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Microsoft The Internet The Almighty Buck

Microsoft to Sell Outlook Subscription Service 360

An anonymous contributor writes "Boston.com is reporting that Microsoft will begin selling Outlook as a subscription service to compete with add-on services provided by Yahoo and Google. 'The new service, which costs $59.95 per year, will let people organize e-mail, contact lists and calendars in their online Hotmail accounts using the Microsoft Outlook program most often found on businesses' desktop computers.' I can't see many users paying for this service. Most Hotmail users use it because it is free, or they don't know about the alternatives. Paying for access via Outlook doesn't seem to fit with that market segment."
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Microsoft to Sell Outlook Subscription Service

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  • TFA Article Says (Score:5, Insightful)

    by filmmaker ( 850359 ) * on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:09PM (#11420986) Homepage
    TFA Article Says:
    Microsoft is smart to take advantage of a popular core product -- Outlook -- to help make Hotmail more attractive to sophisticated users.

    They're not targeting fungrl149@hotmail.com here. They're targeting the exact segment of the market that Gmail appeals to now. Gmail took free web mail and turned it into a legitimate and attractive service. MS would now like to up the ante a bit and charge a little (and the dude said the price was 'steep', so it'll probably come down before launch) and provide more feature richness for that money. It's just another step towards the increasing legitimacy and acceptance of online services either replacing or merging with traditional desktop applications. I'm no fan of MS, but their participation in the advancement of web based email services or other apps is part and parcel of the general move forward.
    • Gmail took free web mail and turned it into a legitimate and attractive service

      Is Gmail a pay service? Is it even out of beta?
      • You want to know something ironic? I use GMail and I think it rocks, especially since it's free (for now). I've had a free yahoo account for ages so a lot of people still send mail there. I never considered paying for yahoo until GMail came along, now I am thinking about it. Why? So I can automatically forward my email to GMail. I have already set up my regular pop email accounts to forward to GMail.

        The one big thing GMail has (aside from labels, nice interface, etc.) is the notifier. The main reaso
    • TFA also says and more telling as well as supportive of your comment:
      Microsoft's Web site sells Outlook as a stand-alone product for $109. This is the first time Microsoft has offered any of its Office products on a subscription basis.

      Trully innovative that company is. I mean this new "vision" they have is, like, so 70's.
      • Trully innovative that company is. I mean this new "vision" they have is, like, so 70's.

        Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side...
    • by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:23PM (#11421184) Journal
      but their participation in the advancement of web based email services or other apps is part and parcel of the general move forward.

      hahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha.

      hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah, geeeez did you really say that?

      if you want an invite, there are loads around [gmail.com] free POP, and lots of space.

      Microsoft playing catch up on search and email and IM == part of the way forward? well I hope so.

      It's just another step towards the increasing legitimacy and acceptance of online services either replacing or merging with traditional desktop applications.

      You wouldn't happen to be a low paid middle manager? how did I know? nothing....
  • In related news, FlyByNight Inc has announced that it will begin offering Outlook Express in a new reverse-subscription method. "We'll give users $59.95 per year to use this email program without antivirus software. Just install it, and we'll put your check in the mail right away," FlyByNight's Vice President of Public Relations, I. 0wnzJ00 explained.

    Steve Ballmer initially acknowledged FlyByNight's efforts, stating, "We haven't been able to give it away - we bundled it with Windows, and people go out of their way to uninstall Outlook Express. We applaud FlyByNight's new distribution methods."
  • Great.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by rovingeyes ( 575063 )
    Now I can pay for worms and viruses!
  • One exception? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sefert ( 723060 )
    I suspect that the road warrior might use this - independant contractors (one man companies, in other words) who need to be able to access their email from anywhere, but might also want to do stuff like sync their Palm, or manage their stuff more quickly than can be done easily through Hotmail. I do agree Microsoft isn't likely to make much money off it, though it might be profitable once it's up and running as it'll cost little to maintain over and above their regular Hotmail servers.
    • Re:One exception? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jim_Maryland ( 718224 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:23PM (#11421181)
      Do businesses really rely on free web based email for communication? I've never worked for an IT company that had less than 100 employees so maybe I'm missing something here. Would small businesses really use communication systems that are outside their control (or through a pay service that provides corporate like email solutions) or ones that really don't have an obligation to protect their sensitive business data? I don't think I'd rely on Hotmail, Yahoo, etc... for anything beyond personal email. Just seems like too much of a risk.
      • You're thinking IT companies.

