Hurray Microsoft! You made some gutsy moves with Hotmail. Well done. The first and biggest webmail platform still exists.
And doesn’t the world need a rival to Gmail? You cannot say that Gmail is sitting pretty. I wish you could. They attacked webmail so aggressively — fast, infinite storage, no spam, free domain hosting, free POP/IMAP. They made everything crufty free and they have continued to be fast and innovative. Pretty good on mobile, on iOS, enterprise editions, etc.
So about time that Microsoft struck back with Outlook/Hotmail/Exchange no? I gave it a try the last few months. My new company’s email is hosted on Outlook.com
Why did I try it? Gmail charges for hosted domains now — $50/user/year. Not free by any stretch. Worth it? Well maybe. Outlook is free for your own domain still/again. So I tried it!
I found a fresh and totally re-thought UI. I like it. Looks really nice.
It comes with Windows apps on Windows 8 –> a really nice, fast, email client on Windows 8.
Except, I kept my Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 for about a week till I returned it. And the mail app was not ‘full featured’. It was a phone style mail app. On my PC I need more stuff, complicated stuff, for organizing and managing all my mails.
The web app is similarly “simple”. Couldn’t get going with fast keyboard commands for many actions, folders/labels.
The most annoying thing about the web app though: speed. It’s slow. You send a mail and wait a few seconds (maybe 3?) while the screen shows a progress dot and the message disappears. When you attach and send, you have to wait for the whole file to upload before you get the compose screen out of your face. Load load loading… These guys have never heard of a backgrounded process.
One cool thing, since the big social networks don’t hate Microsoft, was linking my contact list to Facebook and LinkedIn. Neat! But then I reached the cap on contacts. A cap? I literally can’t save new contacts. Hmm. Really, really annoying. So annoying that patience can’t help. I really need this damn thing to remember new people I connect with, without making me comb through thousands of contacts to find people I should “delete”.
Then tried to use the Mac OS X mail app to check mail –> not supported. No IMAP except from phone.
Over. No more outlook.com. Started forwarding to my gmail.