Microsoft: Outlook.com users are "customers, not inventory"

Microsoft's newly launched Outlook.com email service has already generated a lot of interest from Internet users. The company has said that over 1 million people signed on to the service just six hours after it launched in beta form on Tuesday. One thing that makes Outlook.com different than Google's popular Gmail service is that Microsoft has promised, "Outlook is private—you’re in control of your data, and your personal conversations aren’t used for ads."

This a big contrast to Google's approach who actually scans the emails that a person gets in his Gmail box and then generates ads based on those emails. So how will Microsoft make money from all those new Outlook.com users? Wired.com said it tried and failed to get any specifics from Microsoft on that topic but Microsoft could be using this as a loss-leader platform.

However, it looks like Microsoft will be taking a much more restrained approach. Indeed, an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson slammed Google and Gmail to the ground, saying, "We see our users as customers, not inventory."

This isn't the first time Microsoft has had issues with Google and Gmail. A year ago, Microsoft launched its very funny Gmail Man parody video that showed how Gmail uses keywords to generate ads targets at specific users.

Source: Wired.com

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Well it's good we don't see ads there

but generating ads based on what you're interested in is actually a good idea. It helps us in finding what we need but it's a shame that most of what are advertised are bad products, scams, or overpriced stuff.

Still liking outlook.com.
If you don't like it, don't use it. Simple.
Never really liked Google, but I have to use them for some things for my Android phone. I like Android as it's much easier to get on with than the locked down Apple or the weirdly designed WP.

What an awkward, bland interface ! I can't believe we've been in design for so many years… to come to this in 2012.

PyX said,
What an awkward, bland interface ! I can't believe we've been in design for so many years… to come to this in 2012.

Can you provide us a sample of what a 2012 design should be? I'm just interested to know what the "blah, it looks old" or "it's not modern" people are expecting from a 2012 design. Providing a mockup is not necessary but will definitely help (and it doesn't have to be created by you), I just want the design concept.

grayscale said,

Can you provide us a sample of what a 2012 design should be? I'm just interested to know what the "blah, it looks old" or "it's not modern" people are expecting from a 2012 design. Providing a mockup is not necessary but will definitely help (and it doesn't have to be created by you), I just want the design concept.

http://toastytech.com/guis/bobhome1p.png

PyX said,
What an awkward, bland interface ! I can't believe we've been in design for so many years… to come to this in 2012.

I think it's clean and functional; which is exactly what I want from a '2012 design'. I would also like to see what you think is a '2012 design', please enlighten us all.

PyX said,
What an awkward, bland interface ! I can't believe we've been in design for so many years… to come to this in 2012.

Personally,
I think it's a sweet interface. Plain, simple, smooth and pretty darn fast too. I really get a kick out of people who's only complaint is appearance. To me, that just means you don't really have a complaint! I mean, how long do you simply set there and stare at the looks of the thing? If you're focused on what you're supposed to be looking at, you don't even see what the outside edges of the thing look like, and that's the only thing that even has an appearance!

Adverts in Gmail are used to fund the service, just like they are for Facebook. Microsoft couldn't afford to maintain Outlook as an independent business without adverts - it is instead choosing to subsidise it through other profitable services.

By that same logic, should condom companies be criticised for selling their products when many clinics and charities provide them for free?

theyarecomingforyou said,
Adverts in Gmail are used to fund the service, just like they are for Facebook. Microsoft couldn't afford to maintain Outlook as an independent business without adverts - it is instead choosing to subsidise it through other profitable services.

By that same logic, should condom companies be criticised for selling their products when many clinics and charities provide them for free?


Still, you can't deny the comfort of privacy.

aviator189 said,
Still, you can't deny the comfort of privacy.

Of course. It's valid to criticise the invasiveness of such ads but this is nothing more than a PR move by Microsoft to increase its user base.

Microsoft just cannot seem to figure out the direction they want to go. MSN, then Live, now Outlook. Mesh then Skydrive. I mean, what website to I go to to access everything? Do I go to live.com. Do I go to outlook.com. Do I go to MSN.com. Do I go to Microsoft.com.

Just a mess.

Oh, and there web based Outlook isn't that great. You have to keep waiting for the stupid skyscraper ad to load on the right before you do anything. Now that's just brilliant service there. Also, the bold font on there looks funny. Just needs some more polishing and it could be real good.

They just need to start integrating things a little better and work on some small details.

boydp182 said,
Microsoft just cannot seem to figure out the direction they want to go. MSN, then Live, now Outlook. Mesh then Skydrive. I mean, what website to I go to to access everything? Do I go to live.com. Do I go to outlook.com. Do I go to MSN.com. Do I go to Microsoft.com.

live.com has links to pretty much everything else so if you really want to use the front door just go through there. I never use that tho, I generally always go directly to the service portal - doesn't really make sense to go to a front page and then to your actual destination.
I do agree with you on the integration topic - the difference between skydrive/other live portals and outlook is impressive. I think MS will get to the point where all their service share the same UI ground rules, hopefully soon.

boydp182 said,
Microsoft just cannot seem to figure out the direction they want to go. MSN, then Live, now Outlook. Mesh then Skydrive. I mean, what website to I go to to access everything? Do I go to live.com. Do I go to outlook.com. Do I go to MSN.com. Do I go to Microsoft.com.

Just a mess.

Oh, and there web based Outlook isn't that great. You have to keep waiting for the stupid skyscraper ad to load on the right before you do anything. Now that's just brilliant service there. Also, the bold font on there looks funny. Just needs some more polishing and it could be real good.

