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Goodbye, Hotmail
July 31, 2012 9:40 PM   Subscribe

Bored of Gmail? Why don't you try Outlook?
posted by vidur (236 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Being boring is maybe the highest compliment you can pay to a piece of software.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:45 PM on July 31, 2012 [42 favorites]


Found out about this earlier today and was able to snag (a form of) my super duper common name before the other billion people in the world who have it realized what was happening. I haven't been able to go numberless in years. It's like it's 2002 or something!
posted by phunniemee at 9:45 PM on July 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


auggghhh then meh was the reaction I had to this.
posted by sweetkid at 9:47 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm shocked, but that's a beautiful mail interface.
posted by the jam at 9:48 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this, I was able to get my gmail address as an outlook.com address.

If Microsoft can replicate OWA for users, then holy crap google needs to worry.
posted by roboton666 at 9:50 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Woot! Got my birth name and my casual name. I pulled this off with gmail too--and my name is not that uncommon.
posted by sourwookie at 9:54 PM on July 31, 2012


Now where's the Excel and Word web apps I saw mentioned?
posted by sourwookie at 9:55 PM on July 31, 2012


"Your password cannot be longer than 16 characters"

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.
posted by slater at 9:59 PM on July 31, 2012 [49 favorites]


Heck, why not? And I still use my 17 year old Hotmail account several times a week. More inboxes make me a better person.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:59 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Probably the smartest thing they could do with Hotmail, and well overdue - I guess they has to go down the long and winding road of making it Windows Live Mail and bundling it with the whole failed Windoes Live brand first before they came back to this.
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012


Found it (arrow next to "Outlook" badge, select "Skydrive", the select "create new Excel workbook")
posted by sourwookie at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012


Snagged mine and my husband's names. Nice. I love the interface... better than Gmail I'd I'm being totally honest.
posted by Malice at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012


Geez, password is limited to 16 characters!? Really Microsoft?
posted by Mitheral at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


FM;dr
posted by RogerB at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Your password can't be longer than 16 characters.

My standard issue passwords are at a minimum 24 characters and usually longer. This upsets me.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nailed it. Got my preferred email name.

Now to completely ignore it again.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2012 [23 favorites]


if* - Swype likes to typo.
posted by Malice at 10:01 PM on July 31, 2012


Can I use it with my work Exchange credentials?
posted by melissam at 10:03 PM on July 31, 2012


For those of you lamenting the 16 character password max--what type of algorithm are you using to create them? How do you manage such long passwords? Do you type them in manually each time? I feel like I'm missing out on some life protip here.
posted by sourwookie at 10:03 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now to completely ignore it again.

Account deleted for inactivity. Dread words.
posted by stbalbach at 10:04 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh, I grabbed my name (also have it on Hotmail from '02, would have switched to Gmail long ago but someone grabbed my not so common name and all permutations of very quickly in it's existence.) On iPad though it just looks like the exact same interface as Hotmail for now. I guess I'll have to wait until I hit a desktop tomorrow to check it out!
posted by yellowbinder at 10:04 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most of the options for the secret question would have had an answer of 4 characters, which is too short.

Also, what kind of app doesn't look up whether a username is available before making you submit the form (and validating every other field in the form first on top of it)? That's, like, seriously stone age crap. Like, if Microsoft was unveiling a car, it would be made out of a horse.

Don't get me all excited like my firstname@ is still available when it isn't.

Still, it is reassuring to know that Microsoft still sucks. It's nice to have a constant in this changing world of ours.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:05 PM on July 31, 2012 [27 favorites]


For those of you lamenting the 16 character password max--what type of algorithm are you using to create them?

I use swiss-german phrases (non-written language, so no dictionary attacks, and I can write them in my dialect). So I guess, learn a new language? :)
posted by slater at 10:07 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel like I'm missing out on some life protip here.

Got your life protip right here.
posted by flabdablet at 10:07 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ooh. That is a pretty interface.

I might play around with it for a few days, although I suspect that Google's fantastic search features, priority inbox, and rock-solid conversation threading will keep me over there.

That said.... I like the way that Microsoft's new visual style looks.... but I'm still not convinced from a usability perspective. Minimalism is only effective when it doesn't completely tie the hands of the user. A lot of the services/apps are currently very sparse (and arguably feature-incomplete). I don't quite see where there's going to be room to grow. Yes, it's great when a UI "melts away," only showing the functions that the user needs to see... but I'm not convinced that all of those features are there (yet) in Microsoft's new ecosystem.

The first 20 minutes of using the Win8 beta were some of the most bewildering moments I've ever had with a computer (and I do this stuff for a living). I can't even imagine how the rest of the world would react to those UI changes. I actually really want Microsoft to succeed here (if only because it's been so long since anybody has tried something genuinely new), but I'm still not convinced.
posted by schmod at 10:07 PM on July 31, 2012


Okay, for the first time in my career, I've finally had to accept Outlook mail. It's horrible. Truly, awfully horrible. Maybe it's because I work with a lot of large mail attachments, but I don't understand clients. I'm sure there are very sound enterprise IT reasons for pushing it, but as a user, DAMN ITS EYES. On the other hand, the interface makes me feel like I'm in high school again (at least the interface my current org is using)!
posted by smirkette at 10:08 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those of you lamenting the 16 character password max--what type of algorithm are you using to create them? How do you manage such long passwords? Do you type them in manually each time? I feel like I'm missing out on some life protip here.

It can be a phrase, or a sentence that you might easily recall. Example: metafiltercomunityweblogbestoftheweb is easy to remember (though it may not be a good password if you are known to be a mefite).
posted by vidur at 10:08 PM on July 31, 2012


it's treating my web browser (an old firefox version that I do not want to upgrade from) like a mobile platform, shunting me to https://snt002.mail.live.com/m ... how do I get it to not do that? My webmail is unusable in this format...
posted by Auden at 10:09 PM on July 31, 2012


I grabbed a Real Name account just... because. And I'm glad there's a competitor to gmail - I recently had an issue with my email server not being able to send to gmail(*), and the percentage of people I knew that I was suddenly cut off from was pretty surprising to me.

(*) With an irritatingly vague bounce message which eventually resolved to "you must have an SPF record to send to gmail, but we won't just tell you that". I love google's search and map products, but I really don't want them ruling the whole internet.
posted by flaterik at 10:09 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ha, I rejoiced at scoring my first-two-initials-last-name at gmail way back in the day. Turns out that when you have a top 20 most common last name in Spanish and the same initials as "Ana María," it's not such a great thing. I'll be looking for a considerably less awesome username this time.
posted by darksasami at 10:11 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


And while writing that I forgot to make the point I wanted to, which is that I will always, despise webmail. IMAPS and native clients are great, I don't know why you would want a browser to be your primary interface.
posted by flaterik at 10:11 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


sourwookie writes "what type of algorithm are you using to create them? How do you manage such long passwords?"

A variation explained in this XKCD.
posted by Mitheral at 10:12 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, permutation of my real name were taken (curse you, common Asian last names and generic English first names!) but I got the short version of my online handle, at least.

Though why I would use anything other than my domain-specific email in the future I really can't imagine. The interface is pretty, but I have way too many Gmail tweaks to even contemplate moving.
posted by Phire at 10:13 PM on July 31, 2012


Outlook on the desktop is one of my least favorite things in the world. Outlook Web Access was also truly frustrating last time I looked (couldn't make it auto-forward mail to another account without adding Fw: to the subject line and destroying the sender's address). I will need quite a lot of convincing that anything with Outlook branding is going to be worth suppressing a gag reflex for.
posted by flabdablet at 10:14 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't like giving them my postal code, but what the heck. At least now I have the same name across two services.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:17 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know why you would want a browser to be your primary interface.

Mostly because I accessed my email on a variety of school, library, and parental computers, and by the time I got my own computer I just liked having my email look exactly the same no matter where I am. I tried Sparrow and liked it, and tolerate Mail for work, but neither of those give me as muh control and room for obsessiveness as Gmail and its various Labs functions. Before Priority Inboxes there was the Multiple Inboxes lab feature, and boy was it a godsend who needs visual compartmentalization.

Also, undo send.
posted by Phire at 10:17 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just registered my common name to an email service I will never use!
posted by geoff. at 10:19 PM on July 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


Kevin Street writes "I don't like giving them my postal code, but what the heck."

I've been using the postal code of the local cop shop (when I don't want to use 90210) for this very purpose. Personlization works right without effectively giving advertisers my street address.
posted by Mitheral at 10:19 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can't get past the damned CAPTCHA. I've tried like 9 times and it says I'm doing it wrong...
posted by BungaDunga at 10:20 PM on July 31, 2012 [19 favorites]


If you guys told me you were all jumping off a cliff, there's a good chance I'd be up and running to do the same. I'm not a sheep, but I can be a MeFeep.
posted by tula at 10:21 PM on July 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


Grubstaked my namespace. I hope I remember doing that in the morning.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:21 PM on July 31, 2012


Is it just me or is the dude at the sign up screen a creepy modernized version of Gates? Say what you want about Apple, but they do not have black turtlenecked clones of Steve Jobs walking around.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:23 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


BungaDunga writes "Can't get past the damned CAPTCHA. I've tried like 9 times and it says I'm doing it wrong..."

It's pretty horrible; I had the same problem.