        There are SMEs in other areas, particularly in Asia and Eastern Europe that cannot afford to have their own mail server. However, you're right - they would rather sign up for their own domain and have a mailserver there, than use Hotmail or Yahoo.
      • Re:One exception? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xanthan ( 83225 )
        Outsourced email is actually a pretty good business. To clarify, this is not funnyname@standard-addy.com, but full blown email using the company's domain name. From an outsider's point of view, there is no difference between outsourced service and a company housing their own mail server.

        The beneits? Someone else takes care of the hardware, software licenses (if applicable), disk, backups, maintenance, and 24x7 availability. For a small company with no IT staff, this is great -- someone else manages the web
        • Outsourcing the email and using a free webmail service are really different solutions though. What you describe implies a paid service with levels of responsibility that aren't guaranteed by free email services.
      • Re:One exception? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jvagner ( 104817 )
        This is no joke: most of the independent investment bankers and VC types I've been dealing with lately favor hotmail. No, they're not Sand Hill Road level ones, but they're out there funding companies and quite happy with Hotmail. I think there's probably a market for this anyway.
      • No, not unless they have to. We can't run a mail server here because Adelphia is the only broadband option and they will let you VPN with a static IP but no mail server. 35 employees here total with +/- 8 on computers at any given time. Lucky for us most of our business data is very boring w/o credit card numbers and such.
    • How much will they be paying for this service? And how much spam will they get?

      You can get a 1GB hosted server and domain name for $65/year, with SpamAssassin and a variety of webmail applications preinstalled. Then you can use IMAP or POP3 from any email client on any OS. And you get a professional domain name, all with as much knowledge as you need to set up Outlook.

      So unless MS is charging less than $5.50 per month for this service, I don't see how it's going to make a profit.

  • Hmmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by merlin_jim ( 302773 ) <[James.McCracken] [at] [stratapult.com]> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:12PM (#11421034)
    I don't they're selling access via Outlook.

    I think they're renting the Outlook software itself. I have Outlook and can access my hotmail through it currently. That's been a feature for a while.

    What they're offering here is a cost-effective model to acquire Outlook to use with Hotmail...
    • I have Outlook and can access my hotmail through it currently. That's been a feature for a while.

      Guess what's going away, then, hmm? They've been testing this in the wild for a number of months now. a couple of months back, I got an error message in Outlook identifying Hotmail download as a premium subscription service; the message lasted a coupla days, and then it went away. (I'm a M$ beta tester! woot!)

      • oh yay.

        You know I'm not too excited to hear that they might want to charge me for a feature that up till now was free.

        I sincerely hope that's noe the case...

        Of course I unlinked hotmail with Outlook long ago after the gee-whiz factor wore off, so I guess its no skin off my back
  • Most Hotmail users use it because it is free, or they don't know about the alternatives.

    Most users have unruly amounts of spam. Hotmail, IMO, is the worst for spam.
  • So this is only for people who used web-based email programs? Why would I want to pay $60 for Outlook *per year* if I can use my current version of outlook now, for free, and import web-based email?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:13PM (#11421048)
    For just $5.95 per year you can purchase the blue screen portion of the service. For 19.95 per year, you get both the blue screen and clippy portion of the service.
  • by TychoCelchuuu ( 835690 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:13PM (#11421050) Journal
    Uh oh! Firefox is getting more popular! Thunderbird is becoming a viable email client! You're losing ground! What do you do? Quick, think! I've got it! Charge people yearly for stuff you didn't used to!
    • Uh oh! Firefox is getting more popular! Thunderbird is becoming a viable email client! You're losing ground! What do you do? Quick, think! I've got it! Charge people yearly for stuff you didn't used to!

      To my knowledge, Outlook (full version) has never been free. IE is still free, as is Outlook Express. $59.99 per year is barely different than buying every new version when it comes out.

