Yahoo slams Microsoft Outlook in eccentric memo, even though most of them use it

In October, Yahoo launched a major revamp of its online email service with a new layout and features. What we didn't know back then was that Yahoo had also ordered all of its employees to switch from their current email client, Microsoft Outlook, to the new Yahoo Mail.

As it turns out, just a few of Yahoo's workers have made that switch. AllThingsD.com reports that in an internal memo sent to its employees this week, just 25 percent of its workers have moved to Yahoo Mail. That isn't highly surprising, since many long time Yahoo Mail users have complained about the new version, including a decision to dump its tabs UI and putting in an awkward multi-tasking feature.

What is surprising is the the content inside the memo itself, which is highly eccentric and sometimes nearly incomprehensible. Even the title of the note is odd: "Windows 95 called and they want their mail app back."

Yahoo thinks this program is like a dinosaur.

The memo proceeds to attack Outlook as a program that may be familiar to most PC users but Yahoo believes is not well suited to the current technology world. Brace yourself for this:

Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl.

One of our favorite quotes in the memo tries to convince the 75 percent of Yahoo workers to switch to its own mail client with this flat out weird statement:

For others, you might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol’ gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance. Hold on a sec, pilgrim.

The memo, when it is not impersonating John Wayne on an acid trip, then tries to hype up the features in Yahoo Mail, such as its built-in Messenger client, keyboard shortcuts, previewing attachments and more. It adds that Yahoo employees also get to try out new features before they are released to the public client, such as auto-suggest which will be added to Yahoo's corporate email soon.

This is just the latest shot by Yahoo against Microsoft in the past few months. The company went to court to stop the use of the Bing search engine in Yahoo's Taiwan and Hong Kong websites, as per a previous agreement between the two companies. However, a judge in October denied Yahoo's request. Yahoo's current CEO Marissa Mayer has said in the past that the 2009 Bing search engine contract between her company and Microsoft has not resulted in much of a benefit for Yahoo. It's highly rumored she is trying her best to get out of the deal before the end of its 10 year agreement.

Source: AllThingsD.com | Images via Yahoo and Microsoft

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If this is really the sort of thing that circulates internally, Yahoo's in more trouble than I would ever have imagined.

Since Google kept making irresponsible frequent changes to their Gmail UI I've had to resort to using Outlook 2013. I'm quite thankful that Google pushed me down this path as I really like it. It does what it does very well and I can view my Gmail & Outlook.com accounts in one view. Outlook 2013 is now essential to me.

Sadly, I think that as Google etc look to monetise everything, their websites will continue to become cluttered with crap and in turn just **** users off.

I'm not a fan of the Outlook application, but Outlook.com is a great email provider. Their latest addition of IMAP makes it easy to use with Thunderbird - which is a great email application.

My company moved to Gmail as its mail platform and the web interface of Gmail absolutely sucks. The Yahoo one is OK, I have not used OWA so I can't comment on that one, but I do like the outlook.com one. Even though I have a msn account for personal and Gmail at work I use Outlook every day because I'm old school and want my desktop client. I have been told to get into web world, but I like my desktop mail client.

If you like Outlook.com, you'd like OWA that runs on Exchange 2013 or o365. They're not exactly alike, but they're pretty close.

Only reason for yahoo account is the 1 TB - unlimited amount of photo storage without resizing through flickr

But even then you could just use gmail or facebok

I'm quite happy using Outlook 2013 as one central place for my different email accounts. I may not use all of it's features but what I do use I like and I'm not going to switch to using the web interface for my webmail accounts if I don't have to. Even the new Mail app in Windows 8.1 is a better option IMO.

Lol, this reminds me of a conversation with a co-worker this week. She was complaining to me about how much she hates outlook and I told her she is free to use any mail client she wishes, she responded that she hasn't found one better

Marshall said,
they're great to set an account up solely for Spam.