FYI: Outlook isn't ignoring .'s in usernames
posted by Mitheral at 10:23 PM on July 31, 2012


Can't get past the damned CAPTCHA. I've tried like 9 times and it says I'm doing it wrong...

Did you try the audio option? It's possessed by demons.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:23 PM on July 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


I've had my account deleted for inactivity many times throughout the years; the only reason I had one in the first place was for my IM account, which was required for work way back when. (At Microsoft, even!)

I'll try to look at this one more than twice a decade.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:23 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


A variation explained in this XKCD.

To be written rule of the internet: There is always a relevant xkcd.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:25 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hrm. I already have a Microsoft account using my gmail address, which I set up for the Windows 8 preview. But when I go to update the email address on that one with a new account, it only gives me @hotmail.com and @live.com as options. So, I started fresh with a new @outlook.com account, then went back to delete my original gmail-linked one, and it told me I have to remove all paid services and MS points from the account to delete it - and I don't even have any of those. So uh. That's annoying.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:27 PM on July 31, 2012


(My Slate colleagues use Outlook, and they’re constantly complaining about the difficulty of accessing their email on the go; the IT people say that the company will be upgraded to the new Outlook webmail service later this year.)

Amazing how she managed to evoke the unending almost functional hell that is Outlook in a single paragraph.

That said, it is pretty. I'll start the pool for how Microsoft will turn it evil tomorrow.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:28 PM on July 31, 2012


Phire: fair enough. I am used to sorting my mail serverside with procmail type rules, which I'm sure gives more flexibility than anything gmail offers, but is not exactly user friendly. Or, rather, is exactly the opposite of user friendly.

I just wish webmail hadn't taken over so completely.
posted by flaterik at 10:29 PM on July 31, 2012


"We want to signal the right thing—that this is fundamentally new,"

Because nothing says "fundamentally new" like "Outlook."
posted by BungaDunga at 10:31 PM on July 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


Hmm. I was already signed in to hotmail so as soon as I hit outlook.com up popped my inbox in new exciting outlook.com style, which was a nice suprise.

It doesn't really feel like OWA to me - an awful lot of it is pretty familiar fom the current version of Hotmail TBH, but they do a nice job with the reskin.
posted by Artw at 10:35 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow! After a dozen failures at the Captcha, I clicked on the audio version too.

I have perfect hearing. Nope.

I leaned way in, and turned up the volume. Nope

I put on my headphones. Nope.

I put on a much better set of over-the-ear headphones. Nope.

I think it may just be reading the Captcha as if it were a word -- and the captcha is something like V9fPC5RPp4. And then there are like 5 people all reading that at the same time. And one guy clearly has the mic inside of his mouth, wrapped around that foam microphone ball thing.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 10:38 PM on July 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


Microsoft seems compelled to keep recycling the names of its products. Everything has to be Windows-this or Office-that or, in this case, Outlook. I guess that's "good branding", but they seem to not be informed about my deep and abiding hatred of desktop Outlook. Is there such a thing as negative brand loyalty? I'm not making an "Outlook" account, because even the name causes me to shudder.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:38 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I actually despise the 'new' Gmail, and have kept an eye out for an alternative. Google+, as much as I've tried to like it, is years away from getting a solid userbase like Facebook has. (In short, only one of my friends has joined G+, and social networking is kind of like cows huddling together. Unless the herd all goes to the other side of the pasture, no one's going anywhere.)

I don't like all the added crap Gmail comes with. It used to be simple, and I loved it for that. It's not really simple anymore.

I still use it, and I doubt Outlook will be a replacement, but it's nice to see some competition.
posted by Malice at 10:40 PM on July 31, 2012


I just signed up and kicked the tires. It . . . doesn't suck. Could it be that they actually had real designers and not engineers work on the interface and user experience? Good for MS.
posted by quadog at 10:44 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


My life is better since I stopped using Microsoft for anything. Outlook.com email? Thanks, no.
posted by iotic at 10:46 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The audio version attempts to download on my Firefox.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:46 PM on July 31, 2012


Can't get past the damned CAPTCHA. I've tried like 9 times and it says I'm doing it wrong...

Took me about half a dozen attempts to get past it. I guess my eye/hand co-ordination isn't what it used to be.

Thanks Microsoft.
posted by vac2003 at 10:47 PM on July 31, 2012


I actually despise the 'new' Gmail

Me too. This user style makes it tolerable again but honestly if I'm going to have to install that on every browser I use just to stop my eyeballs bleeding out I may as well just install Thunderbird and be done with it.
posted by flabdablet at 10:50 PM on July 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


Seriously - what is the over/under on this having good legs?

I had an early invite for gmail and my name and . name were already taken and I have an exceedingly rare surname. Well, that's not the case here now, thanks vidur!
posted by porpoise at 10:52 PM on July 31, 2012


Me too. This user style makes it tolerable again

Good lord! Where have you been all these months? Thank you!
posted by vidur at 10:52 PM on July 31, 2012


Got both my nick used here and also my name, without any numbers after it or whatever -- it was / is quite annoying to me that a programmer with same name as I snagged my name before Gmail opened up to everyone signing up.

Will I use them? Probably not, other than just to sign in from time to time to keep them from going away. I still have and very regularly use two hotmail accts, one I set up in 1997 and one I set up in 1999; EVERYONE has that original hotmail address, I guess I could just start over and give out whatever new one I settle on and thus weed out all garbage I no longer need to see in the in box.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:55 PM on July 31, 2012


"what type of algorithm are you using"

There are many tricks but this is easy. Start with something random like YG,ouC4!JD;s9 .. then write down since you will never remember it. When writing down, change a few of the characters .. like as ZP,ouC4!HD;s0 - first and last character increment by one. This way you only have to remember the algorithm: "first and last character incremented by one". So you have a text file listing the "encrypted" passwords for each of your accounts (important to use different password for every account). Can further crypt by writing shorthand the names of the websites so its not entirely obvious:

M: ZP,ouC4!HD;s0
W: 5P,KuC4!HD;s8
etc..

So if someone does access your text file of passwords, they will have a hard time determining the real password (since the algorithm is only known to you), they'll most likely give up thinking the passwords are broken, and not sure which websites they are for in any case (the letter codes correspond to a website you are familiar with, "M" for Metafilter etc). It looks so obviously like a password, few would ever consider it's an encrypted password - I think brute force would be the only way to decrypt. Can use more complex algorithm like "9th and 1st character decremented by 1" (ie. 911)
posted by stbalbach at 10:56 PM on July 31, 2012


Oh and yeah, it's really pretty, too.

Microsoft absolutely has got to start getting some winners somehow or they'll just become completely irrelevant, and while I still somewhat loathe them for what they did to Netscape (and so many other good companies -- I have a long memory), while I still loathe them for that, I don't want to see them die, if for no other reason than to keep Google at least somewhat honest.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2012


What on earth do I need another email address for? And yet...


I could hear Ballmer cackling the entire time I signed up, but I continued anyway.

:(

posted by mazola at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2012


the jam: "I'm shocked, but that's a beautiful mail interface."

Huh? It's like Gmail with a different font.

OWA works much more nicely. It's too bad they only made it work right for IE.
posted by wierdo at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2012


It looks very nice. I really enjoyed interacting with it.

However . . . when I first tried to send an email, I got a CAPTCHA thing. Then I couldn't get the CAPTCHA right (fucking case-sensitive ambiguous letters). Then I noticed I was somehow on a Windows Live site rather than the email site. Windows Live, really? The thing that makes playing some of my favorite video games an unpredictable authentication crapshoot from time to time? Oh brother.

Next, Windows Live asked me to verify my account. Unless I overlooked something, THE ONLY way to do this by sending me a text message. However, they can apparently only send text messages to certain carriers -- and even though my carrier leases its bandwidth from Sprint, selecting Sprint didn't work.

Unless it becomes the next big thing, I would have to be very bored and/or masochistic to bother with this again. Reminds me of what happened when Yahoo started trying to integrate Flickr's authentication into its own labyrinthine framework -- just logging in was such a pain in the ass that I quickly lost interest in ever uploading my photos again.

Sad to see such a smart, clean, and engaging UI shackled to a mess of an authentication system. Maybe I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and try again in a few weeks, but I really don't have my hopes up.
posted by treepour at 11:01 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


SWEET i managed to get PeterRyan5987 and PeterRyan5988 AND MY NAME ISN'T EVEN PETER RYAN!!
posted by mattoxic at 11:02 PM on July 31, 2012 [22 favorites]


FOLDERS.

