back to article Outlook.com launch a gold rush for jokers, spammers

Microsoft's servers have been going bonkers processing account requests for its newly launched Outlook.com webmail service, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Redmond's Gmail competitor may be less of a breakout success than it would have us believe. On Tuesday, just six hours after the service launched, the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long until....

    ....@outlook.com has the same pessimistic spamassassin weight as @hotmail.com on the boxes I run? :)

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Devil

      Re: How long until....

      Y'know, I was just about to ask here... should I just go ahead and put outlook.com into the "shoot on sight" list in my SpamAssassin ruleset right now?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still won't use it because it is still crap and I don't want to to entrust my emails to a third party. I don't use gmail either, and for the same snooping reasons.

    1. Test Man
      FAIL

      How do you communicate - via carrier pigeon?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He probably runs his own mail server..... like I do :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How to do it?

        I know....if only there was a way to use email without using Hotmail or Gmail...

        1. Lord Voldemortgage

          Re: How to do it?

          "I run my own mail server" does not equal "at no point are my emails entrusted to a third party"

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: How to do it?

            It's pretty close. Most of the time the emails are only being trusted to the recipient's mail server. Mail doesn't tend to get bounced from server to server much - if at all - these days. It's probably about as trustable as you can get. Eventually you have to trust some other server unless you stick to internal mail :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How to do it?

            > "I run my own mail server" does not equal "at no point are my emails entrusted to a third party"

            It does if the person/business I'm emailing to runs their own mail server as well. SSL all the way.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Linux

      I used to as well

      Then I got lazy with backups and wham lost a months worth of emails when my server decided to eat its hard drives :(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I used to as well

        Can I suggest http://www.rsync.net/

        Automated backuos at whatever level you are prepared to pay for. I pay 6USD a month for several years worth of both business and personal email

  3. Gannon (J.) Dick
    Happy

    Name Taken ?

    There are some tricks to not having your name taken.

    Then again when I complained 50 years ago mom told me it was not too late to go back to her first choice:

    Pius XII.

  4. Herby

    So, what addresses ARE taken?

    Like for example: the_register@outlook.com just to name one!

    There are variations on a theme here!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Hack /and/ a hoax

    First; the whole Outlook.com stuff is a hack, and a very crude one at that. I'm not saying this due to the interface or such; that's fine enough to work with. If you work with Outlook 2010 on a daily basis (which I do) then its even somewhat bearable. No, if you select any other option besides mail; like the used-to-be integrated SkyDrive or Calendar function you're taken right back to the old Hotmail interface. In my opinion that's a too poor of a design to be even remotely funny.

    At the very least give us users a properly integrated environment to work with instead of something which feels like several individual parts roughly glued together by a couple of huge buttons.

    But I also call this a hoax... "One million people signed up" ? No, that would be 999.999 because I never signed up for this; I was simply thrown into Outlook.com the moment when I checked my Hotmail inbox. I tried outlook.com but gave up and moved back to Hotmail. Why not if you're constantly thrown back into Hotmail anyway the very moment when you want to check your SkyDrive or calendar using something else besides your phone (I'm on WP7) ?

    This is IMO another classic example as to why MS needs to get their act together and stop ruining good working stuff "because". Haven't those idiots (personal opinion) never stopped to think that while outlook.com may attract some new users it could also mean others might walk off when you enforce this upon them?

    But my biggest gripe with all this, the one which IMVHO overshadows all: When oh when will Microsoft FINALLY realize that the only time they should launch a new product is WHEN IT'S ACTUALLY READY ?!!1

    (1 was typed for a more dramatic effect ;-))

    Seriously; they had a not too bad (IMO) * integrated * environment from which you could access your mail, your Messenger contacts, Calendar /and/ SkyDrive all from the same web interface. And they broke it up for reasons I haven't managed to grasp yet.

    1. Techs UK
      Stop

      Re: Hack /and/ a hoax

      It's a preview you muppet.

    2. Not That Andrew

      Re: Hack /and/ a hoax

      Get used to it. There are still sections of various Microsoft that look like they haven't been updated since they were launched.

    3. Wensleydale Cheese
      FAIL

      Re: Hack /and/ a hoax

      @ShelLuser

      "Haven't those idiots (personal opinion) never stopped to think that while outlook.com may attract some new users it could also mean others might walk off when you enforce this upon them?"

