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Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food" 292

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ms-outlook-is-godzilla dept.
nk497 writes "Only 25% of Yahoo staff have obeyed the company's request to 'eat their own dog food' and switch to Yahoo Mail, a colorful internal memo has revealed. The leaked email, acquired by All Things Digital, implores staff to move over to the corporate version of Yahoo's webmail system, gently lambasting staff who refuse to part with Microsoft Outlook. The message goes on to take a swipe at what appears to be Yahoo employees' preferred mail client, Microsoft Outlook, describing it as '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.'"
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Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food"

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  • Wagging the dog. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:33PM (#45521017)

    Another reasonable approach from might be to task, "How does our service need to change, in order for our own employees to want to use it?"

    • by game kid (805301) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:38PM (#45521077) Homepage

      Expecting "reasonable" from Marissa Mayer's Yahoo is like expecting "class 1 laser emission" from Marisa Kirisame's Master Spark.

      • She must be doing something right. Suddenly every news outlet seems to have a spy trying to figure out what the company is doing, and we keep getting Slashdot articles about Yahoo. From a sheer publicity perspective, she's a genius (or the board is a genius for choosing her).
        • by red crab (1044734) on Monday November 25, 2013 @10:42PM (#45522197)
          Really? I thought Yahoo! has always been in news, even before Mayers took over it, always for the wrong reasons; this piece of news being no exception.
          • Yeah, why does Yahoo manage to get in the news so much? It's not like they are the only company that doesn't "eat their own dog food."
            • by PopeRatzo (965947)

              Yeah, why does Yahoo manage to get in the news so much?

              Because they've got a lot of well-paid people whose job it is to get them in the news.

              Welcome to the Press Release News Cycle.

            • by LurkerXXX (667952)

              It's because everyone is so suprised they are still alive, and wondering what they are doing to make enough money to live.

              • by plover (150551)

                I've been told it's their ad platform that's making them their money. About the only thing I regularly use Yahoo! for is their OpenID services, which I really like for three main reasons: they're not Microsoft, they're not Apple, and they're not Google.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:41PM (#45521125)

      Another reasonable approach from might be to task, "How does our service need to change, in order for our own employees to want to use it?"

      The more appropriate phrase in this case should be: "Eat Their Own Dog Poo".

      • Only dogs do that!

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Actually, usually. Most dogs hate their own dog poo.

          But they do love cat poo. Which in fact is probably a more apt analogy, anyway, because the new Yahoo Mail interface looks like they ate Gmail, had horrible indigestion, and then crapped out something vaguely resembling it.

    • by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:51PM (#45521247)

      Why should the employees want to use it? "Eat your own dogfood" is a bad idea for your employees, unless you are creating a product intended for those types of employees. Is Yahoo Mail intended to be a corporate mail solution? If so then the employees should be encouraged to use it. If instead it is intended to be a general purpose web mail service, then it may be inappropriate for work.

      Similarly, if my company made catheters I most certainly would object to be asked to use one while at work! Similarly, if I was creating a product intended for people with average to low technical aptitude (twitter, facebook) I would strongly object to be required to actually use that product all the time (I'd use it for testing purposes only). If I was at Google I would strenuously object to doing all my documentation by using Google Docs, or read mail via Google Mail, even if I was working on those products to make them better.

      People are not cookie cutter clones!

      • by Enry (630) <(enry) (at) (wayga.net)> on Monday November 25, 2013 @09:02PM (#45521357) Journal

        Google is intending to have their products used by companies that pay for the services. If Google Docs isn't good enough for internal Google employees to use, how can they expect paying customers to be happy with the same kind of service? I can see a section of users with multiple e-mail clients to keep an eye on the competition, but I don't think it would make 75% of employees.

        What Yahoo(!) should really be asking is: what is it about Outlook that keeps people using it?

        • Re:Wagging the dog. (Score:5, Informative)

          by su5so10 (2542686) on Monday November 25, 2013 @09:21PM (#45521519) Homepage
          I work at Google and I've never seen anyone here use anything besides gmail for corporate mail.
        • Google docs is fine for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. It's not a replacement for notepad, and you can't easily stick google docs documents into your version control system with the code they document.
          • by Enry (630)

            I don't use Outlook as a VCS either.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          As always force of habit is the major driver to keep using existing products. Especially considering M$ Outlook was better known as M$ Lookout for routine failures and data loss in the nineties, it is rather more reliable now. Getting accustomed to all the features of a calendering and scheduling program takes a reasonable effort, especially if you really want to make full use of it, unless there is a major reason to change, why would you.

