Outlook.com launches an insider program for the Neowin community

Neowin and the Outlook.com team have been working together over the past year or so to help our community stay abreast of the service and to answer all of your questions about Microsoft's latest foray into the email arena. Since the launch back in July of 2012, the Outlook.com platform has been growing at an incredible rate and to build on that momentum, the Outlook.com team is launching an insiders program with the Neowin community.

What is the insider program? Well first off, make sure to check out this thread in our forum by Galileo, who works on the Outlook.com platform, that has all the details about the program. Posted below is an excerpt from the thread about how you can get involved:

Howdy folks, this is Galileo from the Outlook.com team. We’re getting close to completing the Hotmail to Outlook.com upgrade process. To coincide with this important milestone, and other news you'll hear about very soon, we’re launching our Outlook.com Insiders program exclusively with the Neowin community.

The Outlook.com Insiders program is our first stab at bringing the community closer to our team. This program is made for all the Outlook.com fans out there that like to share their enthusiasm for the product. Through the program you’ll hear about our newest developments directly from our team, as well as learn more about the product itself. Head over to our program description to read more and apply.

The insider program is a great way for you to stay connected to the Outlook.com team and to become a beacon of information about the platform. The Outlook.com is now accepting applications for the program but make sure you meet all of the requirements before you apply.

Trust us, this is a great opportunity to learn more about Outlook.com and there are many items in the pipeline that you will to participate in, you don't want to miss this unique opportunity. 

Join: Outlook.com Insiders program

Read: Outlook.com Insiders Information

 

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42 Comments

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richstad said,
Note that this is for U.S. citizens only.

Typical bleeding Microsoft. The world is the WORLD. It is not just the 50 states of the U S of A. Talk about half a job.

I might be missing something here but from what I have read it looks like they want to use you as free advertisement and media outreach in return they will put you on a mailing list?

Looks like they are still working on it. Recently all my calender notification emails turned metro with the color of my Windows Phone screen.

Mine has too but it's just taking way too long. They must either not have it as a priority or they're running into a lot of issues. I'm not the biggest fan of the Live version. The Outlook version isn't all that much better but is visually a lot more appealing.

US only. Also, I think this may be an April Fools, even if it is late, due to the fact that the rewards for joining are pretty sh*t.

Outlook made me finally retire my 10 year old Hotmail account.

Speed wise, sure, it's an upgrade over the last design.

Aesthetically? It's a pile of trash compared to it.

All accounts now forwarded to my Stylished Gmail account; bye Hotmail, I will miss you.

If it's not an Aprils Fools joke then why out of all the days of the year did you pick April Fools day to announce it? A day when no story is taken seriously.

I'm confused. To me this has the feel of an April 1st thing since to me it just doesn't gel that a Microsoft product team would align so closely with a third party site like Neowin.

At the same time I seem to be the only one commenting this. It also doesn't seem particularly funny and forms, whilst on SkyDrive, are very professionally and thoroughly done for something meant to be a fake!!

So I guess this is real?

It's an unfortunate problem of the date. I question any story I read more than usual. Hopefully nobody has tried to tell me anything too important.

singularity87 said,
It's an unfortunate problem of the date. I question any story I read more than usual. Hopefully nobody has tried to tell me anything too important.

This is not an April fools' joke.

The Hotmail people did Q&A stuff with Neowin in the past, so I don't see why they wouldn't continue with Outlook.

"Currently, the Outlook.com Insiders program is only available in the United States."

Well that's pretty lame.

Would love to be a fan of outlook.com, but I can't recommend a mail client in 2013 where you can't add pictures to your contacts. Absolute garbage. See all those nice pictures in the screenshot above? Can't add those unless you import contacts from facebook or another source.

ModernMech said,
Would love to be a fan of outlook.com, but I can't recommend a mail client in 2013 where you can't add pictures to your contacts. Absolute garbage. See all those nice pictures in the screenshot above? Can't add those unless you import contacts from facebook or another source.
So pictures are everything?

Yeah, it's a pretty basic feature and incredibly frustrating. You can add pictures on Windows Phone, and they don't sync to your actual account. You cannot add pictures in the people hub, or online, and yet every screenshot of Outlook.com shows an email thread with contact pictures.

For instance: http://www.wired.com/images_bl...12-07-27-at-11.49.01-AM.png

That's not what mine looks like. My contact list is a bunch of gray people silhouettes.

The pictures are from other people who have a Microsoft account. When somebody sends you mail, and that person has a Microsoft account, their picture will show up in your Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, or Windows Phone. Get the people sending you mail to send from Outlook.com, and their picture will show up.

SoylentG said,
The pictures are from other people who have a Microsoft account. When somebody sends you mail, and that person has a Microsoft account, their picture will show up in your Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, or Windows Phone. Get the people sending you mail to send from Outlook.com, and their picture will show up.