Hah.. that's precisely why I set up a Yahoo mail account, use it to register on forums and such and it gets tons of spam, just pop in every few weeks to do a mass delete. Keeps my real mail accounts nice and tidy.

now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape

I am also glad we no longer have NT Server... Oh wait, we do and it is running some of the largest data centers in the world, including services for Yahoo. I wonder if another employee explained to them that parts of Yahoo itself depends on NT Servers and services running on NT Servers.

The world really doesn't understand how many things they like, depend on Windows Server (NT) and Windows NT Azure.


The email is like a snap followed by a clueless tourettes rant.

heatlesssun said,
I want whatever this person is smoking.

I know, right?! When I read that first quote I thought to myself, whoever write this *had* to be tripping or completely drunk. They'd absolutely no way this was an approved internal communiqué.

Yahoo: "We recommend you stop using MS outlook and switch to the better mail experience..."

Employee: "Yessir, already did. This new outlook.com is quite good."

Yahoo: "DAGNAMIT!!!"

Outlook 2013 has some serious issues with basic functionality such as search and integration with Social contacts etc. but over all I'm certainly not going to give it up.

Maybe Yahoo has fixed a few things lately, but hands down, I see more hacked Yahoo accounts than any others. One of my customers had his simple consumer account hacked into 4 times last summer, and they then used it to spam his address book, and delete his address book more than once.

I had one customer recently that had their OUtlook.com account hacked, within the hour the account was shut down until the user was prompted to verify the account and change the password and then sign back in. A far cry from the nightmares that many of my customers have gone through with missing address books, hacked accounts, and use of their accounts to spam everyone in their address book with infected links.

Maybe this Oct. Update fixed all that, hope so.

Y'know.. Outlook 2013 is a business class application, not a consumer one. Why are you trying to connect it to stupid social media sites? Not that you can't, but why are you even trying?

Webmail is fine for consumers, but businesses need the kind of features offered by a fully featured desktop client such as Outlook or the few competitors.

Microsoft includes social media contact integration in the product, if you haven't figured out the value of Facebook and Twitter in business, you might want to study up a little on that one. Or not.

I'm honestly surprised at how many people around the world still uses Yahoo. It has been a terrible email service. I've heard more people complain about their Yahoo email account than I have for any other email service (including AOL). The strangest part is how many people think Yahoo is "simply" only to realize how much of a mess it is after logging in.

I think this must be an IT thing...
The same happened at my company with the IT: we are going to drop the old and dinosaur Outlook and switch to the gmail.
Outlook is a memory troll, has lots of bugs and is unstable... they said.
After now being forced to use gmail guess what: now I'm forced to frequent Chrome restarts since that thing reaches upwards of 1Gb of memory used...

Ah, Yahoo... I remember thee when you were good... and a free college project. Times change... corporations are still not people.

To be fair Outlook is a horrible program to use but then all desktop email clients are horrible in my opinion. It is made worse by Outlook Web Access which is just a web version of the desktop version.

Outlook.com is very nice though and a much better email experience. I have not used the Windows 8 Outlook app but it looks a lot like Outlook.com which is a good thing.

InTheSwiss said,
To be fair Outlook is a horrible program to use but then all desktop email clients are horrible in my opinion. It is made worse by Outlook Web Access which is just a web version of the desktop version.

Outlook.com is very nice though and a much better email experience. I have not used the Windows 8 Outlook app but it looks a lot like Outlook.com which is a good thing.


Desktop mails are horrible ? I'd much rather use outlook or windows (live) mail than 4+ different web GUIs. My mails get downloaded and synced on all my computers and devices. I have all my mails in one place. WLM allows me to see all my new mails from different accounts in one view instead of going into 4+ different inboxes! or worse webmails. And it's fast and already synced when'd I check. No loading or annoying scripts that hang, no having to upload attachments before I can attach and send, I just write the mail attach and send and gone.

