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Microsoft announces a new email platform

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Post by curiousgeorge » Sun, 05 Aug 2012 10:15 am

zzm9980 wrote:
curiousgeorge wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
Did you copy and paste that, or did you actually type that all out with a straight face?

Everything bullet point you mention has vastly superior alternatives, is available to everyone with any email address anyway, or is a string of Dilbert-esque marketing terms strung together that have absolutely no meaning to anyone in the real world. ("aggregator of Social Media", " passport to blogging services"?? Really?) And Zune? Seriously?
I notice you quickly edited your easily refutable points in red there ;)
I did, but mostly because I got halfway through and gave up :P I shouldn't have posted it in the first place, I do that a lot though

I disagree on the "vastly superior" alternatives. The cohesion in the Microsoft Account is far beyond what any other provider is doing.

I load Win8 on my tablet, login with my Microsoft Account (MA) and in seconds all my emails, calendar, contacts, docs, pictures, videos etc are there on my tablet. I don't need to install anything else, no more apps, no other accounts, nothing. It just works.

Then I open the box on a new Windows Phone, log in with my MA and guess what? Yup, everything I have on my PC and tablet *is already right there on my phone*.

Including my Facebook account, my Twitter account, my Skype account my LinkedIn account. I don't *need* any other apps to use those services, I can access them right from the contacts/messaging/etc features on the PC/tablet/phone. Nobody else does this on this kind of integrated scale.

Except the Skype and LinkedIn, you get the same experience if you use a Mac, iCloud, and iOS devices. Or, If you use all of the Google stuff, your OS doesn't even matter. And honestly I never saw Skype or LinkedIn as big social media players, so my interest in the ability to interact with them as such is very minimal. I use skype to make calls to specific other people who use Skype, and LinkedIn to keep a rough web of connections to former coworkers and industry contacts. I don't socialize on it :/

Seriously, you haven't looked at the integration on MS products have you? Like I said, I have run iPads, iPhones and I still use an Android tablet. I *do* run all three, and I am telling you, the integration on iOS and Google devices is light years behind what MS is doing now. The integration on iOS/Android is so limited and piecemeal. I know it hurts to have your prejudices challenged, but you know, sometimes, the world changes.

And yeah, I'm a geek, I ran an iPad, iPhone and still have and Android (Jellybean) tablet so I do keep on top of everybody's offerings.

zzm9980 wrote: terms strung together that have absolutely no meaning to anyone in the real world. ("aggregator of Social Media", " passport to blogging services"?? Really?) And Zune? Seriously?
Ah, but the utility is very impressive when you see it in action - just that most people (like you) dismiss it as Microsoft before they see the utility.

I wrote that list myself, so let me expand.

"aggregator of social media" - so on my PC/tablet/phone (it works the same on all three) I go to contact, select "bob" and within his contact I see his stream. That includes all his facebook, linkedIn, twitter and Live postings from ALL of those services. While you with Android/Apple will have to open, what, FOUR APPS to get all that info. Thats like having to exit and enter via the front door every time you want to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. Why not take the shortcut?

Similarly, on my own "Me" page, I can post to all of those site simultaneously. I don't need an app to do it. Its just there, right in the features of the OS. (Now you're obliged to argue that you *like* to have four apps running and switching between then to achieve the same result, copying and pasting your pics/comments/logins to all your networks, right?)

The problem is though those services (especially Twitter and Facebook) arbitrarily limit what you can do/see from third party clients. Sure you get all of the services into one spot, but you're limited in your ability to function on all of them.

The limits aren't arbitrary, they're down to the available APIs for those given services. For the vast majority of common tasks, the functionality is built right there into the OS. And if you need to go fiddle in the depth of some random menu settings, well, there is still an app for that ;)

"passport to blogging services" see the following from Wiki: Windows Live Writer, developed by Microsoft, is a desktop blog-publishing application that is part of the Windows Live range of products. It features WYSIWYG authoring, photo-publishing and map-publishing functionality, and is currently compatible with Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint blogs, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress, Telligent Community,, JournalHome, the MetaWeblog API, the Movable Type API, Blogengine, Squarespace, and all blogs that support RSD (Really Simple Discoverability).

I'll admit I didn't know they had compatibility with so many different products. I assumed it was some silly 'MS Live Blogs' only service. I'm not a blogger, but honestly how many bloggers need unified access to so many different platforms? I would assume a blogger picks one and uses it, and then picks the best client for that platform.

See, this is the difference with MS...on the main, they are agnostic to your preferred services and aim to tie in across a variety of your preferences. Not so with Google and Apple who tend to only support their own services efficiently and make hard to integrate with another company's offerings. Case in point - add a gmail account to a Windows PHone: enter your address and password and job done. Try adding a hotmail (or address to an Android device...and be prepared to go and search for the mobile server address for hotmail. Not because Android devices are any less capable, or hotmail's interface is any less giving of its details, but because it is *engineered* to be difficult in the hope you abandon the MS services.

Tell me the superior alternatives that are so agnostic?

