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Microsoft Communications GUI Software Windows Technology

Windows 8 Mail Leaves Users Pining For the Desktop — or Even Their Phones 308

jbrodkin writes "The e-mail client in Windows 8 is the shell of a potentially good application — but Microsoft hasn't given it the proper care it deserves. With less than a month before Windows 8 hits RTM, Mail is a mess that doesn't support IMAP, can't connect to servers with self-signed certificates, and lacks basic features like flagging messages for followup. Metro Mail is feature-deficient compared not just to other desktop and tablet apps — it's behind Microsoft's own phone platform. Whether used on a tablet or desktop, this in-depth look concludes that Metro Mail in its current form will have users pining for a real desktop application."
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Windows 8 Mail Leaves Users Pining For the Desktop — or Even Their Phones

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  • by busyqth ( 2566075 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @06:32PM (#40644391)
    They're stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    Give Windows 8 users a real email client and cannibalize Outlook/Office sales
    Give Windows 8 users a stripped down client and get pilloried in the press and taken to the woodshed by Apple.

    Good ol' Microsoft internal politics at its finest.
    • by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @06:56PM (#40644595)

      It seems the user can either install Outlook or get e.g. Thunderbird. How many people use Windows in a business setting and then don't use MS Office? (And when you do that you get Outlook.) So for desktop users I don't see any problems. (Apart from the Metro interface itself that is... I don't think anybody wants that on the desktop.)

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      I don't see many hardcore Outlook users not wanting the rest of the Office suite. Everyone I've ever met whose a heavy Outlook user either uses Word daily or lives in Excel.

    • That doesn't make sense. A "real email client" was offered for free for a long time now - first Outlook Express, more recently Windows Live Mail - with no worries about "cannibalizing Outlook sales". And if you RTFA, they are actually complaining that the new Metro client isn't on par even with Live Mail feature wise.

  • I'm sure, the large majority will put up even with that. But maybe MSFT will be using some spare change and license Opera.
  • by Phasma Felis ( 582975 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @06:36PM (#40644419)
    I see what you did there.
  • Windows 8 mail might make me pine for Pine also.

  • Tablets are great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pegasustonans ( 589396 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @06:37PM (#40644429)

    Tablets are great, and an optimized tablet UI can be both intuitive and efficient so long as you're using a fucking tablet.

    Seriously... it's like MS is trying to put the umbrella down the chimney up for this one.

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      They admit that's what they are doing. They are trying to drive manufacturers towards using high quality touch screens. They intend for the Windows 8 platform to be tablet + keyboard.

      • They intend for the Windows 8 platform to be tablet + keyboard.

        More like tablet + keyboard + precision pointing device (note how Surface has pen with a digitizer, and trackpad - and so do most third-party Win8 convertibles).

      • I may be wrong, but that doesn't sound like it's a good idea. The whole thing that makes tablets so great is their portability. Making a tablet with a keyboard is going to cut into that by making the whole thing bigger, bulkier and heavier, even if the keyboard's too small for the average adult to do any touch typing. Plus, if it's hinged, so that the touchscreen can sit up at an easy to read angle, you end up with a netbook with a touchscreen. And, if the keyboard's separate, it's even less convenient.
    • Tablets are great, and an optimized tablet UI can be both intuitive and efficient so long as you're using a fucking tablet .

      Seriously... it's like MS is trying to put the umbrella down the chimney up for this one.

      Great bolshy Yarblockos! THIS, a million times THIS! Mod this guy up!

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @06:38PM (#40644441) Homepage Journal

    THIS is one of MS's biggest problems IMHO.

    Compare that to some of their competitors that will suddenly toss out a fully functional product, available NOW. Not complete and polished maybe, but at least it works acceptably well just out of the gate, and isn't months away from release.

    That crap only works when selling to businesses. If they're going to compete in the private sector they're going to have to get their act straight and get some hustle going.

    Semifunctional products scheduled for release months from now won't compete well with products that work that are available today. You'll either enter the market with few available new customers or catch all sorts of bad PR about needing several patches just to get it working as expected/advertised (or both) like the others already in the market already do.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They could of took the opportunity to say don't like your Windows mail client, switch to Thunderbird.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Could be a good chance for them to shift back some of their team if by some weird streak of fate, Win8 is actually popular. I mean, it *is* Friday the 13th after all. Weirder shit has happened, like Apple becoming popular again and rising from the grave.

      Next thing we know, a temporal vortex will open up and WinMe will be a fantastic OS.

    • They are still supporting it they just killed the dev team who were adding features that added a little bloat* but failed to increase market-share as TB is still not outlook.

      What do you need in a mail client seriously? It has more features than pretty much everything else excluding the exchange stuff.

      • by jbolden ( 176878 )

        I've use mail.app for compatability and Thunderbird as a secondary client.

        1) The encryption stuff should not be such a pain. It should be on and self configure by default.
        2) Task manager integrated into calendaring. Preferably allowing for task assignment. If you really want to push workflow (i.e. john should be able to read this hit approve and the email forwards to Suzie automatically with John's approval).
        3) Digital signing
        4) Labeling / tagging, integrated with gmail for gmail IMAP.
        5) Twitter, e

      • What do you need in a mail client seriously? It has more features than pretty much everything else excluding the exchange stuff.

