Microsoft’s Outlook.com Upgrade Causes Problems For Users
A few days ago, I wrote about how Microsoft have upgraded their free email platform Hotmail to a new service dubbed Outlook.com. I mentioned in the article that I found Outlook to be very clean an modern looking; but with the trepidations that a lot of users have about Hotmail (such as spam) may well translate over to Outlook.com. So I wouldn’t be moving from Gmail.
It’s been around a week since the announcement and there have been a lot of complaints from users on the Microsoft forums. Users are complaining of problems such as being upgraded from Hotmail without permission, the “go back to Hotmail” link not working & emails being lost during the transition.
[quote]Having used proper, professional Outlook I thought to myself, “what could go wrong?’ Well, almost everything[/quote] This user was ironically named Blue5creen0fDeath[quote]It looks clunky, hides away the option to change back to Hotmail, keeps opening up new windows and causes confusion.[/quote]
Microsoft has come back to users with a blog post that guides them through the upgrade process, including creating an outlook.com email address, email aliases and renaming your account to @outlook.com instead of @hotmail.com (@hotmail.com becomes an alias automatically). The latter is “a big deal” according to the Microsoft, they go on to say:
“You can rename your account to an @outlook.com account, and when you do, your old account becomes an alias, so you’ll still receive email sent to the old account.
Fair warning: Renaming is a big deal. It changes the primary name of your account, which means that you will have to immediately start signing in with the new name (same password) on all your devices, such as your phone, PC, Xbox, etc.
Renaming an account is not something that you can easily “undo”; in fact, there are some cases where it’s impossible to undo. So, please be very sure of your decision before following the steps below.
Also, there are some limitations of rename that you should be aware of:
- If you use a Windows Phone, you will need to reset your Windows Phone to factory settings, and then set it back up with the new account name. You will lose all personal data on the Windows Phone when you do this, so make sure you have that data backed up. You will need to re-install all your applications on your phone, although you will not need to re-purchase them.
- It is not easy (and in rare cases not possible) to “undo” a rename. For example, if you rename an MSN account, you can’t rename it back, or if you created your account in one country and are renaming it in a different country, you won’t be able to rename it back to your original account unless you travel back to your original country. Be very sure of your decision.
- If your account has been blocked more than once because someone else was using your account, you will not be able to rename it. We’re working to remove this limitation.
- You can rename your account twice every 12 months. If you rename and then change your mind, renaming back into your old address doesn’t count towards your yearly limit.”
Some of these “limitations” complete deal breakers if you ask me, especially since none of this was mentioned in the original announcement blog post. So users may have already renamed their accounts and lost data without knowing it. To me, this looks as if Outlook.com will be joining the likes of ME, Vista & Zune in the list of Microsoft failures. “Email for the next billion mailboxes” - I doubt it.