I’m now 2 months into using Windows Live. Yes I have thrown Google Gmail out the window and said hello to Windows Live. Now, I’ve been a long time Gmail user so what gives? Why move now.. and why Windows?
Back in January I was browsing my Twitter feed. Paul Thorrutt had published an article about consolidating email accounts. It made me think about my email services. Being in IT, I felt that I had to do what I had learned to do.. evaluate and migrate.
The Negatives of Gmail
Paul Thorrutt’s article made me think about Gmail, their services, and how they fit in with my workflow. The one thing that really sticks out in my mind was making the change to the new Gmail themes that align with their Google+ feel and look. I absolutely hated it. The change made my logon times longer. Buttons and loading took longer to react to my mouse clicks.
The native integration of Google+. It’s finds its way into your inbox. It hovers to the side letting you know that you can chat with someone in one of your circles.
There is just too much going on that required much of my time to organize it.
Live to the Rescue
Paul went with Hotmail. I went with Live. To me, they are the same service just different domains.
Windows Live introduces a homepage where it tells you what emails you have in your inbox from your contacts, which important emails you have flagged, your upcoming calendar events and social media news (if you’ve connected them). I give it a glance and move right into email.
The interface is solid. It’s fast and responsive. Doesn’t take long to load either.
One of the nicest features of Windows Live is your ability to organize email by Social or Newsletters with one click. NICE!
Another added bonus is the SkyDrive. It’s quickly becoming a favorite over Dropbox. Once Microsoft releases an app that works across all platforms then I’m sold. Another bitchin feature is the integration of Office Web Apps. With Google I was using Google Docs. Just like Open Office but on the web. I can kiss that goodbye. I can now open and edit my documents not only on the web but also open them in my Office applications. Now that’s a nice feature.
One last feature I am warming up to, and Google had their way of doing this too, is the possibility of adding an Alias to your email account. So let’s say I want to sign up for newsletters, etc but I don’t want to give my personal email address. You can create an Alias email account and call it whatever you like and use that on the Internet. Live will deliver those emails in your inbox or you can create a folder just for those emails.
My biggest challenges occur when I crossover from work to home. Personally, I use a Macbook Pro and will always use one. At work I prefer to use Windows. I don’t use any installed applications for email, other than Exchange but that is only for work. My ideal set up is to use the cloud.
Currently, I have any Gmail messages automatically forward to my Live email. All emails arriving in Gmail are marked as read and archived. Gmail acts as an added spam filter at the moment which is making my Live account looking really clean. When the time comes I will cut that off and put up an auto responder for my Gmail account.
Have you had any positive experiences switching email accounts?