      The last version of Outlook I was forced to use was unreliable and a pain in the neck. While that might have been down to bad configuration, the very name leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      The name Outlook also reminds me of the huge amounts of spam I got at that time because our superiors couldn't be bothered addressing the issue.

      No thanks.

  6. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    I've got my real name for the first time ever on a free webmail service - yay! I will never use it though probably!

    Also, not keen on the interface colour scheme - looks a bit NHS clap clinic website rather than funky new email service.

    1. Philip Lewis
      Pint

      Win8 minimalism

      As we should expect in the new minimalist Win8 world - blechhh

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win8 minimalism

        By Win8 minimalism you really mean 'chromeless Metro-fication with some silly wastage of space'.

        I have an old hotmail account. Logged in, tried the new outlook dot com interface, reverted back to good ol' hotmail.

        With the new UI, you need one additional click to sort emails and do most other common email tasks.

        Microsoft devs, simplifying the UI is about making something more functionally *elegant*, and NOT about universally dumbing everything down to the lowest common denominator. Until you have fully grasped this fundamental concept, your designed UI will be crap.

      2. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
        Windows

        Re: Win8 minimalism

        Henceforth known as Winimalism.

    2. Shaun 1

      Feel free to change the colour scheme. It's easy enough to do.

    3. teapot9999
      FAIL

      Same here

      got my name, logged off, probably never use it again apart from registering for services I don't want to be spammed by

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Philip Lewis
    Paris Hilton

    paris.hilton@outlook.com

    I can report that this one is not available :(

  8. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    Name claiming, but... Here comes da' spam!

    I confess that I did sign up. Partly to claim my "own" handle, partly just to see what looked new, but mostly in hopes of an effective anti-spam system. Right now my impression is that I will not be using it. Perhaps quarterly visits to keep my handle?

    The #1 problem of email remains spam, and I could not find ANY evidence of new anti-spam capabilities within outlook.com. I had some hopes. As part of their "Let's be less evil" campaign, Microsoft has been doing some good work upstream against the spammers, so it was possible they were ready to take some action on the downstream end. If so, I could not find it. Sorry, but I don't need another email address for the spammers to abuse.

    There are lots of possibilities, but here is what I think would most satisfy me. It would be an integrated spam-fighting system something like SpamCop, but on steroids. Rather than one round of analysis with a confirmation of complaints to the spammer's ISP and webhost, I want a multi-round system that would gradually refine the analysis and targeting to go after ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, to pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices, and help and protect ALL of the spammers' victims. You don't have to use it, but I sure would. I really hate spam and I want to have the tools to be a spam fighter first class.

    1. Shaun 1

      Re: Name claiming, but... Here comes da' spam!

      The spam filters seem to be fine. Certainly a lot better than hotmail used to be. All the spam was in my spam folder and there were no false positives or negatives

      1. Christine Hedley

        Re: Name claiming, but... Here comes da' spam!

        I've sent a few test messages to my new @outlook.com address, every one of which was incorrectly flagged as spam. Not a promising start...

  9. GrantB
    Boffin

    I grabbed an address

    Just to get decent name@address, but will I use it?

    Probably not much, but yet-another-email address, so far unknown to spammers is sometime nice.

    The UI is a little too stripped down, (esp on my iPad) but otherwise.. it works.

    Suspect it is slow though - first email I sent from the Outlook account took ages to pop up in Gmail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I grabbed an address

      I managed to get fraudmanagement@outlook.com and antifraud@outlook.com

      Oh the fun I could have If I had no morals....

  10. Hakuin

    This is the message I received

    from Microsoft:

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7994985/Outlook.jpg

  11. Robot

    Does Outlook.com support POP3?

    Sorry for going slightly off topic, but this question is meaningful to a lot of people, not just me.

    1. Raphael

      Re: Does Outlook.com support POP3?

      Yup. (we're a small business that moved to using Office365 about a year ago......Outlook.com plays nicely with setting it up on an android device)

      POP setting

      Server name: XXXX.outlook.com

      Port: 995

      Encryption method: SSL

      IMAP setting

      Server name: XXXXX.outlook.com

      Port: 993

      Encryption method: SSL

      SMTP setting

      Server name: XXXXX.outlook.com

      Port: 587

      Encryption method: TLS

      1. Robot

        Re: Does Outlook.com support POP3?