Zune Renamed Xbox Music& Video to coincide with Win8 launch. Yep, seriously. Its insanely more developed than iTunes. Just because people don't use it, doesn't mean its not a great product. Let me give aan example:
I pay $100 per year for *unlimited music downloads* on the zune service. I hear a song on the radio I like and pick up my phone, press Bing > Audio and seconds later the phone takes me to the Zune Marketplace and I click to download the album. Wow, UNLIMITED ALBUMS FOR FREE IN THREE CLICKS! Yeah, not seeing that on iTunes, they've been talking about it for years but still no dice. And sure, there are other services for unlimited music, but none that integrate with your OS like Zune - your downloaded music is then available on your PC, tablet and phone without any further action.

Is this music DRM free though? Can I play it on any device, with any app? What happens to it if I don't pay that $100 a year?

No of course not, not for $100. But when its available on any of your devices, its kind of a moot point.

I work in entertainment and deal with a variety of bands every week, and for each band I can download a couple of their albums to familiarise myself. Of course, this isn't worth it if you dont buy >$100 of music a year, but for aficionados, its the best deal there is.

And to your SmartGlass comment about vaporware you deleted - you can educate yourself at ... -hands-on/

Yes, I googled it myself which is why I removed the comment. Doesn't seem that huge to me.

That's probably due to your lifestyle preferences. As the biggest ever gaming console of all time, it *does* matter to a lot of people, and was the one thing that really got the press's combined panties in a twist. Google and Apple can't hope to compete in this arena in the next few years, they simply don't have any stake in the console gaming market.

And no copy and paste from me, I wrote it all with a very straight face. Just because *you* don't want an email address doesn't mean that Microsoft aren't offering a suite of incredibly powerful, integrated tools that the likes of Apple and Google haven't encompassed. Sure, they have similar piecemeal offerings, but neither of them cover the breadth of scope that MS does.

Your lack of familiarity doesn't make everything else superior.
Sorry for the inline comments above. I hate reading them myself, they're a bitch to reply to.

While I'll yield a point or two to you as I have above, it's not drastically better than any alternative unless you're heavily invested into a Microsoft-only ecosystem.
Actually, that's why I like it. Because apart from the Zune music, your investment does not limit what you want to do in the future. Not in the way that, for instance, iTunes has you by the short and curlies. I am grateful I got out of that ecosystem before it's vice-like grip crippled me forever.

As for being drastically better...I think you should really go look at what MS is doing these days. They've upset both Google and Apple with their offerings over the last 18 months to the extent that the other big two are scrambling to catch up in terms of features and offering.

And this argument started by people saying they don't see the reason to switch from what they already have, which is something you *can't* do with the MS lifestyle/workflow you describe: use your own domain.

Actually, it started with people asking "What is it that good about having an e-mail address in the domain owned by Microsoft?" I just pointed out the good, I was never here to convince people to switch.

As for using your own domain...well yeah, you guessed it, you *can* with Microsoft: ... e-hotmail/

Google lets you. Apple used to let you with MobileMe, and may still with iCloud. I don't know. But the point is, there are still no compelling reasons to switch or even choose the MS option for anyone who isn't 100% on MS for everything in their lives, or starting completely from scratch. And really, in this world of Androids and iPhone/pads everywhere, who *is* in either situation?
I disagree. I think a lot of people have (not saying use) a hotmail and a gmail account. And even Apple users are likely to have one or the other too, somewhere in their dark past. And I think the penetration of xbox services and cloud sharing in Office 2013 will mean that people continue to tap into their Microsoft Accounts in the future and penetration will grow.

It might surprise you to think that 350million users still make hotmail the world leader in webmail internet traffic ( ... sfeed=true)

As a side note, the tech press has of course been down on MS and the laughing stock that is hotmail. But you know, when the movers and shakers in the tech press change their minds, you know something is afoot: ... fantastic/

I don't think this is an either/or situation, and I'm not going to champion one over the other like some crusade. Google and Apple have really shaken MS's tree, but the sleeping giant has woken and caught them on the hop. Let's hope that will propel Apple and Google to develop even *better* services - competition and choice makes everyone a winner.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sun, 05 Aug 2012 3:15 pm

Since everything is pretty much opinons at this point, and we're just going to have to disagree, I'll only address this point:
Not in the way that, for instance, iTunes has you by the short and curlies. I am grateful I got out of that ecosystem before it's vice-like grip crippled me forever.
iTunes music has been DRM free for years. You can even use iTunes match with your own music (pirated, ripped, anything), and it will sync it to their cloud, and then give you back one of their highquality versions if you wish to re-download, in 256bit AAC. Yes, even 128bit mp3s from some crappy torrent site, or ripped out of youtube videos. It's pretty much the most open solution as far as I can tell. The video has DRM, sure, but so does every video service right now.

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 07 Aug 2012 8:14 am

curiousgeorge wrote: I chuckled reading that. Really, how many average Joe's need to utilise that list of services? Come on, you're into professional level domain hosting there, which is not comparable to a consumer account.
Probably not many but we were talking about flexibility and freedom of choice. Already webhosting with personalized domain names could have made you to say it's for professionals. As a matter of fact what I listed is not a professional level domain hosting. This is included in standard packages for individuals. Less frequent is to have a shell account and you practically always have to explain why.

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