaps it is because you cannot use their site otherwise... I may be wrong but they pretty much insisted I login with their email tokens....

Then again, google is the same. I had to use my gmail account to use this android device. One of the reasons I want the SailfishOS/libhybris android on demand, no borg...

P.

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outlook.com has ads?

I've been using a Chrome browser with AdBlock Plus and ScriptSafe plugins since outlook.com came online. I honestly didn't know they even had ads.

Next you'll be telling me The Reg pages have ads, too. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: outlook.com has ads?

To be fair, I don't have any adblockers and only noticed the ads when someone pointed them out to me...

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Re: outlook.com has ads?

Seriously, I can't see the adverts! Damn you all to Hell I'm missing out!

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Next

A tool to turn stake into kraft dinner.

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Headmaster

Re: Next

Popular with vampires, I expect.

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Pollution

Oh for crying out loud. Microsoft's mail services are terrible.

I refuse to communicate with anyone on a hotmail account. I just ignore all emails from hotmail or outlook.com email addresses. I don't waste my time trying to do business through that rubbish, because I never know if the people are going to get the reply in a timely manner, or at all. Unreliable as well as overzealous with the spam blocking. They don't even give users control anymore, IP address blocks are denied without any recourse, before it even gets to a user's "safe senders list" or whatever they call it these days.

Gmail is a very good webmail service. I mean the service, not necessarily the lame user interface.

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Re: Pollution

That's the point isn't it? The gmail gui is a lesson in how not to design a gui. It's full of inconsistencies, will this setting be a menu, a drop down, a radio button? You can't make an educated guess because it's all over the place. For me the interface is far more important than the back end, providing the back end basically works, which they all do.

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Remember hotmail?

Anyone remember hotmail before gmail came along?

That's the trouble with Microsoft - Innovation is something you do only to catch up with everyone else.

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