[RANT] Microsoft relies way too much on user compromises


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Apr 16, 2013
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Some people around here might know me as an ex-Windows Phone/W10m user and fan. At the time, the company was playing catch-up which made it exciting. We had many compromises to do as opposed to other platform users though. But we were ready to accept that at the time because we wanted to be a part of this new platform while it was being developed.

But one of the reasons why WP didn't work at the time was because, truth be told, other than the features that made it stand out, the rest was pretty much subpar in comparison to other platforms. And few people were willing to compromise to use a certain OS.

I'm reminded of the review Mr. Mobile did of the Lumia 950 where he was saying that all the drawbacks were not acceptable given that software was released publicly to people paying big money. He was absolutely right.

I'm not going to go through the history as most of us here have gone through it. But I feel like Microsoft, who knows that their future relies on their services, is still to this day depending on people accepting shortcomings which is unintelligible to me.

For example, Outlook on Android. For years I've managed my 6 email accounts through outlook.com. I was able to send and receive emails to and from those 6 accounts simply by setting them up in my outlook.com account. They were then available on all my devices just with my Microsoft account. That way I could then manage all my emails in one place no matter what device I used and without relying on the very useless principle of aliases which adds a "Sent on Behalf of YOURNAME@outlook.com" notice. Given 4 of those are not personal email addresses, I need to be able to hide my real personal email address from the people I send emails to.

Then Microsoft bought Acompli and rebranded it to Outlook. The possibility to use those connected accounts was never added. It's been 3 years now.

Of course I could always just split my accounts into 6 seperate accounts again, copy all my old emails on those 6 different services, configure them one by one on the Outlook app and use Outlook 2016 on my PC. But why would I? Gmail has that functionnality and it works flawlessly. But Outlook doesn't. So why would I have to change the way I use my services? For the honor of using Microsoft services? I just moved all my stuff on Gmail 3 years ago.

Since then, I spoke to several support techs because I was waiting for this to get fixed. I went through regular support and through the beta program. Through the regular support, they all told me that it was a bug but that they didn't have a ETA for a fix. One even suggested I reinstall the app once in a while to see if it's been solved. But what would I, the user, have to do that?

The tech on the beta program told me the feature was not supported altogether... so they have this great and useful feature that works fine on the website and in the Windows 10 app but if you want to use it on mobile, sorry, you're screwed? How ridiculous is this?

Another bug, outlook.com beta jumps back to the top when you scroll through the email list. This bug has been reported several times since outlook.com beta came out. I know it's in beta, but this should be a priority to fix. Not being able to scroll through your email is absurd.

With this, a major issue Microsoft even had in the Windows Phone days appears to still be there. Their offering is not even on par with the competition. And in the case of outlook.com, it's true for both the app and the website.

For someone who likes to have everything in one ecosystem, they'll go where it's easier to do that. All my stuff is on Google's services. I would rather move them back to Microsoft services but I'm no longer willing to sacrifice ease of use and peace of mind for that.

Plus, they're already rowing against the current given both Android and iOS have their respective services and ecosystems built into the OS. If Microsoft wants us to use their ecosystem without having their own mobile OS, they should make it as easy as possible to do so. I really don't understand how they're doing things.

Again, when they were playing catch-up with the competition, I could understand it to a certain extent. But they have no valid excuse now.

Outlook.com is my current major annoyance but there are some other smaller things that can sound petty but that just make the whole thing feel like they don't really care and take their users for granted. Take the Microsoft launcher for example. There are several place where the French translations either don't work or were never translated. Translations are not something horribly complicated to do. Yet it's very annoying to see a bit in English here and there. It just makes the product feel unfinished.

So there you go. I'm bitterly disappointed in Microsoft. I know they're able to do better. Being on par with the competition should not be a goal, it should be a starting point!

Please keep replies courteous.

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