Not gonna help, for several reasons. First, I have contacts with multiple account such as skype, facebook, hotmail, etc. On windows Phone I can choose which picture displays. This is helpful for my friends which have ridiculous facebook picture which aren't even of themselves sometimes. One of my friends has a picture of George Costanza as his facebook. On my phone it looks like he is calling because I can set that. On outlook.com it looks like George Costanza is emailing me, because I cannot choose the picutre.

Secondly, as exemplified by the last week, about 80% of my facebook contacts made their profile picture a red equal sign. Great for spreading a message, annoying for me because everyone in my contacts list had the same icon. So my address book literally consisted of 90% red equal signs and gray silhouettes. All because Microsoft can't implement the most basic of basic features across their products.

Windows Phone has it right. Now make that work across all services and sync between them. This feels like amateur hour instead of a finely polished product. Oh, and I haven't even gotten into the fact that Calendar still is stuck in the hotmail theme, and even includes links back to "hotmail" (which takes you back to your outlook inbox) and messenger (which is being phased out). Again, the difference between a polished product and something that feels more or less beta, as in not ready for prime time, as in I'm not going to recommend it to anyone until it's polished enough for me to do so.

SoylentG said,

In other words, it is your time of the month, need something to complain about, and things like not being able to change the picture while the competitors are fundamentally broken in more important ways is what has you all emotional today.

In other words you can't handle certifiable deficiencies with a service you like so you resort to sexist remarks and ad hominem attacks. Thanks.

When I recommend a product or service to friends, family, and peers, it means I stand fully behind it, flaws and all. These people asked me for guidence in their decision for a reason: because they trust my opinion. If I recommend Outlook the number one question I'm going to get back is: how do I add a picture to my contact. And I have to tell them, that's not currently possible. They retort: but in x (most likely gmail) I could add a picture, so why the heck am I not able to in Microsoft's product. My answer? .... no fing idea.

Therefore I'm not standing behind this product and recommending it to friends and family, and I'm certainly not going to write 6 blog posts a year about how amazing it is. Microsoft, I stand behind Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Surface Pro, Surface RT, but not Outlook.com. Sorry, step up your game.

I'm not the only one who realizes how stupid this is: http://answers.microsoft.com/e...fe32-4ba6-89e4-6e69dcec5417

Edited by ModernMech, Apr 1 2013, 11:41pm :

ModernMech said,
wahhh...

No, I am not saying that you ignore flaws, what I am saying is that a feature that has no impact on actually using the product (does not having an image cause mail not to send?), and a feature that does not work because other services will no allow it (do you think that Google will provide Microsoft access to Google+ data?), and do you think that not having a feature that other service providers do not have (does Gmail offer importing images from outlook.com?) will cause a breakdown in the internet as we know it? Or are you just nit picking to justify your hate because of one company's name is on the service?

And as for the "sexist" comment, man up and grow a pair.

SoylentG said,
No, I am not saying that you ignore flaws, what I am saying is that a feature that has no impact on actually using the product...

And yet you offer no defense for why someone should move to Outlook and lose basic features they already have in their current service. Microsoft themselves understand that contact pictures are an important feature for people. This is why in 100% of the screenshots and advertisements you see for Outlook.com contain very rich looking contact lists with 100% of contacts with pictures. Yet you can't actually add them. You want to brush that under the rug and plug your ears? Fine. But it's not helping anyone switch.

Or are you just nit picking to justify your hate because of one company's name is on the service?

Can you read, I don't know *any* of my other comments here and say that again? Is this some sort of auto response you pull out when someone disagrees with you? Learn how to argue appropriately.

And as for the "sexist" comment, man up and grow a pair.

Grow a pair? Sorry, no, it's not about growing a pair; it's about having respect for the opposite sex. Would you say that to your mother? Would you say that to your girlfriend? Your wife? I know mine would never tolerate such disrespect. Personal attacks and sexism have *no* place in civilized discourse, and you're only doing yourself a disservice if you think they will get you anywhere.

ModernMech said,
Yeah, it's a pretty basic feature and incredibly frustrating. You can add pictures on Windows Phone, and they don't sync to your actual account. You cannot add pictures in the people hub, or online, and yet every screenshot of Outlook.com shows an email thread with contact pictures.

For instance: http://www.wired.com/images_bl...12-07-27-at-11.49.01-AM.png

That's not what mine looks like. My contact list is a bunch of gray people silhouettes.


I know what you mean, and their Outlook.com's screenshots isn't how my e-mail looks like, but that's simply because every single email I get isn't from my contacts. My contacts itself is actually pretty neat, and I didn't even need to lift a finger to do this:
http://i.imgur.com/lkPENGc.png

This reason alone is why I still use GMail as my phone contacts have pictures. Until this basic feature is implemented I won't migrate to outlook.com

I agree with the cons about Outlook. I'm using it because soon there will be no choice, hopefully it will be improved on, like picture access, like ModernMech said and more.