          The other perspective is, force your employees to use you deficien

        • by turp182 (1020263)

          "section of users with multiple e-mail clients to keep an eye on the competition"

          Lotus Notes baby!!!! (and Outlook)

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Funny enough I'm a very long time Yahoo mail user but I almost always use it with a rich client. What's good about Outlook:

          a) Integrated calendars
          b) Multiple integrated email accounts
          c) Task management built in
          d) Note taking built in

      • by abirdman (557790) *
        Bravo. Very well said. I wonder why using specific software is so often compared to a religious choice-- after conversion to PHP, Oracle, jquery, .NET, whatever, then no other software can be used or contemplated. Bah. Every paged email client, like Yahoo, gmail, or even Outlook's web client, is a dog for managing any more than a screenful of emails at a time.
      • by asmkm22 (1902712)

        As the article points out, the memo is encouraging the employees to use the "corporate version" of yahoo's mail client.

      • Rtfs, they are the audience. Corporate version.

      • by msobkow (48369)

        The current incarnation of the Yahoo WebMail service is the worst webmail interface I've ever used. I don't blame the employees for avoiding it like the plague -- and I've had my Yahoo account for around a decade. This latest version is a serious step backwards. The icons make no sense, there are "hidden" popup activation areas all over the place, and it's uglier than sin.

        I don't know what their "usability" department has been doing, but it sure as hell isn't researching what people might actually wan

        • The new Yahoo email is now able to serve ads to me, despite my 733KB hosts file, that change whenever I navigate anywhere in the interface. "Mission accomplished, ship it!"
        • I completely agree. I got my yahoo account (IIRC) back around 1997. It was fine then - always a bit clunky, but it always worked. Now, it just sucks. The colours are garish, and they've shifted to this idiotic "Tabbed" system which was innovative in 1999. And the tabbing is stupendously stupid. Example: If you route email to certain folders, it gets dumb. I route Facebook notices to a Facebook folder. I click the Facebook folder and the Inbox tab becomes the FAcebook tab. Which is stupid. Then I click on on
      • I've used Outlook nearly my entire career and I don't see anything about it that makes it especially well suited to corporate use (at least as a user). In fact, I've never enjoyed using it. It's a mediocre product companies seem to use for the simple reason that nobody is going to get fired for picking Outlook. My guess is that these employees are just used to it and people hate change. I've never worked with anyone that's ever praised Outlook.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Take outlook away, and see if anyone praises it. The killer app is not outlook, it is outlook + calendar integration, which is superior to all.

          • by skids (119237)

            I've generally found the people who make more than occasional use of calandering features are the most unproductive ones. I could entirely live without calandering myself.

    • by Eskarel (565631) on Monday November 25, 2013 @09:30PM (#45521623)

      Well based on the memo it might be a good start to recognise that people don't really want to use web based tools for core tasks, particularly event based ones like e-mail. Webmail if fine and dandy for "check it once a day" type of e-mail communication, but corporate e-mail simply isn't that.

    • what's the best way to motivate the yahoo mail team to improve their product? get a whole company of your peers to be irritated with the quality of your work and to offer constructive feedback.

    • Another reasonable approach from might be to task, "How does our service need to change, in order for our own employees to want to use it?"

      But they're right. The fact that most corporations STILL use outlook has more to do with the psychology of the staff than the actual utility of the application. Outlook sucks ass compared to even the most rudimentary webmail options out there. You have to pay for outlook! Yet any competent IT shop should be able to implement just about any open source web based mail app in a matter of weeks. Why pay millions to Microsoft when there are Free, better alternatives.

      Lastly, maybe shes thinks that her staff will

      • by HJED (1304957)
        Because checking your email through a browser is far less efficient and harder to use then using a desktop client (especially with imap). Personally I use Thuderbird (which is missing features for corporate use)
  • Web Apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:38PM (#45521065)

    Aren't the best solution to everything.

    • by Arker (91948)

      Very true.

      And while Outlook is very near worst of breed for email - yahoo webmail is not just webmail, it's probably the worst webmail available.

      I dont blame their employees for not wanting to use it, I have used a yahoo email since just after they first went online, but I dont even bother log into it anymore after the last batch of forced regressions involved in their redesign.

