Microsoft's respect for privacy

Hi everyone,

A article from Proton’s blog about the Microsoft’s privacy policy : https://proton.me/blog/fr/outlook-is-microsofts-new-data-collection-service

Again, don’t use GAFAM’s services/products.

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Shocking!
I am forced to work with Outlook for business. What I can’t understand: That companies, like my employer, put themselves at the mercy of services like Microsoft’s!

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To be honest, I’m actually surprised that this is only happening now. I assumed this had been happening for years.

Not that that makes it any better.

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Even better: also 3rd party mail clients urge the user to share his accounts with Microsoft. Probably they get money for this. Some days ago I configured an eM client on a new machine. I had a lot to mull over avoiding this sharing. The key is: completely manually configure the accounts, hacking in IP addresses and ports and so on, never use any assistance.

Will be interesting what the next Thunderbird versions will do.

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Same at my work. And the worst thing, it’s that a public service…

It’s pretty clear that Microsoft is trying to copy both Apple and Google, and not being terribly successful of either.

A client at work tried the “new Outlook” app…and I laughed as I closed it and gave him the desktop icon for “actual Outlook”. It’s basically an Electron wrapper over OWA, for all its functionality. Off the top of my head, it didn’t (at least at the time):

  • Connect to IMAP or MAPI mail servers, i.e. no connectivity with on-prem Exchange.
  • Import/Export PST databases.
  • Import/Export CSV files for contacts or calendars.
  • Support COM Add-Ins.
  • Allow ribbon customization.
  • Provide a ‘Notes’ or ‘Folders’ views.
  • Enable the creation of rules or filters.
  • Support E-Mail Certificate imports.
  • Support Macros, even signed macros.
  • Support per-mailbox signature creation.
  • Support VBA at all.

I laughed when I opened it for the first time. I was like “On what basis can this application be called ‘Outlook’? Both Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express weren’t this barebones!” Not a single client I service at work would tolerate such a disgraceful mail client.

It all makes sense now, though: The folks who would accept such a feature set are the folks who 1.) don’t care about privacy or data mining, and 2.) are more likely to act upon the sorts of targeted advertisements that a stripped down mail client would provide.

I don’t know if the next decade is going to treat Microsoft very well. They’ve had a search engine for decades, and yet Bing ad space isn’t worth nearly as much as Google ad space. Integrating those ads into Windows is the best sales pitch they could make for OSX.

Microsoft did a fairly decent job shifting Exchange shops to Office365 (and getting a mountain of IMAP clients to follow suit), but even Google is extremely conservative on the amount of third party advertisement takes place on a default Android install, instead being very deliberate on the parts of the OS they use for ad space. I have little confidence that Microsoft will show the same restraint, giving them short term gains at the expense of long term revenue.

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