  • Wow. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by manduwok ( 610836 )
    This is wonderful news for Mozilla. With the increasing popularity of FireFox [getfirefox.com] among non-geeks, now is the perfect time to convert Outlookers to Thunderbird [mozilla.org].
  • Most Hotmail users use it because it is free, or they don't know about the alternatives.
    I have a hotmail account as my permanent email address since 1996? maybe 1995? It was around the time that usa.com was starting to offer free lifetime email addresses. I looked at the idea, and chose a company (MS) that isn't going anywhere. I change ISPs, I change employers, but until MS goes out of business, I have one email address that isn't going away.
    Yes, I've got gmail, and I've got yahoo. Heck, I've even
    • So, do you get much spam? This is a genuine question.

    • I'm in the same boat - got my hotmail account back before MS bought the service (remember when that was the get-rich-quick internet story?), and still use it as my primary personal email address today. I was about ready to jump ship, but expanding the mailbox to 250 meg and better spam controls have kept me around. It's nice to have had the same email address to use with people for almost 10 years.
  • Sounds familiar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:16PM (#11421093)

    Sounds like .Mac [mac.com].

    Which is to say, not as crazy as it seems on the surface. If people really like the MS application, and like being able to access it anywhere, they're liable to pay.

    Big if, though.

    • Re:Sounds familiar (Score:3, Informative)

      by The I Shing ( 700142 ) *
      I use the .mac service, but it really pays off for me to have it, since I use a Mac at work and one at home. It's nice to have a common gigabyte of space that synchronizes between the two computers. And there's the nice email with aliases that I get to set up, and some free software, and online photo albums that I can automatically publish to with iPhoto, iCal sync-ing, Safari Bookmarks sync-ing, and and stuff like that. I don't know if the $60-a-year Outlook will include any of those kinds of features.
      • Domain Name - $15 per year Web Hosting with 3GB of space, PHP, MySQL, mod_perl, CGI and unlimited email addresses- $120 per year
        The tools to set up WebDAV and iPhoto-to-Gallery publishing: Free

        Having the ability to switch my service at any time and still keep my email address: Priceless.

    • But is anyone relaly willing to pay that kind of money for Outlook? I used to use it (with SpamBayes) but it started to be such a pain -- and I didn't use the calendar or anything, I use Palm Desktop for that and Lotus Notes for fancypants e-mail -- that I eventually downloaded Thunderbird, which is much less virus-prone than my old Outlook 2000.
  • i knew they were lying when they said they were getting rid of free outlook protocol support in hotmail to cut spam. now its obvious why.
  • by gaber1187 ( 681071 ) * on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:17PM (#11421119)
    There is a certain level of respect I get from having a hotmail account.

    People see surfrdood344@hotmail.com on my resume and say, "this guy means business"...

    being able to have easier access to my hotmail account? priceless...

    • http://domains.msn.com - there you go. Pricey, but if you want respect you'll probably pony up the dough. :0)
  • With Microsoft's experience delivering various products off of an application server, as well as their extensive experience in remote computing and web delivery there may be some potential for this to really work well. From a tech support standpoint it would be very nice if everytime someone started Outlook it fetched any necessary files, updated itself, and rebuilt after damage automatically the way it can in an application server environment.

    As well, given the cost of Outlook, a fee that included annual
  • by Holi ( 250190 )
    Now they come back and sell it to you.
    OE used to have the ability to use Hotmail as one of it's providers (not sure if it still does but looking at this announcement I doubt it). It was basically an IMAP connection to Hotmail. I have used this in the past and it worked well, Now they are goign to relaunch it with a price of ~$60 per year? Don't know where I am going with this comment. It was probably the best way to use hotmail, but is it worth charging for? Well either way I'm cheap and won't be paying any
    • Ok I just did the test and I can still use OE to attach to hotmail and get all sorts of fuctionality (like managing my folders) And I did not have to pay for it. SO why again would I use this service when I can get a better one for free with OE, pluss I don't have to shell out megabucks for office to use it. (Ok I have to use the bug-laden, insecure and dangerous OE but hey there are always trade offs.)
    • I believe it is an HTTP-based proprietary access method. It's been a while since I used it, but it didn't support IMAP itself, but rather proprietary extensions in Outlook/Outlook Express. Or you could use POP when running a daemon to talk to it like HotPop
  • Tom: for a special one-time fee of $200, a group calling themselves the "Bandwagon of Stupidity" is offering to shoot you in the head. for all of you considering Microsoft's Outlook subscription, this might just be the deal you're looking for, right Diane?