HawkMan said,


Desktop mails are horrible ? I'd much rather use outlook or windows (live) mail than 4+ different web GUIs. My mails get downloaded and synced on all my computers and devices. I have all my mails in one place. WLM allows me to see all my new mails from different accounts in one view instead of going into 4+ different inboxes! or worse webmails. And it's fast and already synced when'd I check. No loading or annoying scripts that hang, no having to upload attachments before I can attach and send, I just write the mail attach and send and gone.


You do know that no matter how you send a message with attachments...you're still uploading said attachments?

SharpGreen said,

You do know that no matter how you send a message with attachments...you're still uploading said attachments?

There's a big difference between letting the desktop application do it in the background, allowing you to be productive, and waiting for a damn webpage to upload a file.

I wholeheartedly agree though, web mail in all its forms is absolute crap. I'm forced to use it (OWA) at work for BS reasons, and I hate webmail with a passion. It's great for ad hoc mail usage, but not as the primary tool for managing my mail, calendar and contacts. Give me Outlook over everything else any day.

Maybe the biggest reason to use Outlook is that it supports STANDARD mail protocols (POP3, SMTP, and IMAP) - which most mail services (except Yahoo, oddly enough) use. Yahoo, on the other hand, still requires most users that want a standard mail protocol to pay for their Mail Plus service. Not even Google is that chintzy - GMail may use Secure IMAP; however, Outlook supports that just fine, and always has.

PGHammer said,
Maybe the biggest reason to use Outlook is that it supports STANDARD mail protocols (POP3, SMTP, and IMAP) - which most mail services (except Yahoo, oddly enough) use. Yahoo, on the other hand, still requires most users that want a standard mail protocol to pay for their Mail Plus service. Not even Google is that chintzy - GMail may use Secure IMAP; however, Outlook supports that just fine, and always has.

Actually Yahoo supports IMAP and pop3 with SSL. Recently allowed that all free but changed unlimited to 1TB. I still love outlook 2013 for all my mail

SharpGreen said,

You do know that no matter how you send a message with attachments...you're still uploading said attachments?

yes, but there's a major difference to having to wait to upload a huge attachment in a browser window befre you can even hit send, and just hitting send and leaving.

Ideas Man said,

There's a big difference between letting the desktop application do it in the background, allowing you to be productive, and waiting for a damn webpage to upload a file.

I wholeheartedly agree though, web mail in all its forms is absolute crap. I'm forced to use it (OWA) at work for BS reasons, and I hate webmail with a passion. It's great for ad hoc mail usage, but not as the primary tool for managing my mail, calendar and contacts. Give me Outlook over everything else any day.

Outlook 2013 can connect via EAS, have they disabled that too?

HawkMan said,

yes, but there's a major difference to having to wait to upload a huge attachment in a browser window befre you can even hit send, and just hitting send and leaving.


I don't see how its any different. They both take the same amount of time. It just happens in a different order.

SharpGreen said,

I don't see how its any different. They both take the same amount of time. It just happens in a different order.


One happens in the background, the other requires me to wait for the large attachment to upload before I can hit send or attach more, and in some cases it might prevent me from doing anything else to. And I have to trust in the stability of the browser when uploading a large file...

SharpGreen said,

I don't see how its any different. They both take the same amount of time. It just happens in a different order.

Well, when you start to use email intensively as some of us do for work, and are forced to use webmail rather than a very nice email client, then you'll understand.

Yahoo mail looks to much like GMail, and I hate that service. The new logo is also ugly. I understand why even their own employees don't move.

Studio384 said,
Yahoo mail looks to much like GMail, and I hate that service. The new logo is also ugly. I understand why even their own employees don't move.

Personal opinions aside, I think it's bad form for staff to be using a competitors product, as it shows a lack of faith in the company's products. Even if the product is bad, staff should be engaging in a cycle of feedback to improve the product for all users.

Majesticmerc said,

Personal opinions aside, I think it's bad form for staff to be using a competitors product, as it shows a lack of faith in the company's products. Even if the product is bad, staff should be engaging in a cycle of feedback to improve the product for all users.


*cough* Firefox Australis *cough*

Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son's utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl.

I wish our trolls could somehow be forced to write like this.