        Thanks, Raphael!

        1. SteveCo
          Thumb Up

          Re: Does Outlook.com support POP3?

          When I added my @outlook.com email into Gmail it already knew all the settings for the pop3 server, you just needed to type in your email and outlook password.

      2. Mako
        WTF?

        Re: Does Outlook.com support POP3?

        I'm struggling to see why the genuinely helpful reply above was downvoted.

        Mouse mis-fire? Personal vendetta? Pavlovian reaction to the word "Android"?

        1. TeeCee Gold badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Does Outlook.com support POP3?

          My guess would be a downvote for heresy.

          Daring to suggest the use of an MS product on Android and also daring to suggest that an MS service works.

          1. John G Imrie Silver badge

            Re: Does Outlook.com support POP3?

            Currently 4 posts 3 down voted with the word Android in them. Lets see if I can trigger it as well.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O.M.G.

    "Whenever a new major email service comes out (such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail) I usually sign up to try it out," a reader who goes by "MrP-" tells El Reg in an email. "Also being a Microsoft service and being named Outlook.com it seems like an important address to have."

    really?? does no one really understand why the outlook mail app has been "lovingly" known as "lookout!" for over a decade? hotmaul^H^Hil is no better... and then there's the forced tie in with that bing thing... my servers /still/, after a decade of inquires, record searches from the m$ based "thing" searching for URLs that have never existed... we're talking about completely numerical URLs with various dashes and underlines in them... NO one from any of the M$ base search services has been able to answer this question and it has been put to all of them more times than i care to count and voiced in more ways than the gestapo would question a known caught in the act criminal...

    1. Ilsa Loving
      Trollface

      Re: O.M.G.

      So THAT's what stream of conscience writing looks like....

      1. Lord Voldemortgage

        Re: O.M.G.

        So THAT's what stream of conscience writing looks like....

        I'm not sure he's morally troubled by this.

        Mind you I am not 100% certain he's conscious either.

  13. Aussie Brusader
    Thumb Up

    I just registered one

    But it fails to show my inbox in Firefox. *yawn*

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: I just registered one

      Working fine in Firefox here. Just tried it out.

  14. James O'Brien
    Joke

    Wow

    I just had to register theregister@outlook.com. Time to find that leaked list of email addresses from last year and start sending everyone "official" letters for the release of funds....

    I know im a shit.

    And yes I really do have the email :P little surprised that no one else here on ElReg thought of that....let alone the staff.

    1. Roger Greenwood
      Pint

      Re: Wow

      Who has bofh@outlook.com ? Not me, but I sure tried!

  15. json

    I agree with one of those interviewed..

    .. my only motivation for trying it out was the email address. Since mine was taken, even my alias, then hummphh dont care.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Start making a few more @hotmail email accounts now

    For those of you who are too young to remember, back in the day you could have got a very cool @rocketmail email account... until Rocketmail was hastily acquired by Yahoo. Some friends of mine, to this day, still have a @rocketmail email account.

    But Microsoft is in for a rude shock if it thinks leveraging the Outlook (Office is successful) brand onto webmail is going to enable it to compete with rivals. This is the same logical fallacy that assumes that leveraging Metro touch-centric UI onto desktop users for Windows 8 will make them more likely to pick up a Windows 8 phone or tablet.

    It's also a shame that Microsoft is scrapping Hotmail, one of its more iconic brands which is immediately identifiable with Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Start making a few more @hotmail email accounts now

      Sorry, couldn't read any further after I saw the word "leveraging".

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Life's too short

    I gave up on all Microsoft web properties years ago as I just got sick of the hoop jumping needed. I used to keep a couple of Hotmail accounts along with yahoo etc for online signups. Problem was Hotmail (at the time) didn't do POP3 and if you didn't check the account every two months, it was closed. Yahoo only needed checking every 4 months to prevent expiry, but since it did do POP3 checking was no extra effort.

    But you'd still need a Hotmail/Live/whatever account to sign up to some other marginally interesting MS service - often just a peek at a single message on an MS "Group". They'd insist on a Hotmail address to sign up to Passport, and Passport to get access to whatever bloody service it was, although even that usually entailed some extra kind signup of it's own - half an hour to access one barely interesting post just ate away at my will to live, not least as you'd have to jump through it all again 3 months later. As a result I'm sure I'm now actually allergic to certain shades of blue. I'm sure there was a plan in there somewhere, but fuck knows what it was.

