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What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft? 279

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thank-god-we-could-all-standardize-on-ie7 dept.
caluml writes "There is a humourous look at "What would happen if Microsoft had designed GMail". Gems include: "Another security measurement we'll add is that you won't be able to log-in with just username anymore but are required to enter the full username@gmail.com. Furthermore, we will change the browser URL from 'http://gmail.microsoft.com/' to the more professional looking 'http://by114w.bay114.gmail.live.com/mail/mail.aspx?rru=home'.""
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What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft?

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  • Hotmail...? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @10:22AM (#21471165)
    I RTFA a little and this sounds like a dumb question which has already been answered by just looking at hotmail. Sure they didn't design hotmail from the beginning but they have been maintaining it longer then Google has with GMail.
  • by MLCT (1148749) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @10:24AM (#21471175)
    ...it is called hotmail, and was (at least when I last was last there 4 years ago) a disaster zone, which included a page as part of the signup process where you were given the choice of what kind of junk mail you wanted emailed to you.
  • While funny ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DerWulf (782458) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @10:26AM (#21471189)
    I actually like the previewing pane in outlook XP. Emails are usually around three to five lines. Why should I have to open a new window or navigate to a new page for reading them?
  • by defile (1059) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @10:32AM (#21471225) Homepage Journal

    The mass market instead of early adopters?

  • by wikinerd (809585) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @11:16AM (#21471543) Journal

    The reason you put the username@hotmail.com is because there is also msn.com msn.ca for the ISP subscribers... hotmail.com hotmail.co.uk etc etc

    So perhaps they should make it aware of the URL the user types in the browser... if I visit by typing msn.com and I login with the @msn.com email, but if I type hotmail.co.uk then my mail login will be @hotmail.co.uk

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2007 @11:16AM (#21471545)
    GMail's interface can hardly be considered "good". Its performance is piss-poor on Firefox. It's a little bit better when using Opera, but Thunderbird is still a lot faster.

    One thing I particularly hate is how I have to go to a new page just to view a message. The split mailbox listing and message display layout of Thunderbird, Outlook, Netscape Communicator, Mail.app and other real desktop apps is so much more efficient.

  • Re:Slashdot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2007 @11:17AM (#21471551)
    Ahhh, yes, design by committee. That's always the best way to go, especially when the committee has shown time and time again that they know absolutely nothing about interface design.
  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @11:22AM (#21471589) Journal

    Correct me if I'm wrong (as if people wouldn't), but doesn't the Gmail system scan your emails so that it can send you targetted ads? Doesn't that make taking the piss out of Microsoft's security a lot hypocritical?
  • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @11:29AM (#21471647)
    To be fair to MS, they are only doing what most large Corporation do -- listen to their Marketing Department. Yahoo, eBay, many others, are much worse.

    This is a primary failing. One that Google, miraculously, seems to have so far avoided. Full credit is due.

    Marketing depts make two mistakes.
    1. (and foremost) They ask people what they want. They convene a focus group of a cross section of people, brainstorm and come up with a list of priorities. The issues with this being that most people don't know what they want, no committee ever came up with anything minimalist, functional or streamlined, and most people in a focus group are only statistically representative -- but not representative in reality.
    2. They have no understanding of pure Economics. They attempt to maximize revenue from everything up to the point that function is destroyed and satisfaction is lost. Thereby devaluing the product.
    Apple and Google are far more successful than many other similar brands. They value function and form. This is why they are successful. This why they have fanboys. It's not rocket science, all you need to do is fire the marketing droids out of the nearest airlock.
  • Re:While funny ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GrBear (63712) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @12:11PM (#21471911)
    There's plenty of reasons why a preview pane is a 'bad idea'. Ever remember a certain OS, with a certain bundled graphics library that would allow someone to infect your computer with a carefully crafted embedded image file? Now display that image immediately before the user can delete the email, oh shi...

    How long will it take for hackers to find out other ways into your system via instantly displayed non-text elements?

    Thank you very much, but I'll keep auto-preview turned off.