        These, for starters:

        • Built-in PGP support
        • Built-in anonymous remailer support
        • Built-in uuencode support
        • Built-in support for hashcash
        • Built-in support for syncing with my tablet offline (i.e. without an Internet connection)
  • The only reason people look at Microsoft is to use the desktop software and GUI's they know like the back of their hand. MS is NOT going to be able to compete on technology alone because they are behind that curve. If they can't give you a mobile version that works like the MS desktop and Office, they are hosed.

  • I don't think it's the version going to be included in gold, is it? Besides, who gives a fuck?
    It's a god damn Microsoft mail client, if you're at that level, you probably don't need much more than "hurr press button it sends email".

    • How much do you expect them to change in 3 weeks? Or did you miss the fact that RTM was the first week of August?

      • What they include in RTM isn't set in stone. It will be updated with all your other apps through the marketplace. But I agree with Haxagon: aren't there 10000 email clients out there? If you don't like the one shipped with your system, use another.
  • With even Microsoft's own Outlook trying to migrate to online/cloud/browser-based solutions, who even cares about stand-alone email clients at this point? This program isn't intended for much more than checking your AOL email; even my POP-only ISP email account has more/better functionality through the web interface.

    Don't forget that Vista's mail client was deprecated practically from day one, and 7 didn't even ship with an email client.

  • Whelp, there goes a big toe...
    • Whelp, there goes a big toe...

      A corporation without leaders is like a foot without a big toe. And Steve Ballmer isn't always gonna be here to be that big toe for us. I think that we owe a big round of applause to our newest, bestest buddy, and big toe... Steve Ballmer.

  • I've been using the Windows 8 mail client instead of outlook on my MacBook Air with my exchange email for a few weeks and mostly like it. It reads mail/sends mail, is bloody fast, never hangs or slows down. That being said 1) it's a beta product 2) it does have the option to provide feedback to Microsoft within the app It is short on some features, I await final release to pass final judgement.
  • No IMAP? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @07:09PM (#40644703)

    Doesn't support IMAP? Whaaaaaa? How in the hell can they forget that?

    Designer: "Hey boss! We finished the new model of sedan for next week's unveiling!"
    Boss: "Great! Show me!"
    Designer: "It's got a great interior, class leading power, even cheaper than the competition! And the milage? It's great!"
    Boss: "That's awesome news! Hey, where's the steering wheel?"
    Designer: "Steering wheel? Wait, the car's supposed to turn?"
    Boss: "...uh, yeah. They all do that. And kind of need to."
    Designer: "...crap! I knew we forgot something!"

  • Reality Check - however much we may love our various e-mail tools (I'm a g-mail man myself, 'cause it works well with my Linux box and my Android phone) Joe Average user is in a different camp.

    They don't want to change e-mail clients every year or two. I'd love to know how many Outlook Express installs are still out there. For many, many people it has been Good Enough for - ten years? Especially for the millions still using Windows XP.

    I recently moved my Girlfriend from OE to Windows Live Mail (that
  • ... Did Microsoft ever get around to fixing the "begin xxxx.xxx.scr/exe/whatever" bug in their basic email client?

  • It says "APP PREVIEW"

    What a stupid article.
  • by cryptizard ( 2629853 ) on Friday July 13, 2012 @07:40PM (#40644963)
    It only lets you set up accounts for Exchange, Hotmail and Gmail right now, but it definitely does support IMAP. If you add a Gmail account to it and then disable POP retrieval it still works. Disable IMAP and it suddenly doesn't. I imagine they will add the option for arbitrary servers before it gets released, but even if they don't it will satisfy 98% of the people that use it (those without Outlook and who don't know what Thunderbird is).
  • I haven't even seen Metro, and I've heard nothing but complaints about it.

    Metro sounds like a... wait for it... train wreck.

  • EPIC MEGAFAILFEST (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Friday July 13, 2012 @08:40PM (#40645313) Journal

    Win8 makes ME, Vista, Clippy, Bob and even GFWL seem like well-thought-out good ideas in comparison.

  • That everything will of course be in the cloud-social media collective. They have determined you don't want or need a functioning email client. And the scales will fall from the eyes of the usual fanbois and cheerleaders who suddenly gush with the paid for epiphany that Redmond was right all along and a new paradigm of computing is upon us.

  • Windows 1.xx-2.xx - Crap
    Windows 3.11 Good
    Windows 95 - Crap
    Windows 98 - good
    windows ME - Crap
    Windows XP Good
    Windows Vista Crap
    Windows 7 Good
    Windows 8 ....

    No I dont count NT and 2000 in there because those are Professional OS's and they both rocked.. 2000 Was better than 98 by a long shit because of the security and pro features. Problem is Windows 8 is a consumer home OS not a Professional OS.

  • Previously windows users either had to buy Outlook or go download something else like Thunderbird or whatever.

    No, Outlook Express doesn't count...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chrismcb ( 983081 )

      No, Outlook Express doesn't count...

      Why not? it is better than those other two you mentioned.

  • MS just cant seem to get it through their heads that they need to provide a complete experience that is solid.

    They are scared to because they think everyone will file a lawsuit against them. Its why Media player sucks, why an email program doesnt ship with windows 7... and why windows 8 will fail if MS keeps doing this to themselves.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik