MICROSOFT HAS warned users of its Windows Live Mail service that they will no longer be able to use it with Hotmail and Outlook.com.
Windows Live Mail is part of a suite of “Windows Live Essentials”, born in part out of the need to appease regulators over bundled products. Some of its services are obsolete already but the mail reader is still popular.
A message sent out to users explains, “It appears that you are currently using Windows Live Mail 2012 to connect to your Outlook.com account. Windows Live Mail 2012 does not support the synchronization technologies used by the new Outlook.com.
“When account upgrades begin at the end of June, you will no longer be able to receive email sent to your Outlook.com account in Windows Live Mail 2012. Rest assured, you can always access your email by logging into Outlook.com from any web browser, and you will continue to have access to all your data that is currently in Windows Live Mail 2012.”
So is this an Updategate story? No, but still, the retirement of a five-year-old piece of software has been turned into an excuse to try to persuade people to upgrade. On its own, this would be no big deal, but as part of the wider pushy strategy, it just looks… well… bad.
The message goes on, “If you currently use Windows Live Mail 2012, we recommend that you switch to the Mail app in Windows today. The Mail app is built in to Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10, and has a more modern design.
“To begin using it, simply launch the app and add your Outlook.com account. If you are using Windows 7, you can upgrade to a newer version of Windows to enjoy the Mail app and the other benefits.”
Yaaaaaaaaawn. We get it, you want us to upgrade. Sheesh.
All credit to Microsoft as users of Live Mail 2012 are being offered a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, if they so wish, and we think that’s a ruddy generous offer considering it also gives them access to the latest online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and another year’s grace before they have to upgrade.
It is worth noting, however, that if they don’t do it soon, they’ll have to pay the $120 or equivalent for Windows 10 anyway, so there’s a certain amount of over-a-barrel going on for a number of people.
So, is this a non-story? No. It’s retiring a product that hasn’t been updated for 14 months anyway, but it’s doing it in a way as to try and llure people into upgrading. Windows Live Mail 2012’s retirement and what version of Windows people are using should have nothing to do with each other.
Microsoft is sometimes a victim of its own terrible PR machine. Today’s installment of the omnishambles could have been so easily avoided if they’d just explained it better rather than leave us to shoot fish in a barrel.
We could write a click bait story on the lines of “Outlook blocked for Windows 7 users”, but contrary to popular belief, that’s not how we roll. We could go back over the last year and talk to Microsoft about how they could have avoided almost each and every aspect of Updategate. The problem is, no one listens – it’s a nanny state where Microsoft believes it knows what is best.
Once again, we’re sending out an appeal to Microsoft’s heads – sit down with us, in a room and we’ll talk through everything that you’ve mishandled in the last year and try and get it straightened out. Your move, Redmond. µ
Article originally published by The Inquirer