Um, hi, Outlook? Look, I know I said some stuff when I broke up with you, but I was just going through a rough patch...
posted by gracedissolved at 11:03 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've been incredibly lucky to live a computing life where I'm free to choose my own software and to choose to associate with like-minded fellows, therefore I've been lucky enough to be able to minimize my Microsoft product contact for the past couple years. Silverlight with Netflix is OK, but there are enough unnecessary updates that it still annoys me. At my startup, we got Bizspark so that we could test on Internet Explorer, but merely being exposed to the poorly thought-out list of poorly thought-out market segmentation of Windows VMs was enough for me to swear it off that crap for a week. Outlook.com is somewhere in between these two experiences, mediocre, but with enough annoyances that it's unlikely I'll ever use it. My issues with it are individually minor:
  1. Captchas are shit. Come on. Are they case-sensitive but using a non-case specific font? At this point I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to do something so remarkably stupid, but there may be other explanations for their awfulness of appearing to be solvable but not actually solvable. The audio captchas are actually worse at their function than the text captchas, but have the benefit of being Lovcraftian, so they ended up being the best part of the experience, even though they are not suitable for their designed purpose.
  2. Going to outlook.com redirects you to some multi-hundred character URL. Exposing details of your poor implementation of web technologies was probably OK up to about 2002, but that was like 10 years ago Microsoft. But much much worse than that is that my password manager doesn't know how to deal with some continuously changing redirect, and the poor branding of live.com makes it sound like my destination has been hijacked by a domain squatter (more on bad branding later)
  3. Passwords, as others have mentioned, are limited to 16 characters. And Microsoft is supposed to be security conscious? Arbitrary and tiny limits in areas that only hurt security give off a terrible code odor and suggest that the whole project is full of bugs. Ignoring those that care about security shows who their target market is here; geeks need not apply. I don't share passwords between any two accounts I have, since you can't trust any web service, and you never know which ones are the goofs who store passwords in plain text. (And the ones that store plaintext passwords are also the ones most likely to ignore other security practices and get broken into and end up sharing your password with the world.) So best solution these days is to use software to manage site-specific passwords, all locked up with a single master password. And since you no longer need to remember individual account passwords anymore, you may as well make it a truly random string that's going to take a decade to crack.
  4. What service am I actually dealing with here? Is it Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail? I have emails from the Hotmail team and Outlook.com team in my inbox, but have to deal with something called live.com when I actually enter my password, which is a very sensitive thing. It's like they're training their users to ignore the source of messages and blindly trust whomever sends official sounding information about their account. For users that don't care about your branding to begin with, splitting their attention between many different names with unclear connections is going to ensure that they have little idea about who they are dealing with.
So, mostly superficial and minor issues, but enough for me to persist in my snobbish attitude of turning my nose at all that MS crap and consider it a lethargic megacorp riding sitting on its coattails.

This is a high profile launch of a service that should be defined by its simplicity, easiness, and utility. If their team can't be bothered to sweat the small stuff before launch, neither will I, and I'll continue to use one of the many many competitors that are trying much harder and delivering better products.
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:06 PM on July 31, 2012 [40 favorites]


flaterik: "Phire: fair enough. I am used to sorting my mail serverside with procmail type rules, which I'm sure gives more flexibility than anything gmail offers, but is not exactly user friendly. Or, rather, is exactly the opposite of user friendly."

Happily, there are several decent GUIs for Sieve. A couple of clicks and mail gets dropped in whatever folder, deleted, forwarded, replied to, whatever. One hopes that any decent mail server has sieve support these days.
posted by wierdo at 11:08 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Captchas are shit. Come on. Are they case-sensitive but using a non-case specific font

Having said that - this captcha ain't too bad. I swear at captchas, but this one was legible. And then again - how often will the service ask you to use a captcha?
posted by mattoxic at 11:08 PM on July 31, 2012


Without IMAP or Exchange interfaces, this is cute but useless. It won't integrate with the Metro interface on my Windows Phone or upcoming Microsoft Surface Tablet!!!

I can't hate it, though. It's still better than Lotus Notes.
posted by meowzilla at 11:09 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Some script or scripts I'm running prevent me from seeing and being able to type in the message area in an email.
posted by rtha at 11:12 PM on July 31, 2012


Yeah the 16-character password thing is more worrying than it might seem. Hashing algorithms don't care how long a string is, and it's always stored at the same length anyway. There's no reason to put such a limit on if security is being done properly - which suggests it may not be.
posted by iotic at 11:12 PM on July 31, 2012


We just don’t have ads there [on person-to-person messages], because we don’t think there’s a way to do relevant ads without compromising your privacy.

Nice job with the market research there. The creepiness of those ads got me to create an account.
posted by salvia at 11:13 PM on July 31, 2012


Awesome! I got on early and was able to snag a sweet email address. If you need to contact me, my new email address is:
MSN-Hotmail-.NET-Passport-Live@outlook.com
posted by i_have_a_computer at 11:15 PM on July 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's a complete mess - Windows Live branding with a 'Welcome to Hotmail' mail in the inbox which, when opened, renders so poorly you'd suspect it was a phishing attempt if you hadn't just signed up. Even the URL is shitty - why redirect me to bay160.mail.live.com when you have the nice outlook.com domain?

Maybe I'm getting a crappy version because I live in the UK or am using an iPad, but either way it's a spectacularly poor first experience with a new service. I don't think I've ever gone form 'Ooh, this is interesting, time to sign up!' to 'How can I close my account?' so quickly.
posted by jack_mo at 11:17 PM on July 31, 2012


Arrgh. Evil-dobbs got there first. :(
posted by dobbs at 11:18 PM on July 31, 2012


jack_mo: just be glad you didn't see the dozens of cookies it wanted to set (all from different, yet semi-official-looking MS domains) when I first loaded outlook.com
posted by slater at 11:19 PM on July 31, 2012


I would happily pay $5-10/month for a non-sucky personal email account but have been able to locate such a thing.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:19 PM on July 31, 2012


jack_mo: just be glad you didn't see the dozens of cookies it wanted to set (all from different, yet semi-official-looking MS domains) when I first loaded outlook.com

Maybe that was the problem.

On further investigation, it seems I now have an outlook.com email address that will only let me log in to Hotmail. Hilarious.
posted by jack_mo at 11:24 PM on July 31, 2012


Is this finally, at last the end for venerable old HoTMaiL, the original web mail service?
posted by JHarris at 11:37 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


OWA works much more nicely. It's too bad they only made it work right for IE.
This so much it hurts. I have to use OWA for work, and I like it pretty well, but the fact that some entire options change or disappear when using Firefox doesn't make me want to use IE, it makes me want to burn OWA to the ground.
posted by Night_owl at 11:39 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good ole MSFT. Trying to reserve an @outlook.com address:

There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.
posted by xmutex at 11:40 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh great, my parents are now starting from scratch. Sweet fuck.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:41 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh man that audio captcha is hilarious.
or it would be if there wasn't someone who isn't me getting paid to demonstrate that level of incompetence and totally get away with it.
posted by juv3nal at 11:42 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The audio captcha made me momentarily worry I had gone insane. Like, that was what life was going to sound like, forever.
posted by xmutex at 11:44 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why would anyone need a new email service at this point? Why would any company create one at this point?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:45 PM on July 31, 2012


It's even messier than I thought - on the iPad they're showing me a seriously janky-looking version of Hotmail (or Windows Live Mail? Or a bit of both?) but if I log in on the desktop, I get the fancy new Outlook.

My inbox now contains a 'Welcome to Hotmail' message and a 'Get to know what's new in Outlook' message, apparently triggered by the desktop sign in.

Is it really possible that they don't support the iPad? I don't mean that in a 'fancypants entitled Apple fanboy' way - it just seems odd to launch something that fails so completely when you sign up on such a widely used device.
posted by jack_mo at 11:47 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hitting outlook.com in iPhone gets me a pretty well featured web version, though again a lot of this was present in Hotmail previously.
posted by Artw at 11:52 PM on July 31, 2012


As is traditional with Live, the URLs are a total mess.
posted by Artw at 11:55 PM on July 31, 2012


it just seems odd to launch something that fails so completely

Windows Vista.
posted by Malice at 11:56 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


@Doleful I would happily pay $5-10/month for a non-sucky personal email account but have been able to locate such a thing.

Try FastMail, they are awesome!
posted by knz at 12:01 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would happily pay $5-10/month...


Or diy with a hosting provider like hostgator.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 12:06 AM on August 1, 2012


That is a nice looking interface! As a matter of fact, it looks pretty much exactly like my Gmail after tweaking it through Minimalist for everything extension. Which makes the ooh-ing and aah-ing in the article about what a wonderful relief it is to escape Gmail's current horrible design seem vaguely ridiculous. I've got nearly ten years of communications and contacts saved up in Gmail, I am way to attached to leave it for the next shiny thing that comes along. But that doesn't mean I have to put up with their erratic design decisions. There's just that there are less drastic ways of doing that then jumping ship to Microsoft.

That said, I'm glad I have MeFi to remind me that it can still be good to snag your firstname+lastname address! (Unusual enough that I'm only disappointing two or three people, but still.)

Hopefully I will remember that I have to log in with a truncated version of my password algorithm - something that usually only happens to sites that store no personal information or anything else of importance at all. Seems Microsoft already knows how much I'm going to rely on them, then!
posted by harujion at 12:09 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hotmail got a facelift, nice! If you like MS metro you most likely will like it, if not, you most likely won't.
posted by Prudentia at 12:11 AM on August 1, 2012


What service am I actually dealing with here? Is it Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail? I have emails from the Hotmail team and Outlook.com team in my inbox, but have to deal with something called live.com when I actually enter my password, which is a very sensitive thing.

That's the thing. These trust and branding issues aren't technical in nature. It's not like the 16 character limit, most likely a case of some poor programmer who can't figure out a decent hashing algorithm for a >16 character password (or preferably use an already established in-house one).

