marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

It feels really, really weird to have a whole slew of Inbox notifications not coming to my actual, off-site inbox. Nothing since the 18th - which was over 3 days ago. My Outlook.com box exists solely to feed me all the messages from this account so imagine how strange it's been to see it empty for three days when the bits and bytes should be flying in and out just as usual.

No DW News notification. No comment notifications, and no copies of my replies. I mean, when I asked Denise in the News post yesterday about it also being a live.com/outlook.com issue (and it is, it really is) I thought maybe it was a fluke I didn't get my DW News notification - the first thing I would've had in my Inbox in days.

But now that I get no notifications at all I can see it's no fluke - this is the real deal, and us Microsoft users are pretty much screwed until further notice. I don't want to jump the gun until Denise makes an announcement, but if I have to give up live.com over this I will not be happy. And no, I'm not going to blame her or Mark one little bit. I can't see why Microsoft can't differentiate our little social circles here from a huge Russian spam syndicate of some sort but honestly, it seems they can't. I remember AOL having the same problem, blocking email from so many websites over the years it actually got to be one of the most infamous things about them. But this doesn't feel quite the same to me. It feels like an algorithmic error that MS can't be arsed to use human beings to look into and correct. But they're not AOL and as long as they're not AOL it's hard for me to be mad at them for this.

The thing is, I really don't want to switch email providers. I've tried them all - all the more well-known ones, anyway - all the ones you've seen listed on About.com - and I think they suck compared to MS's swoopy, glide-y, and ridiculously easy to use email. I love the way Outlook.com looks, feels, filters, acts, responds and functions. It really does do most of the thinking and heavy lifting for you so while it's a bit of a learning curve to get into it, it was well worth it for me in the long run to figure out just how it works. And I've gotten very, very used to what it offers.

FWIW, I will pry both my eyes out with a fork before I transfer DW's email to GMail, which has become so hard to use lately I don't bother anymore, and AOL's service is really not so hot (though, as always, I do still have a soft spot for AIM). I have one Yahoo account, as a few of you know since we use it, but I can't stand the interface or functionality as compared to Outlook's. So I don't see a lot of viable options here if I have to step away from the one I have now.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I have to admit I've wanted to close all my Yahoo email accounts since I started using Outlook.com some months back for some of my private email (by private I mean "not associated with this name" and by some I mean "never keep all your eggs in one basket" - unfortunately I've taken that advice far too literally, until I have somewhere between 10-15 "baskets", which sometimes drives me nuts).

Outlook.com has a clean, snazzy, jazzy, flat (I am sooooo into flat!) dark blue and white design with a lightning fast interface that does many things; it unsubscribes from unwanted email with just one click of a link you'll find at the bottom of each unwanted email, then deletes all email from those senders, it creates folders without you asking it to (to corral things like UPS tracking numbers), it filters junk intelligently enough to know that you didn't mean to subscribe to eight newsletters in one day - even if you really did - and to put extraneous email from those senders into the Junk folder, which will randomly remind you to unsubscribe from those senders to get their email out of your Inbox.

Outlook mail is intelligent and gorgeous and glide-y and swoopy like a Windows phone screen (did I mention it's flat? It makes GMail's baroque interface look a thousand years old and makes even Yahoo's latest inbox designs look so trashy and cheap and hard to use - take that Marissa). I fucking love it, love it, love it, the way I love...well, come to think of it, I love nothing else online, except maybe amazon.com, which I also fucking love, with so little reservation right now.

Another neat thing: any Microsoft email address you've ever had works with it. Your old MSN email addy? Works with it. Hotmail? Works with it. They all just work.

While I'm on the topic of Microsoft, Windows 7 is still the best operating system Windows has had out since XP (but XP's still better - it's simpler, more extensible, much more easily modifiable and it uses less hardware and system resources - hell, it even runs well on crappy billion-year-old hardware like my fiance's antiquish Dell laptop from the early 2000s, which is hard to beat). But like most Windows people, even I cannot figure out how to simply use (and by use I mean "find shit on") Windows 8.

Then again, my practice has been limited to using it on the shiny new rigs I've seen at Staples and Best Buy (yeah, I know, go me). I'm sure it's not hard once some WiseGeek type explains how to do it on the website he'll have to build and run just to explain it to the rest of us or else once you download the 12,000 page PDF MS surely offers on the topic. There must be something on how to find the fucking Start Menu! (Seriously, just google it; I'm sure plenty of resources that I just haven't felt like looking into are already out there).

I'm also sure, after my brief store test runs, that not only is Win8 unintuitive, but that the word "intuitive" never enters the equation, at least not for your average Windows user. It looks like a training-required/practice-makes-perfect hell of its own. But I will learn because it seems kind of XP-like to me under the hood, at least from the things I've read about it, so I do want to learn more (I'm also fascinated - and utterly repelled - by the NSA backdoor; I could hardly mention Win8 without bringing that up, too, in all fairness).

And Internet Explorer? Yes, of course I've installed IE11; that might've been the same day it came out. And of course I still think it sucks. Nothing will ever suck as bad as IE7 and IE8 but it's got issues. Still in love with font kerning, though. And the fact that MS has finally gotten around to supporting rotation (check my user icon in any modern browser besides IE to see that one simple thing in action) is enough to make me almost swoon.