    Diane: right you are, Tom. i know several have "jumped on the Bandwagon", already.

    Tom: nice contribution, Diane.

    Diane: and you're a piece of trash, Tom.

  • Open Opportunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:20PM (#11421150) Homepage Journal
    If Evolution/Open-Xchange can import all Outlook data, this is a great opportunity for Microsoft to educate their Hotmail customers on the benefits of switching, then steal them for the superior Evolution/Open-Xchange platform. Especially when Evolution runs on Windows, too, and we can host Open-Xchange on Linux. The PIM server biz will explode in the coming few years, especially when others follow Palm's lead in including "MS-Exchange" sync with their mobile "phone" PIM SW.

    The key obstacle, as usual, is MS-proprietary data formats and protocols. The MS-Ex sync protocol is available for licensing. And PIM data uses standard vCal and VCard data, though there are MS-proprietary formats, too. Our Open community can pull this off with many people each doing our small part to reengineer those formats, and get Evolution/Open-Xchange to seamlessly import the native MS formats. MS is blinking - let's hit 'em between the eyes!
  • by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:20PM (#11421155)

    When I first read this article I saw this as a really stupid decision by Microsoft. It didn't seem to make any business sense at all. Then I saw it for what it really is. It's phase one in Microsoft's overall strategy to turn Office into a subscription service.

    Little by little, piece by piece, you'll see various Office applications offered as a service, with the ultimate goal of making users pay the Microsoft tax once a year.

    Gates isn't an idiot. He's seeing the ever increasing upgrade cycle. Let's face the facts, Office 2003 offers very few new useful features to your typical Office user than was there in Office 2000. Some would argue that all the way back to Office 98. He would love to get users into a subscription model. If you don't pay the yearly tax, your cut off, just like that.

    • This is not a MSFT thing, this is the entire software industry moving towards subscription/support based contracts.

      OSS is driving this in a big way. If the software is gratis/free, then how do you profit? You sell the services you need to make it work, and support. IBM wants to dominate the IT services industry.

      This is what businesses like, frankly, something that's a constant line item in the balance sheet, rather than having to spend X-zillion dollars at irregular intervals to roll out a new version
    • Exactly. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by i41Overlord ( 829913 )
      Gates isn't an idiot. He's seeing the ever increasing upgrade cycle. Let's face the facts, Office 2003 offers very few new useful features to your typical Office user than was there in Office 2000. Some would argue that all the way back to Office 98. He would love to get users into a subscription model. If you don't pay the yearly tax, your cut off, just like that.

      Yup. It used to be that you had to innovate if you wanted customers to trade in the old one and buy a new one. But that's too much work. I'm su
    • Gates isn't an idiot. He's seeing the ever increasing upgrade cycle. Let's face the facts, Office 2003 offers very few new useful features to your typical Office user than was there in Office 2000. Some would argue that all the way back to Office 98. He would love to get users into a subscription model. If you don't pay the yearly tax, your cut off, just like that.

      And that's why he's not exactly inclined to allow for a fully open format. No one will pay the price when they don't have to use MSFT's softwa
    • Microsoft has talked for some time about having not just Office, but the whole of Windows as a subscription service. My guess would be that this is a trial run, which (if it does well) would lead them to moving all their product lines into such a model.
  • This is not so much about Outlook as about Exchange [microsoft.com]. There are lots of Outlook features that don't work unless your email server is Exchange. There are a few Exchange service providers, but mostly you don't have access to Exchange unless you work for a company that uses it.

    This service doesn't just give Microsoft a new revenue stream (which they're not exactly desperate for in any case) it gives people a chance to try out Exchange features without the investment of an Exchange infrastructure. Which would,

  • If you look on this webpage [mozilla.org], there is a paypal subscribe button.

    You can 'subscribe' to Thunderbird [mozilla.org] too.

    IMHO that's a better option. Cheaper, better software. ;-)
  • Eventually all their products will be run as a service, and be subscription based.

    I can't wait for the day when we as consumers can no longer buy things, we must rent them- and be bound to their EULA's.