No. The Live.com, Outlook.com, and Hotmail mixed messaging provides a glimpse into the hell that is Microsoft internal politics. What we're seeing here is a coup, the Office group has taken over the hosted email business at Microsoft.

You see glimpses of these struggles all the time in Microsoft products. XBox 360 providing "Zune" music services long past its due date, MSN branding of every web product, etc.

Some are strategic decisions from the top. The aborted Active Desktop letting you HTML content into the desktop with Internet Explorer 4, pushing Silverlight in an attempt to recapture the platform-neutral Internet application market, etc. But so many are just the result of internal fiefdom fights.

But honestly, thank god. The MSN and Live teams killed Hotmail by suffocating it with ads. The new design is refreshingly sparse of ads, even with adblock disabled there were only minimal Google-style text ads along the right-hand side.

Of course, the abusive ad and marketing culture runs deep in Microsoft. I doubt they'll be able to maintain the minimalism as long as Google has.
posted by formless at 12:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


My husband and I watched The Island yesterday, which takes place in the 'future'. The main characters had to run to an "information directory" which was basically a computer with a search engine placed on a street corner.

The search engine? MSN.

And we laughed and laughed.
posted by Malice at 12:23 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


What I found odd was that the article managed to use the word 'slate' twice to refer to the number of features in Outlook. This being the Slate website, I wonder if there's some SEO reason for that. Will they be running articles about how slate mines have been slated for their lack of a slate of safety precautions when mining said slate?
posted by pipeski at 12:41 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't hate it, though. It's still better than Lotus Notes.

If I were never allowed to hate anything that was better than Lotus Notes, I'd turn into St Francis of Assisi
posted by alloneword at 12:45 AM on August 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


I'm not sure why everyone is so proud about snagging an email address that they plan on never using. You also gonna brag about how you totally licked every donut in the box and then threw it in the trash in front of a homeless person?
posted by danny the boy at 12:52 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


If it proves to be as useful, or more than Gmail, I will. I think it's mostly just hoping for the possibility of an alternative.
posted by Malice at 12:59 AM on August 1, 2012


Lotus Notes: Interface Hall of Shame

We wish we found IBM's Lotus Notes a long time ago. This single application could have formed the basis for the entire site. The interface is so problematic, one might reasonably conclude that the designers had previously visited this site, and misread "Hall of Shame" as "Hall of Fame". Lotus Notes 4.6 contains almost every example of inefficient design illustrated thoughout the entire Hall of Shame site.
posted by jcruelty at 1:11 AM on August 1, 2012


Outlook on the desktop is one of my least favorite things in the world.

Spend some more time with Lotus Notes, it'll put things right into perspective...
posted by smoke at 1:17 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


No two-factor auth (my personal gmail is, I think, the most secure of any system I use.)

16 char password limits, with its own arbitrary 'you must build your password this way" rules that only appear when you choose something you can remember that doesn't correspond to the rules.

The captchas are, as described, sphincter-shrinkingly bad. Poor eyesight doesn't help, but my ears are good (and my PC's audio system is excellent), yet even with a life spent listening to many arcane electronic and experimental noiseniks I have absolutely no idea what's going on there. I'd be surprised if even Turing and Eno's love child could get anywhere with that.

So MS continues on its major strategy, that of waiting a while then trying to copy successful competitors when it can't browbeat them into secret deals (which probably involve sitting in a small room with spme Ampulex compressa, given the fate of all who succumb).
posted by Devonian at 1:20 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Registered first.last. Not because firstnamelastname@ was taken, but because seeing both my names written together like that looks WRONG and I have to put a dot in between for my own pedantic sanity.
posted by mippy at 1:36 AM on August 1, 2012


Our company just configured Gmail to enable us to log into e-mail at home via Gmail rather than Outlook Remote Light. Hmm.
posted by mippy at 1:37 AM on August 1, 2012


The icon link to outlook goes to https://outlook.com so when people's work browser tries to redirect that to their company's OWA hilarity will ensue. This will be followed by a call to the helpdesk and a conversation which begins "I can't connect to outlook".
MS just caused a not inconsiderate amount of time and money to be wasted all across the globe.

Which, to be fair, is funny as fuck.

Surely this thread should now be reserved for the funniest @outlook.com email which someone can come up with.
I'm assuming Mitt.Romney is taken.
posted by fullerine at 1:41 AM on August 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Or spend a small amount of money and use fastmail.fm, which has no ads or other bollocks and backs things up.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:55 AM on August 1, 2012


Gmail's sidebars are absurd. I have to mouseover to get just my sent mail, and mouseover again to get other folders like the trash or spam. If I want to search my mail while composing another one, I can't just switch tabs within gmail but instead have to open a whole new tab and search from there. Gmail reall screwed the pooch with their big update...what, a year or so ago? If I can migrate to something better, I'm all for it. Though I have eight years of mail backed up on gmail; I'd need a really complete way to transfer all that, and a reliable way to have new mail routed.
posted by zardoz at 1:56 AM on August 1, 2012


Also took me three tries with the captcha. At first I thought it didn't matter if I was using capital letters or not (you tell me if you can tell the difference between a lower case and upper case C) but then one of the captchas had a "t" so it must use caps? So I was forced to play game of russian roullette for the ambiguous letters.

When I finally got to the interface, yeah ok it's pretty clean. But then this:

What service am I actually dealing with here? Is it Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail?

is so right. I signed up to snag my preferred name, but beyond the prefix before the @ I have no idea what my actual email address is. I considered sending myself an email to gmail to figure out what the address is but I'd rather spend my time ranting on here.
posted by like_neon at 1:57 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


What service am I actually dealing with here? Is it Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail?

Even closing my account - a decision I took after failing to convince the system I was not a bot - required two actions: one to close an Outlook account and the second to close a Hotmail one.
posted by rongorongo at 2:15 AM on August 1, 2012


I use the basic HTML view for Gmail, and nothing has changed since I started. So you don't have to upgrade to whatever it is now. That may only work for older addresses, though.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:28 AM on August 1, 2012


This is pretty much Hotmail with a different font and a different colour scheme.. All the groovy GUI like stuff that makes emailing easy and fun (dragging messages, etc) has been in Hotmail for a while.

Hotmail has been fantastic for some time. But it appears that to attract the tech crowd, you need a pretty font and a flat interface.
posted by zoo at 2:52 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh. Reskinned Gmail-- It is a better skin, at least.
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 2:54 AM on August 1, 2012


What service am I actually dealing with here? Is it Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail?

is so right. I signed up to snag my preferred name, but beyond the prefix before the @ I have no idea what my actual email address is. I considered sending myself an email to gmail to figure out what the address is but I'd rather spend my time ranting on here.


It asked me to sign-in with my Xbox LIVE (the username of which is my gmail address) account instead of creating a new account. So, after signing in, it appears that my new Outlook email address is "[username]@gmail.com". Um...?

I was going to try sending myself an email to see what the email address actually is, but I must be an automated program because I cannot pass the captcha. (And I very am relieved that I am not the only one who could not make sense of the audio version.)
posted by Silly Ashles at 2:57 AM on August 1, 2012


No equivalent to Gmail's two-factor authentication, and 16 character limit for password?

I'd rather Google reads my mail than some hacker asshole. Signed up to hold my name, but yeah, back to ignoring Microsoft once more.

You don't know peace of mind until you have two factor authentication, truly.
posted by spitbull at 3:29 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Same thing here. Logged in with my existing MS account, and got my old yahoo.com address as the new outlook one. Then I sent an e-mail from outlook to yahoo, and it arrived correctly. Then tried to reply to the e-mail from yahoo, and it was returned to the yahoo address, and never made it back to the outlook one. WTF?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:33 AM on August 1, 2012


> For those of you lamenting the 16 character password max--what type of algorithm are you using to create them?

Sometimes I reuse some stock alpha-num sequences in different combinations and orders, sometimes I use Password Assistant. Depends on where I need a password and what it's for.
posted by ardgedee at 3:35 AM on August 1, 2012


Aah, Microsoft's 16 character password limit...catering to the "16 characters? What, are your 12345 keys broke?" crowd.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:42 AM on August 1, 2012



I'm not sure why everyone is so proud about snagging an email address that they plan on never using.


It's because we're still ashamed of our high Metafilter user numbers.
posted by chavenet at 3:47 AM on August 1, 2012


The 16-character limit seems bad, but then “In 1999 hackers revealed a security flaw in Hotmail that permitted anybody to log into any Hotmail account using the password ‘eh’.”

A MeFi post from July 2001: “Your Hotmail account now boasts a new look.”
posted by misteraitch at 4:10 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I went ahead and picked up a couple, in case it turns out to be a thing. I got our surname for my husband, or me, or both of us, and one for me that is pretty close to "taz" (which of course wasn't available). We'll see. I've loved gmail, but I still don't love the latest update at all. It would be a pretty big deal for me to abandon it, though. I was determined to do it when Google was fucking with people's gmail accounts in relation to their G+ accounts (which they've denied, but reliable people are on record as "this happened"). But despite being willing to pay, and trying out a different services, I didn't find something I felt comfortable with for different reasons.

