This morning I was pretty excited to see the new MSFT Outlook.com mail service come on line. Not for me so much as I’m pretty well entrenched in Gmail. But for my kids.
Two reasons: (1) access to available e-mail addresses, (2) family controls.
Finding an available e-mail address in Gmail mail is pretty difficult as 350 million Gmail users have already snapped up accounts.
And Yahoo! isn’t safe for kids. I’d gotten a Yahoo! e-mail address for my son – but good grief Yahoo! After a decade your spam engine hasn’t improved on iota. The blue pills, elongators, solicitations for “friendship” started filling his inbox within minutes of creating the account.
I was able to find reasonable account names for my kids on Outlook.com and MSFT has taken great pains to put in verification steps to stop spammers. There are even “Please verify your account to help us stop spammers.” interruptions during work flow after being logged into the account. It’s annoying to have workflow interrupted, but having lived through Yahoo! spam and people highjacking Hotmail accounts – I get it.
MSFT has also created a Family Safety Website that reports PC and web activity. It appears only to work for Windows OS users (nothing for MAC perhaps not unexpected) though I’m hopeful that there will be Outlook.com e-mail controls added.
The UI looks great IMHO. I never liked Live/Skydrive. They seemed like enterprise engineers attempting to make a consumer version of an enterprise product. Outlook.com has some of the UI elements of Win8, and the colors, flows, simple layout all combine to make an uncluttered and pleasing layout.
I like it so far and am happy my kids will have e-mail addresses that make sense for them. I also like the controls and hope MSFT brings more to the table for Outlook.com since we don’t run Windows at home anymore.
And just one more thing…
PLEASE give us IMAP!