They just need to start integrating things a little better and work on some small details.

Two things, if you go to outlook.com there's a link to access your skydrive, live account and people page so just go there.

Also, what skyscraper thing? do you mean at outlook.com as when I head there I see no skyscraper thing to load up, in actual fact, I get no ads

Munroe said,
Also, what skyscraper thing? do you mean at outlook.com as when I head there I see no skyscraper thing to load up, in actual fact, I get no ads

His computer is probably infected with some kind of skyscraper malware.

-=MagMan=- said,
Still no IMAP / Exchange support for desktop mail software, not interested...

That's not something you get overnight. At best, you have to wait for their next release cycle

-=MagMan=- said,
Still no IMAP / Exchange support for desktop mail software, not interested...

They support active sync on WP7, the Win8 metro mail client and Outlook 2013. Imap is something I haven't used in years.

-=MagMan=- said,
Still no IMAP / Exchange support for desktop mail software, not interested...

outlook is still in early preview stages. features will be rolled out accordingly.

I'm not sure how Microsoft will integrate Google Talk into their Messaging service if they keep saying things like this. XD

Meph said,
I'm not sure how Microsoft will integrate Google Talk into their Messaging service if they keep saying things like this. XD
You will use Skype instead of GTalk

Meph said,
I'm not sure how Microsoft will integrate Google Talk into their Messaging service if they keep saying things like this. XD

ms owns skype, so why would they need gtalk?

Anthonyd said,
You will use Skype instead of GTalk

I will use Skype, yes. But the problem is that some friends of mine don't, and I'm sure many others are in the same situation.

Meph said,

I will use Skype, yes. But the problem is that some friends of mine don't, and I'm sure many others are in the same situation.

dont worry, facebook will use skype too. And I hope to god the superior MSN client will also get Skype added to it! I personally loathe Skype so much. Horrible, ugly, resource eating randomly lagging (sometimes really takes ages to load and it turns white for minutes before it does anything) pile of dung they call a client.
No similar issues with MSN, MSN is also easier to customize and imho more options to get a very clean nice contact list, which is impossible on skype

mdtaUK said,
I would have said 'Clients' or 'Users' - 'Customers' implies we have to pay for something.
You are, by seeing and hopefully clicking on ads.

andrewbares said,
Why doesn't MS simply add this to Windows Live mail??? Outlook.com apparently has problems with WP so I can't try it.

There's no issue with WP (Windows Phone). The issue is that Windows Phone requires you to reset your phone if you change your live id which migrating to the outlook.com version does.

nesl247 said,

There's no issue with WP (Windows Phone). The issue is that Windows Phone requires you to reset your phone if you change your live id which migrating to the outlook.com version does.

Sort of. The first half of what you said is correct, but you are not required to migrate your Live ID when you start using Outlook. The issue arose when people were changing their account name, so that their login credentials changed from any of the existing domains (@live.com, @hotmail.com, etc) to outlook.com

So, you can use the new service with an older account, not migrate your credentials, even get an @outlook.com address (as an alias), just don't change your log on credentials (username, password is fine to change)

andrewbares said,
Why doesn't MS simply add this to Windows Live mail??? Outlook.com apparently has problems with WP so I can't try it.

Just log into Outlook.com using your current Hotmail or Live username. It will let you use Outlook.com and your WP will not notice a change.

However if you rename your user account from bob@hotmail.com to bob@outlook.com then your phone will need to be setup again.

Read more here: http://admin.wpcentral.com/gui...ing-your-hotmail-outlookcom

Hint: If you want to be bob@outlook.com instead of bob@hotmail.com -- Alias is your friend.

Neobond said,
lol @ ad for just transferring all my mail to the gmail-man

I thought this. So I am now looking to transfer it back.

Decided any important mail I would download to a PDF and clean out everything.

Add a proper authenticator option as Gmail does for your customers. A bugged one that would never sms certain locations is disgraceful for one of the oldest and most used e-mail services out there.

Scar said,
Add a proper authenticator option as Gmail does for your customers. A bugged one that would never sms certain locations is disgraceful for one of the oldest and most used e-mail services out there.
There single use code works fine for me. I'm still surprised how many people find themselves hacked. I've had the same accounts for over 10 years and never once had a problem.

Same here, 12 years and I have never had a problem with hacking (as far as I know).

Although I have to say that I have hacked 3 accounts. The first 2 times I locked them out (as I had to change the password to get in) so they realized something wrong was going on pretty quickly; but the 3rd time I managed to get access without locking the person out... I hope this is not happening to me =S

MrHumpty said,
There single use code works fine for me. I'm still surprised how many people find themselves hacked. I've had the same accounts for over 10 years and never once had a problem.

With a very common name for an e-mail address, being a user since I was 11(In 1996), I and MANY others were victims of the very recent security flaw found in Hotmail which was hotfixed shortly after. Not only was I victim of theft, but I also was a victim of Hotmail's TERRIBLE help desk(more a public forum than a help desk). Personal information and pictures stored for 16 years were pretty much exposed to the hijacker as I had to battle resetting my password again(using my phone outdoors/work mostly). That persisted for four days till the Hotmail team froze my account for one month before bringing it back to life again. I admit this was the first and only time it happened to me but still I would expect their security to meet the level of their competition or be better. This security flaw existed since 2006 and only recently went public and got fixed. If you don't know anything about the security flaw, these Neowin link(s) should remind you.

http://www.neowin.net/news/mic...mail-password-reset-exploit

http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...w-security-flaw-in-hotmail/

http://server4.neowin.net/news...mail-password-reset-exploit