Microsoft says, "Attachments Suck" in new infographic

Microsoft wants more people to use its Skydrive cloud-based storage service for its documents. In fact, it would like to have people use Skydrive to transfer documents rather than simply email a file attachment. In a new infographic titled "Attachments Suck", shown below, Microsoft tries to show that sending such a file attachment via email is in fact an inefficient process.

The infographic claims (via two Microsoft commissioned studies) that 73 percent of people who send email attachment get some kind of bounce back issue such as the file itself being to big to send out. Even if a email is successfully sent out, a large number of people who get the email delete it. Also, 71 percent of people who send file attachments realize they need to update that same file and then send it again.

Even if a email attachment is successfully sent and read, 62 percent of people say they lose the files that have been sent to them as attachments.

Microsoft tries to make the case that storing a file via Skydrive is much more efficient, claiming that a file or presentation can never be lost, can be accessed by anyone that needs to see the file and can be group edited without the need for sending multiple emails.

Image via Microsoft

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Email attachments are about sending files to a specific person.
Skydrive is about online backup & sharing files for the world to download.

2 completely different things.

I agree attachments suck. However, Skydrive is unusable for me for several reasons. The first is that it is blocked in China. My partner is in Shanghai and we regularly exchange files/documents. Secondly, the 100MB file size limit. Really? Thirdly, limited support on devices. I have Android, he has Nokia. So, we use Google Docs. It has a 2GB file size limit and isn't blocked in China, and it even has nifty capabilities like OCR/PDF and AVI tools.

Can't we just expand this to "email sucks"? Most of the clients suck, the protocol sucks, quoting stuff sucks, rendering sucks...just a terrible system. It really should've stayed on a napkin and had something better properly engineered in the first place.

This is a pet hate of mine. At work we often get sent files on CD(!) because they were too large to email. People are really retarded.

My father was complaining that an e-mail wouldn't send because the file size was too large. It was a zip file of pictures. He complained that he shouldn't have to do anything except attach it and send and it should work (regardless of service provider, which I told him has varying limits on attachment sizes).

Eventually I got him to upload to a photo hosting site, like imgur, and send the person a link to the album. Boy I sure hope the person on the other end knows how to click a link and browse through an album.

I'm currently trying to teach him how easy it is to use a service like DropBox.

I wish people would get with the times. Unfortunately it's too complicated for most parents/grandparents to understand anything beyond e-mail.


As for me: I only send attachments if I need to transfer completed documents to companies that require it. Other than that, cloud (or personal website) storage all the way!

I use a Mac emailing program called 'Sparrow'. You have the option of attaching files via the traditional method, or via dropbox built-in. It's brilliantly simple -drag the file you want attached and it automagically appears as an email link and uploads it to your dropbox folder.

Now MS, please do something like this for your next version of mail/outlook.

Yeah I never send attachments anymore, used to use a Mediafire but then found out about Dropbox which is a killer application, so simple and easy to use.

you know what really suck, microsoft?

RE: FW: re: fwd: RE: fwd: FW: Re: .... so on and so forth. in the subject title. now THAT forcking suck. and i have not even mentioned people using other languages in your work group.

Albert said,
you know what really suck, microsoft?

RE: FW: re: fwd: RE: fwd: FW: Re: .... so on and so forth. in the subject title. now THAT forcking suck. and i have not even mentioned people using other languages in your work group.

LOL. That and

To: Albert
From: UndergroundWire
Subject:

Hey check this out. Some BS Link.

I don't know why people can't put a subject in emails. It drives me crazy.

UndergroundWire said,

LOL. That and

To: Albert
From: UndergroundWire
Subject:

Hey check this out. Some BS Link.

I don't know why people can't put a subject in emails. It drives me crazy.

And breaks conversation view, I HATE IT (no may caps lock isnt broken). Just add a god dam subject!!! ahhhh

I'm an attachment fan.

You could also use IM file transfers... Use that quite often, too.

This info graphic is overdramatized in my real world scenario.

GS:mac

I totally agree, where I work I receive roughly 3 attachments a DAY. Some new, some old resends, some "bulk" sends to all members of the team, so on an so forth. I have mentioned on MORE then one occasion that it would make more sense for them to just make all these available on their websight, but "old" people like doing things the "old" way.

Hell, they dont even place their remote desktop client up on thier server, they PHYSICALLY MAIL IT to you... I can only imagine how much money they waste on thumb drives mailing it out...

i love how i have 25gb with skydrive for free.
I dont mind the 50mb per file limit. if im not mistaken.
What i mind is that you cant upload folders to skydrive. You can only upload files.

This is a big no. If skydrive can work pretty much like DropBox this will be gold! ill move all my important data in the cloud.

Zain Adeel said,
i love how i have 25gb with skydrive for free.
I dont mind the 50mb per file limit. if im not mistaken.
What i mind is that you cant upload folders to skydrive. You can only upload files.

This is a big no. If skydrive can work pretty much like DropBox this will be gold! ill move all my important data in the cloud.

I think it's 100MB/file now. Though that's really arbitrary .

Panda X said,
I think it's 100MB/file now. Though that's really arbitrary .

The limit is configurable on an account basis.
I have an account that I use for work that has no limit on file sizes.

"Microsoft wants more people to use its Skydrive cloud-based storage service for its documents."

Maybe more people would use it if it were supported more on devices are within Windows. People use similar services like DropBox because its wide range of supporting applications across many devices.

Panda X said,
"Microsoft wants more people to use its Skydrive cloud-based storage service for its documents."