      On the one hand, if they dont use it, it obviously will never be fixed. They clearly dont listen to customer feedback in any way sh

  • by themushroom (197365) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:38PM (#45521071) Homepage

    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 think that dogfood's gone bad and grown some mushrooms. Also, how does a T-Rex imitate a Pterodactyl... flapping its little arms vainly?

    Rawr.

    • by rk (6314)

      I read that all and in my mind filled in the words: "Still better than Yahoo web mail." Like someone else said here, instead of mandating the employees switch, they might want to spend a little time finding out why their employees won't, because unlike her Yahoo minions, Mayer can't tell anyone else what email client to use.

    • by PPH (736903)
      Never mix your metaphors before they've hatched.
  • The worst possible email client, except for all the rest.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:41PM (#45521111)

    web mail for enterprise?

    • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:47PM (#45521189) Homepage

      Gmail has been pretty successful.

  • Maybe 75% of Yahoo's workforce want to work for another company.
    Anyway, I understand why they should mandate using their own mail application and search engine. They'll discover quickly if those products hurt and they have an incentive to make them better.
    • Re:It makes sense (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Obfuscant (592200) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:53PM (#45521275)

      They'll discover quickly that those products hurt and they have an incentive to make them better.

      FTFY. Yahoo mail. Abysmal.

      Every time I go there on the web, I am told to upgrade to a Firefox that has been optimized for Yahoo, and then I get told to pick a new theme. Every damn time.

      At least the quality is consistently 'neo', both for groups and email.

  • Next analogy down the pike: Marissa in the corner, licking her own balls.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Wait what? Doesn't that make Yahoo the cat that laid the turd? Cats aren't particularly known for licking their own or others balls, especially not for the hell of it. They certainly do lick each other though.

  • Mail? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JBMcB (73720) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:43PM (#45521135)

    I'm sure the employee's reaction was the same as everyone else's: Yahoo still has email?

    • Re:Mail? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:56PM (#45521305)

      I actually use Yahoo Mail and have done for over ten years. It's always seemed like a good idea to me since I'll never use Yahoo for anything else (what else do they really do anyway?) while if I were to use something like GMail they'd be cross-referencing my emails with my searching habits with my Youtube viewing history and general browsing habits from the many many websites that use Google Ads.

      Better to spread my info around into (relatively) remote morsels so that no one organisation knows everything about me.

    • by chromas (1085949)
      They were surprised to find out Yahoo is still around and that they work there.
    • by turp182 (1020263)

      My primary personal email has been a Yahoo account since sometime in 2000. Everyone I know has it, it is de facto (correct spelling anyone? a suggestion was "ed-facto").

      I take the changes in stride, I only wish that the freaking mail item list was always associated with Arrow-Up/Arrow-Down. Am I always wanting to see my Sent Items or Deleted Items folders???

    • by m2 (5408)

      Yes, Yahoo still has an email thing. I know exactly one person who still uses it. And pays for it.

      When reading the summary, I was sure that this:

      gently lambasting staff who refuse to part with Microsoft Outlook

      ... was going to read "gently lambasting staff who refuse to part with Gmail" and Yahoo was imploring their employees to switch to Yahoo! mail. As bad as Yahoo's mail system is, Outlook is worse. I figure 75% of Yahoo is sales people.

  • So does Yahoo just want to snoop on all their employees ? By making them use their own email client they could do exactly that.
    • by xombo (628858)

      They already run their own Exchange servers to power Outlook. There's nothing stopping them from snooping on corporate e-mail, no matter how you go about accessing it.

  • verbal diarrhea. Is the submitter sick from eating dog food?

  • by PaddyM (45763) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:49PM (#45521225) Homepage

    What is the point of this? When I log in to yahoo email it takes forever to search because the bing search takes forever to load. If you type too quickly, you just see your whole inbox. So they criticize their employees to leave outlook and use Yahoo mail?

    Not that outlook search is any better (can't find parts of a word), but this whole dogfood is serious. Maybe they should stop using Windows at work or using Office while their at it.

  • News for who? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:50PM (#45521235)

    "Microsoft Outlook, describing it as '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."

    Individually the words make sense, but put them together and you can clearly see why Yahoo is where it is.

  • by sootman (158191) on Monday November 25, 2013 @08:59PM (#45521325) Homepage Journal

    ... why do I suspect it'll be the managers who are the last to be dragged, kicking and screaming, from Outlook?

    I use Yahoo mail and Outlook. Outlook definitely has its place, especially in a business. Tell me though, because I haven't looked: can Yahoo's calendar let you see everyone else's free time when inviting people to a meeting? As easily as Outlook does?