As far as my privacy goes: Good luck with that, Google – or any entity of the bot variety. One of my accounts has an alert for every metafilter post, for example; one has so much varied other work-related stuff that they can be pretty sure I'm between 13-99 years of age, male or female, very concerned with romance novels, employment law, K-12 through University education, healthcare, ethnic folk music, insurance, design, literature, emergency services, law enforcement, Wordpress, art galleries, Pilates, real estate, ISO certification, advertising, blues music, ESL, wine tours, photojournalism, guest apartments, and a bunch of other stuff that even I don't remember, but they probably do.

As a result, I think my demographic niche is: "Just Give Up And Serve Green Card Lotteries" (except I'm already a US citizen, despite my geoinfo, so even there, not WINNING.)
posted by taz at 4:18 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


A bigger issue may be that I sent myself an email from this new outlook.com account to my gmail 8 minutes ago, and I still haven't received it.

I had an early invite for gmail and my name and . name were already taken

name and . name (and na.me and n.ame and nam.e) are all the same in gmail, btw.

posted by inigo2 at 4:20 AM on August 1, 2012


A bigger issue may be that I sent myself an email from this new outlook.com account to my gmail 8 minutes ago, and I still haven't received it.

Me too. It's been over eight minutes and I still haven't received the internet I sent from the new Outlook account.
posted by NoMich at 4:26 AM on August 1, 2012


Mine were delivered instantaneously.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:50 AM on August 1, 2012


Surprising that Slate (owned by Microsoft) would be so positive! Oh, and does the webmail version fix the winmail.dat attatchment bug? Because I still get that all the time from my MIL.
posted by rikschell at 4:53 AM on August 1, 2012


OWA works much more nicely. It's too bad they only made it work right for IE.

Huh. I hate OWA something fiercely but then I only every use it with Firefox so maybe it does work with IE. But If I had IE then I would also have Outlook and wouldn't need OWA, the only reason I need it is that we use Exchange for calendars and I have an Ubuntu desktop. So I use Firefox to check my schedule and OWA looks like something from 1999.
posted by octothorpe at 4:57 AM on August 1, 2012


rikschell: "Surprising that Slate (owned by Microsoft) would be so positive! Oh, and does the webmail version fix the winmail.dat attatchment bug? Because I still get that all the time from my MIL."

MS sold Slate to The Washington Post eight years ago.
posted by octothorpe at 4:59 AM on August 1, 2012


A test mail that I sent from an account I made several hours ago was delivered instantly, but a test mail from an account I created recently hasn't been delivered... I guess they are suffering some launch difficulties.
posted by taz at 5:08 AM on August 1, 2012


It's all you double-dippers that are slowing it down!
posted by Burhanistan at 5:13 AM on August 1, 2012


I don't like giving them my postal code, but what the heck.

Don't you live here with me at 1060 W. Addison, Chicago, IL 60613?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:16 AM on August 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm almost convinced this thread is a long joke. Why would you need to "claim" your name on another completely unrelated domain? Do your friends just e-mail you by randomly choosing some common domain?

"Oh, what's bob's e-mail? I'll just send it to @gmail, @hotmail, @yahoo.co.uk, @outlook..."

Beyond that, why anyone would be this excited about a webmail interface that isn't even backed by a system with IMAP access is puzzling.
posted by odinsdream at 5:27 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got three separate personal email accounts and one for work. I think that's enough for now. This is interesting looking but I'll pass until something happens to Google.
posted by tommasz at 5:28 AM on August 1, 2012


> Why would you need to "claim" your name on another completely unrelated domain?

Because first.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:31 AM on August 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm almost convinced this thread is a long joke. Why would you need to "claim" your name on another completely unrelated domain? Do your friends just e-mail you by randomly choosing some common domain?
Perhaps we can discuss this via email, you can get me at at odinsdream@outlook.com
posted by fullerine at 5:39 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Because I share the same first name, middle initial, and last name as my dad and I WILL BEAT YOU OLD MAN HAHAHAHAHA
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:45 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have a gmail and a hotmail account. Just went to my hotmail account and apparently it has converted to the new interface.


So I suppose I will continue to have the hotmail address?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:02 AM on August 1, 2012


I am missing my weekly email from my local grocery with the weekly deals. :(
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:03 AM on August 1, 2012


Beyond that, why anyone would be this excited about a webmail interface that isn't even backed by a system with IMAP access is puzzling.

In all honesty? I'm perfectly happy using webmail interfaces for all my email needs. I barely even use email anymore, outside of work, most of my communication is via text or IM of some sort (but really, mostly texts). And on top of that, I access my personal email from work, from home, from my sister's computer, from my phone, so having a real mail client installed on one computer is not particularly useful for me.
posted by antifuse at 6:05 AM on August 1, 2012


I have a gmail and a hotmail account. Just went to my hotmail account and apparently it has converted to the new interface.


So I suppose I will continue to have the hotmail address?


If you go to outlook.com while you're logged into your hotmail account, it will automagically convert you to using the new interface.

They let you keep your hotmail address, AND you can convert to an outlook.com email address as well. And you can actually go back to the hotmail interface (if you click the little gear in the top right corner) if you want to. But god, why would you want to?
posted by antifuse at 6:07 AM on August 1, 2012


Finally got an email address without what I usually have to append to my non-work emails.

My name is unique, so I'll register that when I'm damn well ready. (No seriously, I'm the only one on the internet with that name, probably the only one in the world.)
posted by Hactar at 6:10 AM on August 1, 2012


I'm almost convinced this thread is a long joke. Why would you need to "claim" your name on another completely unrelated domain? Do your friends just e-mail you by randomly choosing some common domain?

Kind of, yes. I was too late for Outlook, but managed to get "matthewshepherd" for Hotmail and, years later, "mattshepherd" for Gmail.

I get fascinating e-mails destined for Matthew Shepherds all over the world: a few in Canada, one in England, two in Australia, and one or two in the USA. One has a mom who likes to send him pictures of foxes, another is going through a divorce and has been doing a lot of shopping for sporty cars; one has annual adventure/poker holidays with large groups of friends. One's a working musician.

I've gotten job offers (which, not being an engineer willing to move to Brighton, I've had to regretfully decline), divorce papers, automobile purchase contracts, and much more. All, I imagine, because somebody was to sloppy to read "mattHYPHENshepherd@gmail.com" or "matthewshepherd2@hotmail.com" and just fired off an e-mail without double-checking first.

So having the "best" name for an e-mail service has proven its worth for me not only for the got-there-first cool factor, but also for the simple fact that I'm relatively sure that these mistakes generally only work one way.
posted by Shepherd at 6:11 AM on August 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whoa, I hope this one's around for a while. Just got one in my name and another one for my band.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:23 AM on August 1, 2012


Got my name and my mefi handle, and neither of the emails I sent to my gmail from those outlook accounts have arrived, and they're not in the spam folder. Where are they?
posted by rtha at 6:39 AM on August 1, 2012


"Oh, what's bob's e-mail? I'll just send it to @gmail, @hotmail, @yahoo.co.uk, @outlook..."

As the owner of a fairlycommonname@gmail.com address, I can confirm that a surprisingly large number of people do in fact appear to do pretty much this. You would be amazed at the amount of confidential shit people drop into email without bothering to check that they have the correct address. I've had people threaten to sue me for receiving the confidential shit they sent me. Or there was the guy with my name who got his own address wrong and gave mine out to his entire extended family. And then when I though I had that sorted out he apparently started giving out the same address but with a dot between the first and last names, which in gmail means he was giving out my address to them again. People are, on the whole, idiots.

(In one case it was extra confusing because the guy with my name they were trying to reach was also a freelance web developer, and I thought they were a new client trying to hire me and they thought I was a guy they'd worked with for years and then I thought they were an old client that I'd somehow forgotten about and they thought I'd lost my mind because seriously I'd just wrapped up a gig for them like two weeks ago and that was the point at which we figured out what went wrong. That was fun.)
posted by ook at 6:39 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, interesting: I tried testing outlook out by sending an email to myself, and got interrupted by this confirmation dialog when I hit 'send':

"Send without attachments?
Just checking. It looks like you mentioned attachments but didn't add any."

...which is a nice touch. It would be a great and useful feature if it actually worked. (The text of my test email in its entirety was "this is email with colored and formatted text bold underline []and stupid emoticons[])". No mention of attachments or anything even vaguely similar. Strange.
posted by ook at 6:41 AM on August 1, 2012


I thought it was pretty nice until I discovered that the send button is in the worst place.
posted by General Malaise at 6:45 AM on August 1, 2012


Help us make sure you're not a robot

Fracking toasters.
posted by snottydick at 6:50 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Signed in with my Live account and it sent e-mails on behalf of my Yahoo! account. I wanted to create a new e-mail account with them to use instead, I had to use @hotmail or @live. An @outlook address is only available as an alias. I ended up creating a @live account because every time I loaded the damn page it asked if I wanted to integrate my Yahoo e-mail into Outlook via POP3. Of course, since I'm not paying Yahoo! it doesn't provide POP3, so that just fails but Outlook kept asking.

