I recently received this email from the computer department informing me that the college is moving all Alumni to Outlook Live and they are offering students an impressive array of features. Take a look at this email sent to all students & alumni:
Dear Alumni,Impressive - notice the large 10GB mailbox, multiple POP/SPOP, and Active-Sync support, too. Students will LOVE that.
Computer Services has begun upgrading TMC's six year old student email system to a new email service hosted by Microsoft called Outlook Live. Testing of the new system is under way and the migration of students and alumni to Outlook Live is anticipated during Spring of 2010.
Here are some of the features provided by Outlook Live:
- 10GB mailbox size (50x more space than the current 200MB limitation)
- 20MB attachment size (up from the current 10MB limitation)
- Access email via Outlook Web Access, Outlook 2007, Entourage 2008 (older versions of Exchange and Entourage are not supported)
- Active-Sync support for Windows smartphones and iPhones
- Pull email from existing Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and other supported email services directly into your Outlook Live account via POP or SPOP
- Enhanced anti-malware and anti-virus protection
- 25GB of secure online file storage through Windows Live Sky Drive
Now, consider the expectations that young people entering the workforce will have for the tools that they will use at work.
Do you know any employers that allow 10GB Mail, access from a variety of mail clients, including mobile devices, and integration with external mail providers?
It's not really a fair comparison - personal use is not subject to the same Governance/Risk/Compliance issues that might cause an organization to disable most of the features I have listed above.
However, this is about expectations - not reality.
Young people entering the workforce are in for a surprise when their employer says that they can have just a few hundred megabytes (or less) of emails that are automatically purged or archived on a regular basis.
And the 10GB limit for email? I personally think that's nuts, but that's me. My good friend Marc Orchant used to say that search was the new UI and the we no longer needed folders. I disagree. I try to keep my mail file as small as possible. My inbox is a place for processing communications and filing past communications I need to keep. It's not a place to park things that I have not or will not decide what to do with like some giant rented storage room. But that's another conversation for another day.
What do YOU think?
P.S. If you are a Notes user, try not to get distracted by the fact that this is a Microsoft offering - that's not the point of this post. I would make the same post if they had selected an IBM product. What I'm interested in is the expectations that people entering the workforce will have when they get there.
Personally, I would have preferred that they switched to a Lotus offering, but I already forward any college email I might receive directly into Lotus Notes, so no changes for me. And, with the new multi-signature feature of eProductivity for IBM Lotus Notes, I'll be able to send email using any of my email identities for my return address. eProductivity will automatically insert the correct signature line, whether it is my work email, my faculty email or any of my other public email accounts. The good news is that I can manage all of this in one place.