  • by BringsApples (3418089) on Monday November 25, 2013 @09:00PM (#45521335)
    Email is just fucking email, all we want is to get messages from other people and respond. But since the powers that be have had their focus on setting things up to be so different, it's a pain in the ass to move things over. As if it's like that by design, hmm go figure.
    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      I think the idea is that by using their own products, their employees are in a better position to know what needs to be changed or fixed. Which makes sense.

      • You're right, but that's not the point I'm trying to make. I'm just saying that the point that the article seems to be trying to make, "no one wants to change to Yahoo" is moot because no one wants to change from anything else, to anything else.
        • by asmkm22 (1902712)

          And if these weren't paid employees, I'd agree with you. There's all kinds of things that employees in all industries don't *want* to do but are encouraged to. At least this one is more lenient with things (other than Apple, where anything but Apple products pretty much got you fired).

          • Article:
            Daaaamn, not even Yahoo employees want to use their email, it must suck.

            Me: The point of this article is moot because it's got nothing to do with Yahoo's email sucking, it's that no one wants to change their email from where it is, and for a variety of reasons.

            You: The article's point isn't moot because they get paid for working there. At least changing to Yahoo's email is optional unlike Apple.

            You lost me. Why would their paycheck have any effect on them wanting to move their email to a
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I think you've hit on a major point. "Differentiation" is part of the problem. What the customer (in this case -- the Enterprise employee) wants is efficient access to email. Not ads, not cute graphics and sounds, not fancy colors or fancy guis, just to be able to pound through a pile of emails and easily save, reply forward, and send/receive attachments in some reasonably efficient fashion.

      My mom was at one time sold on some dumb-ass email service called "incredimail", because it spoke to her and had cu

  • Clearly Marissa Mayer needs to study /b/ memes some more.

  • I don't know if YaHoo mail, Hotmail or Gmail is any good, I use Forte Agent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort [wikipedia.org]é_Agent must copy and paste the é throws a loop.
    and POP 3 my e-mail, everything to Gmail then to me. I use version Agent 1.93 (very old, very good).

    I get no HTML mail, it's all in text unless I want to view it, I send no web beacons when
    I read my mail. I send no it's been read replies.

    It's the safest most secure e-mail system I've come across and been using it since Win 3.1.
    None of my Email stays on a web service, and I have every email I've sent and received (for some reason).

    Just saying YaHoo Pop 3 your email, you take the kool aide, yet they don't know of the outcome.
    You use the YaHoo service but at your convince and in a secure fashion.

    (Now I just hope Yahoo POP3's their Email, I got a Yahoo account when they were "Google" (before) but
    never use it :} )

  • sheeze, how hard is it to realize your product does not do what people need and start a redesign project to go out and fix it?

    domain specific software architecture or something ...
  • > The message goes on to take a swipe at what appears to be Yahoo employees' preferred mail client, Microsoft Outlook, describing it as '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.'

    Um,

  • No one takes you seriously if you have a Yahoo email, even if you work for Yahoo.

    The Yahoo staff need Eudora to get things done.

  • I question whether any pet food manufacturers actually follow that philosophy.

  • I had been a faithful Yahoo up until about six months ago. MyYahoo was great, and I liked the classic version of Yahoo Mail. Then Marissa Mayer came along and wrecked everything, adding bling and fancy colors while stripping away everything I liked about Yahoo, including the fact that I had it set up to look the same for about the past 10 years. I guess some people think it was time to spruce up the place. Not me. It's Mayer's Mayhem now.
  • Its because they are paid as well as Wallmart employees and can't afford real food, right?

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Monday November 25, 2013 @10:58PM (#45522313)
    I liked the old version where I could see every reply I got in its own thread. This new version forces all replies into a single thread, so if you get more than one reply, you might not see the new ones. I'm a fan of yahoo mail. I liked the last version best. Too bad you can't go back to it. Yahoo has been doing a lot of pointless upgrades on things that already work and don't need new functionality. They pissed off their fantasy sports people that way too. I think corporations know they can upgrade and regress software at the same time so they can get you to pay more for something you already had. I'm not saying yahoo is guilty of this. Otherwise it wouldn't be a forced upgrade, and you'd have your choice of mail clients.
  • The take away message is that Yahoo itself admits that at least 25% of their employees eat dog food.

    I can't believe that's by choice. Even the most of the furries I know don't do that just for fun. (Well, maybe the occasional Milkbone with Gnutella)

    Is their pay really that poor?

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