It is shiny, but the whole Hotmail/Live/Outlook mess is frustrating and confusing.
posted by charred husk at 6:54 AM on August 1, 2012


Couldn't get past the captcha. If you're going to use case-sensitive captchas, don't use s or x. Hilariously, after the first fail it told me I had done too many attempts and was locking me out.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:56 AM on August 1, 2012


FTA: A hotmail.com email address long ago became a mark of naiveté, an address for grandmas and other schemers

*shakes fist at framed portrait of grandma*
posted by obscurator at 6:57 AM on August 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Pedantics may be tired of, they are always bored with.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:58 AM on August 1, 2012


I had a Live ID with a password that was longer than 16 characters, but when I tried to log in to outlook.com it told me that it should be max 16. So my longer password, which Microsoft apparently was fine with, no longer works. I had to truncate it to 16 characters manually (i.e. ignore the one stored in my password manager) and it worked. That it rubbish.

I got stung by the captchas too. So you're case sensitive? So is that an o, O or 0? Bastards.

Still, it's a nice enough interface. Maybe I'll even use it. I was tempted to add my other email addresses to it but there's no IMAP support. Idiots.
posted by milkb0at at 6:58 AM on August 1, 2012


Since I have "firstnamelastname" for both yahoo and gmail, it was too much to pass up the opportunity to have it for outlook as well. I have never gotten into the habit of using gmail, despite its growing dominance.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:02 AM on August 1, 2012


I've tried sending messages to both my Gmail and my old Yahoo mail, and neither delivered. So this is clearly a solid product launch.
posted by General Malaise at 7:10 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know what captchas you all are getting. Mine was easy as pie. Sure as hell easier than the ones favored by the file sharing sites I visit.

Looks pretty meh-tastic to me. And a 16-character password limit is completely unacceptable. As in: are you fucking kidding me?

As for the address squatting: Perhaps we're all haunted by the fear that someday our gmail addresses will become as uncool as Hotmail addresses are now.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:14 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I attempted to send an email last night on my Nook tablet using the Dolphin browser. I couldn't even get past the 'send to' address. Every time I tried to type it, nothing popped up.

It also occurs to me that because they are using an old-as-dirt name, anyone who tries to look something up about it will get old Outlook Express topics. What an absolutely terrible idea. Why would they do such a thing? Couldn't they have just called it like micromail or something?
posted by Malice at 7:17 AM on August 1, 2012


I agree with everything llama-lime said. The interface is nice but sign-up is a bear and the security issues are a bummer.
posted by Wretch729 at 7:19 AM on August 1, 2012


I don't know what captchas you all are getting. Mine was easy as pie. Sure as hell easier than the ones favored by the file sharing sites I visit.

Same here.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:21 AM on August 1, 2012


Weird bug with aliases- if you send an email to yourself and one or more of your aliases, it'll file three copies of that email under the aliases' folder, as opposed to distributing it in all three inboxes. It looks like it's running the rules sequentially, and treating the subject line rather naively. This suggests there are likely to be security holes around the aliasing function- primarily in replying from an aliased email with another aliases' account info.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:21 AM on August 1, 2012


Huh. I have my outlook aliases set to deliver to the main inbox, and when I sent an email from another account to three aliases, and it only showed up in my inbox once. I thought it was being rather clever.
posted by solotoro at 7:33 AM on August 1, 2012


> and doesn’t invade your privacy.

Oh yeah? How long do you think that's going to last?

Some of us haven't forgotten Palladium.
posted by belarius at 7:34 AM on August 1, 2012


Registered first.last. Not because firstnamelastname@ was taken, but because seeing both my names written together like that looks WRONG and I have to put a dot in between for my own pedantic sanity.

Those addresses are identical. Most mail servers ignore the '.' in an email address, though I forget if it's part of the RFC specifications for email. Try emailing your firstnamelastname@ address and you'll see that it goes through to you anyway.
posted by stopgap at 7:36 AM on August 1, 2012


When you register you're automatically signed up for spam. Here's how to opt out:
  1. Click on your name in the upper right corner and select Account Settings from the dropdown menu.
  2. Click on Notifications in the left navigation.
  3. Click on Manage marketing preferences
  4. Click the edit your preferences link
  5. Uncheck the "I would like to..." boxes and the "Subscribed to Windows Live, Bing, and MSN Promotional Email" box, and check the "Do not send me any newsletters, subscriptions, or general promotional emails," then click Save.
Note: I did this several times and it doesn't remember my settings for ""Subscribed to Windows Live, Bing, and MSN Promotional Email" and "Do not send me any newsletters, subscriptions, or general promotional emails." There's a note that says "Changes made to your newsletters and subscriptions may not be seen here immediately."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:41 AM on August 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


> Those addresses are identical. M

I just tested that, and it would seem that the . is a requirement for successful transmission.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:41 AM on August 1, 2012


and doesn’t invade your privacy

Maybe you should sit down for this...
posted by Egg Shen at 7:42 AM on August 1, 2012


Those addresses are identical.

Nope.

My first.last@outlook.com is not the same as my firstlast@outlook.com. Gmail, yes. Outlook, no.
posted by phunniemee at 7:43 AM on August 1, 2012


Nope.

I stand corrected. From RFC 5321 section 2.3.11: "the local-part MUST be interpreted and assigned semantics only by the host specified in the domain part of the address." I guess Microsoft didn't want to do that for some reason.
posted by stopgap at 7:48 AM on August 1, 2012


I needed another disposable email address for notifications I didn't want to read. It's as good an excuse to reserve my standard username as anything.
posted by immlass at 7:50 AM on August 1, 2012


Why would you need to "claim" your name on another completely unrelated domain?

Because that landscape architect with the same name as me? Fuck that guy.
posted by box at 7:52 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Live" branded services have been bad at passwords for some time. I created a Live account with a lengthy password, as is my wont. The signup interface accepted it, and I could log in on the web, but when I tried to sign into a Games for Windows Live game it refused with a generic error code. (Didn't even tell me my password was wrong: just a numeric code.) About an hour of frustration later, it turns out GFWL also has a 16-char limit, but only when signing in through a game or the desktop client. Geez MS, at least be consistent.
posted by skymt at 7:56 AM on August 1, 2012


nothing says "fundamentally new" like "Outlook."

Be thankful they didn't call it "Windows Mail".
posted by Egg Shen at 7:58 AM on August 1, 2012


Missed out on the short form of my common name. I was able to get the minor child's slightly less common name, but I had to give permission, which I could only do by giving them fifty cents with a credit card (proof I am a Responsible Adult), much of which they promise to give to charity. Which, fair enough.

Happy birthday, kid.
posted by BWA at 7:58 AM on August 1, 2012


Ever since my (very rare version of a not-uncommon) surname got registered as a dot com before I could get to it, by a bastard car dealership somewhere in the mid-west - WHO HAD GOT THEIR OWN NAME WRONG - I have a policy of devil take the hindmost when it comes to registering my preferred ID on services I may not use much.

Yeah, it's tough on the five other people who may have a legitimate gripe about this. But as I am closely related to them all and run their IT for them, they don't even know it's an issue.

Like the concept of licking doughnuts in front of poor people, though. May extend it to taking a tiny dab from a jar of cavlar, then dashing it to the ground with a shrug of ennui.
posted by Devonian at 7:59 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"the local-part MUST be interpreted and assigned semantics only by the host specified in the domain part of the address." I guess Microsoft didn't want to do that for some reason.

Yeah, I will not be signing up for this then, as I do not need any more endless emails from the one or two heinously stupid people in the US with whom I share a full name. WTF texas real estate agent liz, I don't give fuck about your showings calendar reminders. IT'S BEEN 5 MONTHS WHY HAVEN'T YOU NOTICED YET YOU ARE THE WORST.
posted by elizardbits at 8:00 AM on August 1, 2012


When I log in with my university's e-mail account I still get the crappy old yellow Outlook Web App. :-(
posted by Scientist at 8:16 AM on August 1, 2012


The captchas are imprenetrable. The audio captcha is a pretty cool clip of Tibetan monks, chanting in rounds.

I grabbed my mefi name so no one else could use it.

I don't care so much about looks. It seems reasonably usable, but it's an MSoft product; they'll cruftify it in no time. MSoft still doesn't get the importance of security, and that's a dealbreaker for me, and I hope for corporate users. I would actually have paid attention if they'd stuck with @live, @msn, or even @hotmail. The smart thing about choosing @outlook is that people who use Outlook at work will assume that email = outlook, and MSoft is strengthening that approach. So, hey, 4th or 5th time is a charm.

I want folders. I like folders. Gmail, please give me folders that will act like folders. Pleeeeeeeaaasssse. No matter how much I want useful folders, there's no way I would move to @outlook.com. Gmail is pretty reliable, and I've learned to be pretty ad-blind, so I don't notice targeted ads much. And I still kind of hate MSoft, whereas I am only mistrustful of Google.
posted by theora55 at 8:23 AM on August 1, 2012


Also, thank you to Llama-lime for code odor.

And, I apologize for the blink tag.
posted by theora55 at 8:29 AM on August 1, 2012


>> I actually despise the 'new' Gmail
>
> Me too. This user style makes it tolerable again but honestly if I'm going to have to
> install that on every browser I use just to stop my eyeballs bleeding out I may as
> well just install Thunderbird and be done with it.

With noscript running, the gmail of today looks exactly like the dead-simple gmail of yore. That may break other features that you use, ymmv (for me it's just another spamcatcher address).