    Gmail does it right imho.. it displays a snippet of the first sentence, more than enough for me to tell if it's worth opening when the subject/sender is questionable.
  • by Blkdeath (530393) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @12:32PM (#21472065) Homepage


    Correct me if I'm wrong (as if people wouldn't), but doesn't the Gmail system scan your emails so that it can send you targetted ads? Doesn't that make taking the piss out of Microsoft's security a lot hypocritical?

    Yes, but Google are not evil. :)

    Seriously, yes, Gmail does scan your e-mails and send targeted ads to you. They also scan your search results and send targeted ads. They also scan web pages you visit and send you targeted ads based on the content therein (providing the web page belongs to Google Adsense).

    This is their business model. Ads on the Internet, much like ads on television are inevitable. The difference is in the degree. Just exactly how invasive are the ads - are they flashing banner ads that are totally irrelevant to you and your life, sponsored spam that makes it into your inbox (or just due to really lousy spam filters) or are they small relatively harmless textual ads that correspond to your general interests?

    Gmail is, IMHO, the least invasive alternative. Now, myself, I just have my Gmail account forwarded to my home server where it's parsed by my own local spam filters (second round) and sorted into its own folder on my IMAP server so I never see their ads (or, in point of fact their interface) so it's all moot to me. :)

  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @12:39PM (#21472113) Homepage Journal
    Why not have different URLs for the different domains. http://hotmail.com/ [hotmail.com] for hotmail users, http://mail.msn.com/ [msn.com] for msn.com users and so on and so forth. Why in the fuck would you use hotmail for 6 different domans' users?

    LK
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Sunday November 25, 2007 @01:04PM (#21472297) Homepage
    If Gmail was designed by Microsoft, it might have included (from Day One) a UI with actual functional features - like a delete button. (It took Google months to move theirs from behind a drop down menu.) Or the ability to sort your mail. Etc... Etc..
  • by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Sunday November 25, 2007 @01:57PM (#21472707)
    You can set things up so http://mail.yourdomain.com/ [yourdomain.com] (or whatever) will point to your domain's Google login page.
  • by shimage (954282) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @02:24PM (#21472897)
    Sure that's sort of important to the user experience, but to me that's a trivial thing. More important to me is whether or not they keep the information and for how long. If they scan the email, figure out what kind of ads to send me, and then throw that info away, then that's fine. If they store it and use for something other than advertising, or give it to other people (say, the government), then I have issues with it. Not because I think that something bad would happen to me as a result, but because something bad could happen, and it sets a horrible precedent. The fundamental problem is simply that I don't know what they do with it, and Google won't tell me (trade secrets, you know). On the other hand, David Brin tells us that privacy is gone [google.com], but I'm still waiting for the government to open its information to everyone, or at least, to those of us paying taxes.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @02:26PM (#21472911)
    Gee, what would you rather face, me (a blatant Apple fanboy) telling you how great Macs are year after year, or a bunch of advertising crap in your software that bogs you down and makes you prone to malware? Personally, I'd rather have the rabid Mac guy letting me know how bad my Microsoft product is, because, a) it's true, and b) I can avoid the fanboy easier than I can avoid being spammed to death by advertising.
  • by lazy_playboy (236084) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @02:26PM (#21472913)
    Huh?!

    Any third party email sevice provider has the capability of scanning your email, for what ever reason they want. Just because Gmail openly scans to serve targeted ads, doesn't mean Microsoft doesn't do it secretly to steal information from you.
  • by vux984 (928602) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @04:23PM (#21473609)
    So perhaps they should make it aware of the URL the user types in the browser... if I visit by typing msn.com and I login with the @msn.com email, but if I type hotmail.co.uk then my mail login will be @hotmail.co.uk

    Sure that would be awesome when it works. And then one day, you click a link somewhere that takes you to the hotmail page via the 'wrong' URL, and it rejects your username and password.

    Maybe it would give a helpful message like. Please verify you are entering it in the correct case, oh, and check the URL because we assume your email address uses the same domain suffix as the hotmail URL you are accessing... ...at which point joe average goes... "domain suffix URL say what now!?"

    Or even worse, what if, for some user name, xyz@hotmail.com and xyz@msn.com have the same password... and xyz@msn.com inadvertantly checks xyz@hotmail.com's address and has absolutely no clue what happened to all his messages...oops... who do you think is going to bear the blame for that fuckup?

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