"Hate It So Far"on by pete592
Pros Unlimited storage is nice. Nothing else comes to mind.
Cons Questionable reliability. Confusing, cryptic interface hell for seasoned Hotmail users. Combines multiple replies into one link??
Summary I was completely unable to send messages at one point. I kept trying to send a message, the busy icon in the menu bar circled and circled for a few minutes, then stopped. Did it send? I don't know, the draft is still there on screen. I try to navigate away, and a message pops up asking if I'm sure and that the message hasn't been sent yet. Turns out, eventually they were sent. How do I know what's really going on?
I hate the way Outlook.com formats messages. Replies from multiple recipients are grouped into one link. I'm used to being able to look at my inbox and have replies each listed separately and each indicating the sender.
It doesn't get any better when composing a message either. The subject entry is the biggest joke. What's wrong with having clearly defined borders around the subject line and message body? Someone at Microsoft thought there was something wrong with it, and tried to make it look cool without any apparent concern for ergonomics. Why the hell do the recipients have to be in a column to the left? Does anyone prefer this? Did anyone ask for this? I sure didn't.
We've been robbed of right-click browser functionality. In Hotmail, you could right-click on a message and open it in a new browser tab. In Outlook, right-click web browser functionality is only available in the top menu bar. All other areas, such as the folders and message pane have Outlook's integral functions pop up with right-click (new folder, reply, etc.). Dumb.
There was nothing wrong with Hotmail's interface. It was simple, I could see everything, it made sense, and it worked. Microsoft has tossed aside practicality and function for the sake of making things look cool. I haven't found anything about Outlook that's easier to do than it was in Hotmail, not a single thing.
Pros Can't really think of any Pros, other than unlimted storage.
Cons When I tried it, I had been having issues with Hotmail's Search email option. I tried Outlook and was really disappointed that the Search email option wasn't working in Outlook either.
Summary I'm rating Out look 3 stars. It's better than some web mail services; but, really not as good as Hotmail. In reality though, comparing Outlook with Hotmail would be like comparing a hooker with the First Lady.
Pros Nothing to speak of
Cons It feels like a throwback design to Windows 95. No real color, faded fonts and too much emphasis on making it look nice for tablets.
Summary I have used Hotmail for many years and when Outlook.com came along I tried it and immediately adopted gMail as my primary email provider. I cannot stand how Microsoft has dumb down the GUI for the sake of tablets. Not to mention the reliability of the service since moving to Outlook.com has suffered a lot. Sorry Microsoft but lately you just can't do anything right.
Pros Not as bad as it was.
Cons Doesn't check for new messages automatically, LOTS of wasted space (in the Inbox, folders, when reading messages, REALLY bad when sending a new message, the menubar), ugly interface even when changing the colors, permanent scrollbar.
Summary I hate having to refresh to get new messages, the ugly interface, the wasted space everywhere. It's like they didn't even test it or listen to the feedback that complained of just such things. Yet we are now all forced to use it. Or use another e-mail, but I've had Hotmail since the 90's before M$ even owned it, so I'm hesitant to change it. Yahoo, AOL, and GMail keeps making stupid changes too, so it's not like any of them are any better anyway. Especially GMail, they keep doing things people specifically say they don't like, but they force us to use it anyway. I've been trying to use the Mac Mail program, but they don't make it easy, and none of the others I've used are good either. Same problems with reading from free e-mail services like these. So I'm stuck reading from my browser, which was working ok with Hotmail and GMail until these arbitrary and awful "upgrades".
Pros Separate left-side pane for folder operations; can sign out without scrolling to top.
Cons Sluggish, lots of glitches, quirky behavior and anomalies. Minimal developer supported Help--a few FAQs but mostly wiki help from other users (who are obviously frustrated at times).
Summary I fully agree with a previous review (pete592) and have my own points to add. The mistake the CNET reviewer made is comparing Outlook to GMail; it should have been compared to Hotmail, which had some useful features, many gone w/ Outlook. One example: Being able to collect contacts into groups so you can give the group a name and send to all in it. Can't find a way to do this anymore--or to edit Groups already there from Hotmail. MS' Outlook HELP website (almost totally wiki except for a minimal set of FAQs). Also, now when signing out, we get sent to...a page that says: YOU HAVE SIGNED OUT. Wow! Terrific. Used to go to MSN at least. Now to NOTHING. Would be nice to be able to direct to a chosen site. Seems much more sluggish than Hotmail was. As for anomalies, sometimes the cursor turns into a pointing finger, sometimes not. Right now, I find that my Inbox folder shows one new letter but there's none in the Inbox. Adressee autocomplete takes far too long to bring up the correct name; can usually finish entering it manually before this happens. I could go on but it gets tiresome. Suffice it to say that continued development is really warranted.
There are some improvements: separate folder pane on the left; separate ad pane on the right; (Oh wait--not an improvement at all. More like a pain.) ability to sign out w/o scrolling to the top of a page. That said, I think many longtime Hotmail users would take what they used to have over what they are now forced to use.