Nb, with all scripts blocked I can log in to gmail, and read mail, and reply. With all scripts blocked, outlook.com doesn't even display a login prompt, it just bounces me to a "this site requires javascript" nag page at login.live.com/jsDisabled. Looks like I won't be switching, as I would no more turn on js for microsoft than I would for squirrelpr0n.ru.
posted by jfuller at 8:41 AM on August 1, 2012


I, for one, live in a non-english speaking country, and while people are used to listen to garbled "hotmail" and "gmail", "@futurepost.com" would be harder to pull off, for example.

That said, I jeopardize everything by going with "the.electric.me" as a prename. It's a long, long story.
posted by syntaxfree at 8:43 AM on August 1, 2012


Separate comment because it's a separate subject. People have written Gmail clients both for Windows and Mac -- it's sort of an extended version of IMAP, supporting tags, stars, highlighting important mail and so on. Good ole' embrace and extend.
posted by syntaxfree at 8:49 AM on August 1, 2012


I had a Live ID with a password that was longer than 16 characters, but when I tried to log in to outlook.com it told me that it should be max 16. So my longer password, which Microsoft apparently was fine with, no longer works. I had to truncate it to 16 characters manually (i.e. ignore the one stored in my password manager) and it worked. That it rubbish.

This also implies some really odd things about how Microsoft was storing your original Live ID password.
posted by odinsdream at 8:50 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


As for the address squatting: Perhaps we're all haunted by the fear that someday our gmail addresses will become as uncool as Hotmail addresses are now.

You mean like Yahoo! did, at the advent of Gmail? At least, as far as I can tell from this site.
posted by Night_owl at 8:50 AM on August 1, 2012


This made me go back and open up my Hotmail account (Through Hotmail.com) -- I was actually surprised at how mature Hotmail has gotten over the years! It must be some of the same folks because -- except for the borders, a little sprucing here and there, the message interface was pretty nice. Outlook actually seems to function pretty closely, again, with just a bit more white space. Huh.

Couldn't land a single damn iteration of my all too common name or handle preferences. Moo.
posted by cavalier at 8:53 AM on August 1, 2012


In retrospect it looks like creating a outlook specific version of the Live account sign-up process and maybe sorting some of the problems with that would have served them really well here.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


the title of the tab when loated in Safari on iPad is "Hotmail," which makes me go "hmmmmmm." Stack ranking strickes again?
posted by mwhybark at 8:58 AM on August 1, 2012


strikes, even.
posted by mwhybark at 8:58 AM on August 1, 2012


42 minute transport time between outlook.com and gmail.com = YAMF (yet another microsoft fail)
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:59 AM on August 1, 2012


quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon: 42 minute transport time between outlook.com and gmail.com = YAMF (yet another microsoft fail)

You're comfortable calling it here in the second day of the public beta? I'm having a hard time thinking of a software project that wasn't a "fail" by your tough standards.
posted by gilrain at 9:03 AM on August 1, 2012


Why all the stress over user names? Didn't we all figure out a years ago that it is easier to spend $10 a year on a domain name and forward your mail to whatever the trendy mail service of the day is?
posted by COD at 9:10 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.

To be fair, this kind of thing happens with lots of other web services. Actually, it's a feature. With distributed systems, there's a trade-off between availability (fast response) and consistency (correctness). So designers build systems that might make mistakes sometimes, but can detect them and abort before anything really bad happens; this allows you to get most page loads to happen really fast because the service doesn't need to wait for many computers to reach consensus. Google's stuff does this all the time.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:24 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm getting 1) a Firefox error message saying it's stuck in a redirect loop, and sometimes 2) a generic "Server Error in '/' Application." No cute Fail Whale, just... a generic asp.NET (?) error page. Yikes. At least throw up a cute Fail Whale or something.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:28 AM on August 1, 2012


Didn't we all figure out a years ago that it is easier to spend $10 a year on a domain name and forward your mail to whatever the trendy mail service of the day is?

We choose to camp usernames on the new Outlook webmail site today, not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on August 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


You're comfortable calling it here in the second day of the public beta? I'm having a hard time thinking of a software project that wasn't a "fail" by your tough standards.

I still haven't gotten the emails I sent from the outlook last night, and they're not stuck in my gmail spam folder, either. I sent a test one this morning and that showed up fairly quickly, but last night's? Who knows where they are.
posted by rtha at 9:32 AM on August 1, 2012


And your *individual* experience is enough to declare something a failure? If 98% of users don't experience that problem, but you're one of the 2% that do, it seems a little disingenuous to say "Utter failure!"
posted by eoden at 9:51 AM on August 1, 2012


(Not that I know any of the numbers; this was just an example.)
posted by eoden at 9:52 AM on August 1, 2012


Hotmail is a good 15 years old and I've been using it for most of that time. FWIW I've never observed it to drop emails.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on August 1, 2012


Happy to see MS attempting to get back into the game, though it's my belief that email is rapidly on its way to irrelevance. It'll hang on for a bunch of years mostly as a work tool, but folks under the age of 25 have moved away from it as a primary tool for electronic communications.

The new Hotmail looks pretty nice. Their spam detection is still about the worst in the business, and I find a number of things about the experience rather frustrating, but it's a big step in the right direction.

For those who have expressed frustration with certain things in Gmail:

- If you don't like the auto-expand/collapse side bars, please note that you can drag labels/folders (like your sent mail) out of the collapsed section so that it always appears.

- Gmail has had an attachment warning system for several years. It may be disabled by default, so you might have to turn it on in the labs section of Gmail settings. It works quite well and appears to be substantially more reliable than the new Hotmail (far less likely to give false positives).

- It's clever of MS to recycle FUD about Gmail's advertising system in order to play on people's fears, but I have FAR less faith in Microsoft in terms of respecting my privacy or telling the government to take a hike if they ask for my personal details. Microsoft has produced several attack ads over the years that attempt to convince people that someone at Google is reading your mail (search youtube for Microsoft's Gmail Man ad). Believe me, Microsoft is tracking at least as much personal information about you as Google. It has been said many times before, but bears repeating: if you aren't paying for it, YOU are the product. It's expensive to run an email service that provides 5 - 10GB of free storage.

If the ads in Gmail creep you out, here's some advice:

1) Take a deep breath and remove your tinfoil hat. Nobody at Google can read your email. Even when serious bugs are discovered and specific accounts are investigated, all personal details and message payloads are redacted from the Gmail team. Google fights government requests for information harder than any other tech company and is far more likely to take your privacy (and data ownership) seriously than its competitors.

2) Turn off "web clips," which have a tab in Gmail settings. They're totally obnoxious in the new skin.

3) Run Adblock for Chrome or Firefox.

They're going to aggressively court Gmail users, but this update will mostly serve to stop the massive hemorrhaging of the Hotmail user base that has been ongoing for 5+ years. When I started working on Gmail in 2005, we had <2>450M monthly actives. I don't have current stats on Hotmail, but the active user base is a tiny fraction of what it used to be. The product was catastrophically mismanaged for years, and I'm somewhat shocked that they got their act together enough to produce this new skin.

Goodness of the new skin aside, people despise change in products like this. I would not be surprised if this change loses as many people as it gains, or even turns out to be a net negative.
posted by drklahn at 9:55 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weird, some of my message got eaten. Must have messed up a tag.

this: "<2>450M monthly actives"

should have read: "we had less than 20M total users. Gmail now has > 450M monthly actives.
posted by drklahn at 9:58 AM on August 1, 2012


I don't understand it at all.

I went to get an Outlook.com address, and I am already logged into Microsoft.com or live.com or whatever because of my XBox account. So now i just have an Outlook account that uses my Gmail address.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:58 AM on August 1, 2012


Hell, Outlook.com mail is a helluva lot faster than MefiMail email notifications are.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:00 AM on August 1, 2012


Does not live up to the breathless hype in Manjoo's piece and not letting me have a password longer than 16 characters is hilarious!

I don't like the band on the right with the ads either. It might just be because this interface is new but the ads seem really obtrusive.

Not moving from gmail and who is to say Msft won't mine our emails in the future.
posted by viramamunivar at 10:14 AM on August 1, 2012


Hotlook. Outbox. Xmail. LIVE.
posted by eoden at 10:14 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Take a deep breath and remove your tinfoil hat. Nobody at Google can read your email.

Almost nobody.

A small number of GMail-related engineers have access to the servers as a matter of necessity to do their jobs; a very small number of people actually access the contents as a matter of necessity to do their jobs, and even then, almost always only the associated metadata. The rest have to file a request and justify any access they ever need, which is extremely rare. All have to sign paperwork re users' privacy at the risk of dismissal & legal action, knowing that whatever they do is discoverable. And ultimately, an internal culture of respecting users' privacy helps keep one another in check. So the risk is never zero, but minimized by the factors above.

But again: Your e-mails are not private.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:18 AM on August 1, 2012


42 minute transport time between outlook.com and gmail.com

That's nothing, I just had a test message arrive at 1:16pm that was sent at 8:31am: 4hrs 45min in the ether.
posted by peeedro at 10:22 AM on August 1, 2012


I get fascinating e-mails destined for Matthew Shepherds all over the world: a few in Canada, one in England, two in Australia, and one or two in the USA. One has a mom who likes to send him pictures of foxes, another is going through a divorce and has been doing a lot of shopping for sporty cars; one has annual adventure/poker holidays with large groups of friends. One's a working musician.