Maybe more people would use it if it were supported more on devices are within Windows. People use similar services like DropBox because its wide range of supporting applications across many devices.

This.

SkyDrive has a huge storage space for free. DropBox gives you very little storage for free. Yet DropBox has a the better name. It's nice that I can access my files from an iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, etc. While SkyDrive is limited to Windows Phone and iOS. It definitely needs to be a cross platform app.

UndergroundWire said,

....

Android OneNote supports skydrive.
Skydrive also has HTML access via a browser.
I'm not sure if your assertion has any merit.

dotf said,

Android OneNote supports skydrive.
Skydrive also has HTML access via a browser.
I'm not sure if your assertion has any merit.

Does this have any merit then? If it is through the browser how can I automatically backup to the cloud? SkyDrive lacks many things.

1) You can't upgrade the capacity
2) No desktop app to automatically backup to the cloud
3) Fail on cross platorm (i.e. no support for Android)
4) Inability to upload folders

And Microsoft fanboys wonder why Drobox has a better name for such little free capacity.

This is the sort of problem Google Wave tried solving. Traditional email just isn't up to the mark anymore.

DomZ said,
This is the sort of problem Google Wave tried solving. Traditional email just isn't up to the mark anymore.

Yeah I agree but email is pretty much dead. In general only businesses use Email as a daily activity. Today most people just get you on Facebook, Text message. They just send links.

Google Wave was an interesting concept but the fact still remained, email is dead and companies mostly use their enterprise email. Google Wave never had a chance.

UndergroundWire said,

Yeah I agree but email is pretty much dead. In general only businesses use Email as a daily activity. Today most people just get you on Facebook, Text message. They just send links.

Google Wave was an interesting concept but the fact still remained, email is dead and companies mostly use their enterprise email. Google Wave never had a chance.

The numbers don't tend to back your position. There are about 2.3B people using the Internet today... that's about 33% of the people in the world (mind you, I'm rounding numbers here). About 1.9B of them have e-mail accounts, sending about 29.4B messages a day (that's about 10% of the number of messages sent overall... the other 90% being spam/malware generated).

Now looking at Facebook we see that they have approximately 800M accounts worldwide. Even if every single one of those users exhibited the behavior you've described, you wouldn't have the majority of people, people with Internet access, people with e-mail accounts, or in all likelihood the number of communications on Facebook vs. the number of e-mails sent daily.

I don't dispute that communications may be trending the way you've described... but the numbers show that they're nowhere near that tipping point yet.

Monkeys4me said,

The numbers don't tend to back your position. There are about 2.3B people using the Internet today... that's about 33% of the people in the world (mind you, I'm rounding numbers here). About 1.9B of them have e-mail accounts, sending about 29.4B messages a day (that's about 10% of the number of messages sent overall... the other 90% being spam/malware generated).

Now looking at Facebook we see that they have approximately 800M accounts worldwide. Even if every single one of those users exhibited the behavior you've described, you wouldn't have the majority of people, people with Internet access, people with e-mail accounts, or in all likelihood the number of communications on Facebook vs. the number of e-mails sent daily.

I don't dispute that communications may be trending the way you've described... but the numbers show that they're nowhere near that tipping point yet.


You forgot to include cellphones in the analysis you made. I said Facebook or Text message. In general most people I encounter prefer these two forms of communication.

You make a great point about facebook. I am not disputing your analysis. I think it was written very well. But the problem is that the "western world" leads technology. If you can isolate the population to the U.S, Canada, Europe and parts of South America, your numbers percentage would change.

Memnochxx said,
Who on earth is sending so many attachments?
i have no idea. i'm not in business, but as a student i can say i send about 1 per week at the most

I tend to just upload my files to my Web Host and just give people a link, but yes, I agree with this study. So hopefully people would stop using attachments for big files.

Attachments are perfect. You open the email and its there waiting for you to open, on your local machine, from your fast local email server.

Cloud storage sucks, can be slow to download, and is not secure. The US (or whatever country) has access to all your data

dvb2000 said,
Attachments are perfect. You open the email and its there waiting for you to open, on your local machine, from your fast local email server.

Cloud storage sucks, can be slow to download, and is not secure. The US (or whatever country) has access to all your data

I'm sure the US has fun reading your encrypted data. Also email attachments suck and have always sucked. How do you attack large files? You don't. New version? Send another email and hope they don't see the old one. Need group collaboration? You're screwed. Did you even read the article?

Celestial Being said,
I tend to just upload my files to my Web Host and just give people a link, but yes, I agree with this study. So hopefully people would stop using attachments for big files.

I uploaded an Excel file to the cloud (68MB). I sent the link to an older guy around 60. He said if I can send it as an attachment. He hates logging into another site just to retrieve a file.

People like him will never understand the cloud concept.


Depending on permissions defined by you, there is no requirements to login into Live ID. It's enough to know the link to get an access...

UndergroundWire said,

I uploaded an Excel file to the cloud (68MB). I sent the link to an older guy around 60. He said if I can send it as an attachment. He hates logging into another site just to retrieve a file.

People like him will never understand the cloud concept.


Why did you make it so he had to log in? Just upload the file to SkyDrive or Dropbox. They don't require logging in to see the file.

RealFduch said,

Why did you make it so he had to log in? Just upload the file to SkyDrive or Dropbox. They don't require logging in to see the file.

SECURITY.

This was work related. My company has a secure file transfer site. When you are out on the real world one day you'll have to adhere to company security policies too.