    What a great way to harvest citizens. "They aren't free thinking individuals- they're a cash crop, owned by corporations!"
  • Now when current users access their Hotmail account, thye get a message telling them "Your next email will be ready soon, but Outlook subscribers can beat the rush and see it early!"

  • No-one seems to be mentioning it, but they used to offer this service for free (when creating a new account in Outlook express it gives you the option to add a hotmail account).
  • ...the average Hotmail user. They probably want to attract more business users to their service and Outlook is probably the way to do it. For those small and mid sized businesses that don't have and can't afford an Exchange server, this will probably be an answer to their prayers. Now, let's just hope MS doesn't treat them as shabbily as they treat most Hotmail users. I had a Hotmail account for a while until they lost my mail and wouldn't recover it for me. Ever since that experience and an ISP who st
  • by humuhumunukunukuapu' ( 678704 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:36PM (#11421357)
    why would you use hotmail?

    I have comcast and the email seems to work fine...I can access it via thunderbird or the web...

    however friends with hotmail/yahoo/whatever often suffer delays when sending/receiving messages, etc. I can see if you don't want to change an email address for a business, but otherwise I don't see the point now that POP3 access is a "premium" feature.

    and why in the world would anyone pay $60 a year for a crippled version of outlook of all things? If you are using webmail in the first place I doubt you really need something with all of the functionality of outlook.

  • Paying for access via Outlook doesn't seem to fit with that market segment.

    Marketing 101, do not target development at your market niche try to fit into new spaces.
  • Lock In Attempt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swdunlop ( 103066 ) <swdunlopNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:38PM (#11421384) Homepage
    With Microsoft Exchange becoming less favored in many corporate datacenters, and the threat of open source PIMs coming to Windows, like Evolution or Chandler, this change has the appearance of Microsoft making an effort to convince people to use servers they control to store PIM data and messages.

    This gives Microsoft an excellent lock-in strategy, further down the road -- not only would you have to change email addresses to change clients, you would have to rebuild your contact database, transfer your calendar items, etc.

    The only part that I find surprising, here, is that Microsoft would bother charging for the service. Why not make it free, then turn it to a pay service when they have properly locked up your data in their servers?
    • yeah, just have some nice hidden gotchas in the EULA to the effect that access to data is not guaranteed.
      However this would probably result in the EULA going to court, and being tossed out, and Microsoft would have to start from scratch..
    • With Microsoft Exchange becoming less favored in many corporate datacenters, and the threat of open source PIMs coming to Windows, like Evolution or Chandler, this change has the appearance of Microsoft making an effort to convince people to use servers they control to store PIM data and messages.

      What color is the sky in your world? MS Exchange is growing in popularity and has no serious competition. Notes and Groupwise have been trying to steal marketshare but have not been making serious sucess. Certai
  • Old News (Score:2, Informative)

    by SmokeHalo ( 783772 )
    The Outlook subscription service was covered [infoworld.com] back in September of last year. The only difference between then and now is the price they've settled on.
  • .. use it.. I personally would not use it, but I know some people who want to be so tech connected they will find a way to pay for it...
  • The sad thing is, is that Microsoft will probably make a good chunck of change on this. There are a lot of people who refuse to see that there is a world out there other than Microsoft.

    Friends of my wife and I had a bunch of spyware on their PC. I cleaned up there system and then put Firefox on there. I said, "Use this instead. It's just as easy as IE, but you won't get as much malware on your system."

    They said, "Ok!"

    The next day I came by and somehow they figured out a way to get the IE icon back on
    • The next day I came by and somehow they figured out a way to get the IE icon back on their desktop and set up as the default browser. I was floored.

      They probably ran into some ActiveX site, such as Cartoon Network's Kids Next Door: Operation BEST, that by its nature does not work in any official Mozilla.org product. Next time, try a subtle hint: add a registry key [microsoft.com] that sets IE's title to "Microsoft Spyware Installer".

      • They probably ran into some ActiveX site, such as Cartoon Network's Kids Next Door: Operation BEST, that by its nature does not work in any official Mozilla.org product. Next time, try a subtle hint: add a registry key that sets IE's title to "Microsoft Spyware Installer.

        here is another subtle hint: users won't allow you to shut off access to the content they want, security be damned. you don't get that kind of power outside of the workplace.