I really really wish I can help out the other Natalie Smith who's forever locked out of Facebook and keep wanting to log in....

anyway, been trying to set up an alias, but it's been on a temporary error for about 10 hours!
posted by cendawanita at 10:28 AM on August 1, 2012


You're comfortable calling it here in the second day of the public beta?

dude, this is microsoft. i would have been comfortable calling it a fail in 1996, if i had been told in advance.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:29 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's nothing, I just had a test message arrive at 1:16pm that was sent at 8:31am: 4hrs 45min in the ether.

Guys. Guys. I think that's just enough time for the lackey they've got at google to intercept your email, hold it over a pot of boiling water long enough to steam the envelope open, transcribe it and put your information on file with the government (both US and Chinese, because hey why not), and seal it back up again leaving you none the wiser.
posted by phunniemee at 10:29 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, grabbed first name last initial (fairly common 4-character first name) ! I've never had such a short email address before! Though, it's unusable to me at this point, because I'm mostly on my phone which apparently just uses the hotmail interface right now (and I can't even find a damn "compose" button, how the hell do you even send email with this thing?) or on my work computer, which apparently blocks the site outlook.com. So, uh, yay?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:31 AM on August 1, 2012


So having the "best" name for an e-mail service has proven its worth for me not only for the got-there-first cool factor, but also for the simple fact that I'm relatively sure that these mistakes generally only work one way.

I had not thought of it like this. I'll be less annoyed by the university enrollment forms, vacation pictures, invoices, and pathology reports I get for other people now, since at least they're probably not getting mine.
posted by mgar at 10:31 AM on August 1, 2012


Interestingly they have an option to 'rename your email address':
Your new emails will go to your inbox, and you can choose to keep your old emails in a separate folder. All of your other Microsoft account info – like contacts, photos and Office docs on SkyDrive – will also switch to your new address within a few days.
posted by Lanark at 10:34 AM on August 1, 2012


After looking through the Wikipedia comparison of various email traits, I may be switching to Yandex. When I signed up, I got a clean interface, no ads, and unlimited storage.
posted by aniola at 10:39 AM on August 1, 2012


Your e-mails are not private.

Given that email by its very nature consists of data transmitted in plain text and replicated on multiple servers on its way from source to destination, this is pretty much a given; nobody should ever put anything in an email that they wouldn't put on a postcard, and this is true whether the last mailbox before the recipient's computer belongs to Google or any other mail provider.
posted by flabdablet at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I may be switching to Yandex.

Protected by "Spamoborona" technology!
posted by Egg Shen at 10:47 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooo.. message from Outlook.com to Gmail address sent 10:06 a.m., finally delivered: 2:10 p.m. Four hours just of that test message straight up chillin'.
posted by General Malaise at 11:13 AM on August 1, 2012


So it really does offer comparable performance to Outlook + Exchange! Cool.
posted by flabdablet at 11:16 AM on August 1, 2012


If I'm going to change my email address from @gmail.com it's going to be to @myowndomain.whatever. I don't want anyone else in control of my 'identity'. Gmail actually supports using your own domain (If you have your own server, you can use POP. Not sure about if you don't have a mail server - I'd rather not).

Email and the web are both old, decentralized internet technologies. These days everything is getting more and more centralized. Everyone is on facebook, but you can't send messages to your facebook friends without using FB's servers.

Anyway, as far as this goes, I don't have any frustration with gmail other then the privacy aspect. And the fact that MS doesn't currently invade your privacy doesn't mean they never will. So I don't really see any reason why anyone would switch. Unless they're just still angry about the UI change.
posted by delmoi at 11:31 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


nobody should ever put anything in an email that they wouldn't put on a postcard

This makes me want to send a bunch of sexually explicit postcards.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:43 AM on August 1, 2012


A few first impressions, sorry if I'm repeating, don't have time to read through the whole thread.

In addition to my new outlook.com account, I managed to get the new interface on my Hotmail account by logging in at outlook.com.

The inbox view is almost identical to Hotmail, although the ads on the side look jarring. I guess I'm used to one big image ad and not several text ads.

The send message page is a revelation though. What a great use of space, very intuitive although a big departure from anything I've seen before. No cruft, no ads, everything on the screen has a reason for being there. I love it.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:45 AM on August 1, 2012


> Given that email by its very nature consists of data transmitted in plain text and replicated on multiple servers on its way from source to destination

Well, not usually. Most SMTP servers out there encrypt their sessions using opportunistic STARTTLS, and intermediate servers ("hops") don't retain messages after successfully delivering them forward.

But if you're going to generalize, or fret about lurkers on compromised mail servers collecting transient mail queue files, you might as well say nothing's as secure as an airgapped computer. That'll get rather lonely.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2012


I sent a test mail from my new outlook.com address to a friend's new outlook.com address. Well, it went straight into his spam folder! Thanks, Microsoft.
posted by vidur at 12:59 PM on August 1, 2012


"Microsoft’s new Outlook webmail service looks great and doesn’t invade your privacy yet.

FTFY.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:13 PM on August 1, 2012


A few months ago when I was trying out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I created a Microsoft HotLive.NET account using a firstname@mydomain.net email address. I used those credentials to log into outlook.com just now and sent off an e-mail message, which arrived at its destination with the mydomain.net address in the "From" header.

The "From" header has always been trivially spoofable, but it's interesting that outlook.com lets people do this.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 2:18 PM on August 1, 2012


If you like very basic Gmail that looks just like when it was born, go here and click on the "basic HTML view" link, sign in, make the view standard - and presto! No need to fool around with script blockers or anything.

Incidentally, I tried sending an email from one my spiffy new outlook addresses to gmail and it worked instantly.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:23 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I scored mylastname.myfirstname@..

...& maybe it's just the fact that it's so novel at the moment, but it seems that @outlook.com is going to look much more professional than @gmail.com
on my business card.
posted by herbplarfegan at 2:41 PM on August 1, 2012


> it seems that @outlook.com is going to look much more professional than @gmail.com

I would think that this would be dependent on the audience. If you're handing out these to, say, IT people then they're not going to be impressed at all. Free webmail is free webmail. But other industries that aren't so web savvy, then maybe so?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:49 PM on August 1, 2012


Still waiting for the test email I sent to my gmail account 5 hours ago.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:50 PM on August 1, 2012


maybe it's just the fact that it's so novel at the moment, but it seems that @outlook.com is going to look much more professional than @gmail.com on my business card.

Yeah, I'd give it 6 months. At that point, it'll either look like @gmail or @hotmail. Time will tell.
posted by inigo2 at 3:35 PM on August 1, 2012


The Lurkers Support Me in Email: "The "From" header has always been trivially spoofable, but it's interesting that outlook.com lets people do this."

You can do this with gmail after verifying another email address. You don't even have to do it through Gmail, IIRC. I send from Gmail with my non-gmail address on a fairly regular basis.
posted by wierdo at 4:00 PM on August 1, 2012


danny the boy writes "I'm not sure why everyone is so proud about snagging an email address that they plan on never using."

If nothing else it prevents others from reading the mail clueless relatives send to, apparantly, yourhandle@whateverTLDcomestomind.com.

stopgap writes "Those addresses are identical. Most mail servers ignore the '.' in an email address, though I forget if it's part of the RFC specifications for email. Try emailing your firstnamelastname@ address and you'll see that it goes through to you anyway."

Outlook.com doesn't do this for sure. I've got both firstnamelastname@ and FirstName.LastName@ accounts on outlook.com
posted by Mitheral at 4:56 PM on August 1, 2012


I needed another disposable email address for notifications I didn't want to read. It's as good an excuse to reserve my standard username as anything.

I accumulate a ridiculous amount of email from services that vaguely interest me, but I also have a smart phone that blinks a little green light when I get a new email in my Gmail inbox, and it won't stop blinking until I check my mail or click "clear messages" on my phone. So I started filtering my messages, keeping the mass mail out of the inbox.

It is wonderful. I still have a ridiculous amount of email, but I can read through the things of minor interest at my leisure, and delete it all in one fell swoop, when I'm bored with it all.

But, like so many other claim-staking geeks and netizens, I tried to claim an @outlook.com address. First name alone, taken. Last name alone, taken. Favorite and second favorite handles, taken. Silly ones I wouldn't mind using, taken. I already have gmail for my personal mail with my personal email address, so I opened up a thesaurus and looked at "gloomy."

In case anyone does the same, "caliginous" is already taken. Misty, gloomy, dark, caliginous outlook, get it? Sure, it's a bit of a kludge, but the term is archaic, and I don't think I'll ever really use the address, except for the spammiest of the spammy. Except I already have a hotmail account, which surprisingly still works. Better yet, because I let it go dormant, when I do open it once a year or so, there are no messages to read!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 PM on August 1, 2012


... but it seems that @outlook.com is going to look much more professional than @gmail.com
on my business card.


Buying your own domain name is extremely cheap. Sending the resulting mail to Google is free. If you make more than about $30 of profit a year with your work it is baffling why you would use a free e-mail domain on your business cards.
posted by odinsdream at 6:31 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


> I still use my 17 year old Hotmail account several times a week

Mr. Corpse still has his rocketmail address, which he plans on leaving to our son (his namesake).
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:06 AM on August 3, 2012


Oooh... since I last looked at Yahoo Mail they upgraded to something that doesn't look like crap.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on August 4, 2012


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