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Outlook.com team does AMA on Reddit

A few monthts ago, the team behind the new Outlook.com webmail service did an AMA on Reddit. I thought it would be nice to highlight the questions and answers they received from the audience there.

Here’s a small portion of the Q&A – most asked questions:

T+8 days edit: Lots of questions about upgrading Hotmail accounts to Outlook.com – here’s a demystifying blog post: http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/archive/2012/08/03/upgrade-from-hotmail-to-outlook-com.aspx

Lots of questions about IMAP Here’s our thinking on IMAP: IMAP is an old protocol that supports only mail syncing (not calendar and people). Nowadays, EAS is simply a better protocol. It’s fast, battery-efficient, and syncs mail, calendar, people and tasks. All modern phones support EAS, including iPhone, Android, Windows Phone. So, EAS is our long-term bet, and we just prioritized getting it out there before “going backwards” and working on IMAP. Nonetheless, we recognize that IMAP is widely implemented in clients, and that there are people that expect it in a mail service. We think IMAP is good for two things:

(1) supporting legacy phones and clients that don’t have EAS support

(2) supporting developers who want an API to access email.

We think both those things are important, and so I expect we’ll support IMAP for Outlook sometime down the line (I can’t comment on release dates, blah, blah, blah). Building software means making tradeoffs, and we prioritized other things over IMAP. We’ll get there. If IMAP is really, really important to you, you should wait to upgrade. Also, a special note for Mac users: We know our client support on the Mac isn’t great and we’re working on it.

We’ve got to wind down – we’ll definitely try to have more discussions like these. Follow @outlook on Twitter for updates.

Again, THANK YOU for the comments.

tl;dr – we’re the engineers and product managers from Microsoft behind the new Outlook.com email service – ask us anything.

(We’ll be here from 11 to 1 PM Pacific)

Hey reddit – today we launched a new email service – the Outlook.com Preview – and we’re interested in hearing from you. We’ve got about 20 members of the team on the technical and marketing side here to take feedback.

We learned a lot when the Hotmail team took to reddit 18 months ago – brand, ads, performance, and spam came to the top – and we used that to help inform our decisions with this new service. We designed it to:

  • have a modern, fast UI
  • be connected to your networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon, Skype)
  • have smart tools to manage and filter messages
  • prioritize your privacy (we don’t serve ads based on the contents of your email)

If you’ve not had a chance to check out the service, go to www.outlookpreview.com to learn more.

Thanks a ton.

e: Proof! http://twitter.com/Outlook/status/230361041924669440

e2: If you’re interested in some long-form reading, our blog has a ton of information about the background and why we think this is neat http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/archive/2012/07/31/introducing-outlook-com-modern-email-for-the-next-billion-mailboxes.aspx

e3: here’s a makeshift FAQ:

WHY to try/switch from Gmail:

Gmail is 8 years old now, and we think it’s time for something new. We focused on a clean modern UI, making your email connected to the services you really use, like Facebook and Twitter, making you more productive with Newsletters, Schedule Cleanup, Office integration and more. And, finally, we think your privacy is really important, so we don’t scan your email to show you ads, and we never show you ads when reading mail from friends and family. Check out more here: www.outlookpreview.com

…and HOW to try/switch from Gmail:

Switching is as easy as setting up forwarding in Gmail, and you can also POP agg your old mail into your new account. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/outlook/compare-gmail?woldogcb=0

How to rename a current Windows Live account:

Head to http://mail.live.com/?rru=renameaccount – and if you want to upgrade to Outlook.com from Hotmail, there’s a link in the options to the top right of the inbox.

e4: Over a million signups in under 24 hours! http://twitter.com/Outlook/status/230427048919851008/photo/1


You can read the whole conversation here on Reddit.

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