  • Some of us have had hotmail accounts since long before the beast brought it out :( You can't just throw away a decade old address even if you get new ones because of the things going there that cannot be changed.

    Back in the day it was revolutionary and a good product, much like Gmail is now. In 10 years time it could well be Gmail that is the lumbering crap filled old beast.
  • by AlOfIt ( 839281 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:46PM (#11421473)
    IMHO this is where MS would like to go. Having a hosted web service model gives a dependable revenue stream that makes the Wall Street analysts salivate. Knowing that you have X numbers of users paying Y amount/month is a reliable predictor of future revenue.

    This also allows MS not to worry about license revenue and allows them to control the spitgot. If you can turn a service off or on then you put a serious clamp on the pirating of your software.

    The company I work for is in the final stages of turning off the licensed customers. The code line is deadended and will be eliminated in the future years. The only way to get our service will be to pay a user fee for out hosted web service.

    This is great for the company because we now control updates, releases, etc. and don't need the customers permission. We turn on access for new users and when the users get to a certain number we add a few more machines to the server farm. We use the same open source applications to provide the web servers and leverage the databases to handle many clients on the single license.

    Over time we have seen the 'cost per transaction' reduce and the 'cost per deployment' reduce but we still charge the same amount. This increases the margins and thereby increases our profitability.

    MS would love to get to the same place.
  • Regardless of the merit (or lack thereof) of the Outlook mail client (note that this is the full outlook client, not outlook express), this could be really really big in the small/med business world.

    Exchange server is pretty expensive to set up and maintain for the average small business, but integrated, shared calendaring/scheduling/contacts/etc. in the familiar Outlook interface is a nice feature for most businesses with more than a few employees.

    The roadwarrior aspect is quite nice too. If the off
  • , or they don't know about the alternatives

    Alternatives? What alternatives?

    The only other alternative I've ever seen on my desktop was this AOL link, and they charge something list $24.95 a month!

    It's funny, laugh

  • Too expensive (Score:3, Informative)

    by booch ( 4157 ) <(slashdot2010) (at) (craigbuchek.com)> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @12:54PM (#11421575) Homepage
    They're going to have a tough time selling this, especially at that price. Some friends of mine (see my sig below) have been running a low-cost secure webmail/POP/IMAPS service, and even at $14 a year, there aren't as many subscribers as they had hoped.

    And Slashmail [slashmail.org]'s offering is better than Microsoft's Outlook Live in many ways:

    • Works with Outlook or any standards-compliant program
    • No limit on email storage (Outlook Live has a 2 GB limit)
    • Better spam filtering (compared to Hotmail)
    • No advertisements on webmail pages
    • More security features
    • Uses Open Source extensively
  • And that plan is to move the average Joe who uses Outlook at home to a subscription plan as the *only* way to use Outlook.

    Ballmer and co. have stated many a time that software-as-a-service is their ultimate objective. Tiny steps in that direction eventually will get them there.

    Hopefully, everyone will be using Mac minis by then and Outlook will be a thing of the past. And I can drive my flying car to Venus for the weekend! w00t!

    • IMHO, the home computer market is where this has the least chance of success.

      For business, they may be able to justify spending incremental subscription costs for software: it may make financial sense for them to do so.

      But the home user? This is a person that has never had to be subjected to using software that demands a monthly bill to be paid like your telephone, utilities, and cable. I would guess that the vast majority of MS Office (therefore, Outlook) users in home environments either pirated their
  • I can't see many users paying for this service. Most Hotmail users use it because it is free, or they don't know about the alternatives.

    I know a lot of people who use Hotmail and Yahoo services simply for the convenience of having one email address. People hate switching email addresses every time they switch ISP's.

  • Ok, now ask any nix/linux user how they check their email remotely. Usually its something like, "well, I ssh into my machine and run mutt/pine/elm/whatever". When you ask a Windoze user how they check their email remotely, you get either a blank stare, or something inane like "well, when I'm travelling, I use my hotmail account."; they simply have no way of checking their regular email.

    MS are simply trying to make up for having a crappy, non-networked platform and trying to rip off their users at the sa

  • (ONE time fee!) you can get an entire OS [novell.com] and Kontact [kontact.org]

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

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