    Just assuming that anything Microsoft do that involves signing up will never ever be energy well spent works really well for me, and anyway, when was the last time a new free email service was actually interesting?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Life's too short

      If you just want to do random online signups, you can use a disposable email account. I recommend dispostable.

      No registration required.

      1. Piro

        Re: Life's too short

        If you use Firefox, I can heartily recommend the Bloody Vikings! add-on.

        Essentially it can use one of any number of disposable email services, with a single right click in a text field, it launches the free email in another tab and pastes the address in. Sure, it doesn't save you much time, but it makes it slick.

    2. Phoenix50
      Stop

      Re: Life's too short

      Do you perhaps think also, that life is "too short" for coming on to Tech websites and typing out an anti-MS rant?

      Just a thought.

  18. Jim Lewis

    so, assuming that apparently the average is four new addresses each, we can probably conclude that around 250,000 cynical old-timers have resigned themselves to MS 'new' Outlook offering as a price for getting an email address at least close to their own name for the first time in a while.

    Will they use them as their main email accounts?, not really.

    Is this move yet another example of just how out of touch with their user base MS is?

    Absolutely!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Own name on address

      Well it cost me but I own <my surname>.me.uk

      So an email addres is <firstname>@<surname>.co.uk

      1. Tel Starr
        FAIL

        Re: Own name on address

        So you never get any mail then?

        That's certainly one way of stopping spammers.

  19. Robin

    Graph

    "Could anything with a growth rate like that possibly be human?"

    My sarcasm detector is normally pretty good (as is my generator) but I wasn't sure if this was serious or not.

    Clearly the graph is like that because the X-axis has a resolution of whole days and it went from zero to a million in one step of that axis, rather than a consistent rate of 40,000 per hour or whatever.

    As a backup in case it was a joke .. hahahaha.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Style

    Metro-style, so it's going to get a whole lot of people used to the shit they're pulling with Windows 8. Some might even find that they like it (?).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 Million Users?

    I find that hard to believe.

    I just bagged an account as real.name@outlook.com. So what you you ask? Well, my name is common as muck and would have expected it to be snapped well before 1 Million registrations unless a large number of registrations are similar to wtbzYujj@outlook.com

    1. thejackle
      Unhappy

      Re: 1 Million Users?

      You swine, I'm called real.name

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1 Million Users?

      I did that when Gmail first came out. In the end I dumped by real.name@ account in favour of something less likely to attract misaddressed mail. It seemed that my various namesakes could never remember their own email addresses so kept giving mine out instead.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1 Million Users?

      Common as muck? True, perhaps.

      My name is Anonymous Coward as well, but for some reason I was able to register that email address without any problems at all.

      So, contact me here, anonymous.coward@outlook.com

      I hereby open this account for random abuse by the register readership

      AC, obviously :)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    MistressBee@outlook.com

    ..sorry dearest Sarah, I miss my daily spanking :)

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: How about

      So what you're actually trying to say is that Moderatrix@outlook.com had already gone then?

      (It's only offering me "hotmail" addresses, IP geolocation coupled with some staged rollout I guess. Bastards.)

  23. Andrew Baines Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I wish Microsoft would stop mucking about with branding

    Can't they just stick with one email domain? We've had @hotmail.com, @live.com, now @outlook.com. I've probably missed some too.

    FWIW, I got my 'real name' account, no trouble. Apologies to the Australian artist, British wedding photographer, and British bankrupt who share my name.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wish Microsoft would stop mucking about with branding

      +1 from me.

      I now have to support two fundamentally different email platforms, both called Outlook.

      Can you imagine (or should that be re-imagine?) the confusion that's going to cause. Great.

  24. Nya
    Thumb Up

    I actually like it!

    Ok, going to be rather unusual here...but I actually like it. Much nicer than Gmail and the interface feels very desktop mail client. Shame about the calendar and file storage thing going back to old Hotmail style, but over all it looks good and feels very nippy to use. I few lil quirks that hopefully they'll sort out, but over all I prefer it greatly over Gmail so far.

    1. Not That Andrew
      Gimp

      Pervert

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pervert?

        Why?

        Because he likes the feel of a mail client on his desktop?

  25. Barry Tabrah

    Migrating spam

    Step 1) Open spam list

    Step 2) Substitute 'hotmail' for 'outlook'

    Step 3) Business as usual

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Migrating spam

      After years of managing without a hotmail account I signed up last year to get access to the evaluation versions of a couple of Microsoft products.

      I have never used my hotmail address for any other purpose, but the pills 'n' potions spammers still managed to reach me.

      Unless they have scraped firstname.lastname from elsewhere and decided to give @hotmail a try with that I don't see how they got my address.

  26. JimmyPage Silver badge
    WTF?

    One thing that I don't understand

    are MS going to simply stop @hotmail.xxx emails working - just like that ? Surely not ?

    Anyway, have grabbed new @outlook.com accounts to match mine & Mrs Pages @hotmail.com accounts, so we're happy.

  27. Tom_

    Really?

    Rushing to grab your name@outlook.com seems a bit like rushing for an AOL or CompuServe address.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional

    Managed to get my own name - yay!

    No support for IMAP or EWS - huge fail!!

    Come on MS - at least give us EWS access so that those of us that don't use MS based email clients can actually use you service! Not everybody likes web interfaces - slow and clunky - when we have native email clients instead.

    (I use a Mac - only POP3 support for Hotmail in 10.6 in Mac Mail, and it seems no real support for Outlook 2011:mac.....)

    And, I think the 'You have registered too many accounts today' message is based on IP address. Going through the corp proxy server didn't allow me to register, using a different Internet link did. Again, another not so smart move from MS.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. The Alpha Klutz

    monkey see monkey do

    read about outlook.com yesterday, it never even occurred to me to sign up. it was the LAST thing on my mind.

    Today I read of the gold rush to bag the good accounts, and, well why not.

    got real.name, got firstinitiallastname, hmm what else can i have. sadly firstname is taken.

    i might use these accounts to apply for jobs because:

    a. outlook is synonymous with business, before today nobody outside of business ever gave a fuck about outlook.

    b. most recruiters are highly refined pure grade scum and i'm tired of giving them my real address because i just get spammed the fuck out and they dont even give me the job

  31. The Real Tony Smith
    Unhappy

    Real Names

    Mine's been taken.

    Probably by a certain El Reg journalist!

  32. NogginTheNog

    420m Gmail accounts

    Oh come on, how many of those are simply from new Android phone registrations?? Apply equal scepticism to both company's number please!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it to soon

    I just signed up my 2 kids full names (they are 2 and 3 years old) but it hought it was nice to just get in there..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: signed up my 2 kids

      That's just the sort of thing children spend the rest of their lives blaming you for.

      In this instance ...I can see their point!

  34. BonerHitler420
    FAIL

    Lost my name

    So, I have choice of sticking with my old 'firstname.lastname@hotmail.com', or updating to 'bonerhitler420@outlook.com' - because they didn't bother to reserve usernames for existing users.

    1. Richard Bedford
      FAIL

      Re: Lost my name

      Have to say, not reserving the existing '@hotmail.whatever' addresses is a HUGE fail!!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    FFS

    Your password can't be longer than 16 characters.

    What a joke

  36. TwoWolves
    Pint

    I was quick off the mark but not quick enough (which seemed odd to me)

    The name I wanted was gone so I grabbed a similar one. Nevermind, its not that important.

    After reading it had a good iPad interface I was surprised to find it was little more that just text + box. Seems like they are taking the "clean and minimal" thing a bit far.

    I see hubris ahead.

  37. WireBug
    FAIL

    Just Window Dressing

    Ya, I checked it out. It's just hotmail with new curtains on the windows... same old crap and the spam filter is no better than it was under the hotmail banner.

    @outlook.com = FAIL!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Why, Why, Why?

    I have my own domain, albeit hosted by an ISP (I'm just one person, I'm not going to run my own mail and web servers).

    I have a gmail address as secondary.

    I have a Yahoo address for registration with potential spam sources, etc.

    I have three e-mail addresses. Actually one is enough. Why does Microsoft think that everything they come up is going to get people flocking to them when they get it elsewhere already? Another search engine; Another email server ...its all just another.

    The Microsoft dream of adding more and more monopolies is ...just a dream. They own the desktop, at least for now. With stuff like this they are, and always will be, just playing catch up, from a long way behind.

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