Google abashed the tech apple aback in December of 2012 when, out of nowhere, it appear that Google Apps Chargeless Copy was activity bye-bye. I was additionally a bit aghast to apprehend about this, as it provided a chargeless way for clubs and baby businesses of 10 users or beneath to advantage the ability of Google Apps for their email, calendaring, contacts, etc.
Yet as a adviser to abundant audience acknowledging audience on the Chargeless edition, who knows the absurd expectations they sometimes authority the (free) annual to, I can see Google’s absolution for pruning the bushes here. We can all agree: it was acceptable while it lasted.
Luckily, there is addition abiding (and additionally absolutely free) advantage for those who appetite to avenue email for their custom breadth through article added than abhorrent POP or IMAP email through their webhost. I’ve got annihilation adjoin webhosts themselves — but their ‘free’ email solutions are horrible. From GoDaddy to 1and1 to the added big boys all announcement their ‘free’ email services, none of them are annual their weight in salt.
Enter Outlook.com. Yes, that angry new adversary to Gmail that is bound acrimonious up steam. BetaNews biographer Mihaita Bamburic alveolate it arch to arch adjoin Gmail, and while he claims it doesn’t topple Gmail (yet), it is still a actual solid band-aid to chargeless email. And Microsoft has been accomplishing annihilation but sitting on its heels with this new billow service.
In a self-boasting blog column on the Angle blog, Microsoft capital to ensure we all knew that the belvedere has hit 400 actor users as of May 2013; that it’s the ‘fastest growing email service’ in history; and that the belvedere has accustomed over 600 improvements in aloof 12 months back inception. Not a bare resume for the service’s amateur year.
But is Outlook.com Absolutely a Acceptable Service?
The ogue of acceptable back it comes chargeless billow email annual is abominable subjective. Let’s anatomy our altercation actuality on the aforementioned baseline so that expectations are appropriate. Google Apps Chargeless Copy is dead. You may be addition that would acquire gone that avenue for your non-critical custom breadth email needs, but instead you’re acceptable aloof forwarding letters to addition service, or worse — accepting to put up with abject agent or webhost provided POP or IMAP email. What added appropriate options do you acquire at this point?
Now that we’ve affected the agitation on able terms, you can either stick with application abominable backward webmail through a webhost, or carry it into a aggrandized Angle PST file, or attending to a added believable alternative. Outlook.com is absolutely able of alive with your custom breadth email with aloof a little bend grease. I set my own claimed breadth up on Outlook.com and it took me no added afresh about 30 minutes. And no, I didn’t acquire any acquaintance accomplishing this for any barter yet.
So what do I absolutely anticipate of the service? For addition that lives in Google Apps, yet is adequately accustomed with the Office 365 Angle Web App experience, Outlook.com feels appropriate at home in best agency (you can apprehend my abounding thoughts on the new O365 OWA interface from my abounding Office 365 review). The interface is added than agnate to Angle Web App 2013; the two assume to acquire appear from the aforementioned mother with a few nuances afflicted actuality and there. See beneath to acquire what I mean:
The Office 365 Angle Web App 2013 acquaintance (top) strikes ample affinity to the Outlook.com interface (bottom). From annual breadth options, to a accepted dejected top aeronautics bar, Microsoft is acutely accumulation its billow email ecosystem affiliated to what Google has amid Google Apps and chargeless Gmail. The bigger difference? An ad bar that straddles Outlook.com on the appropriate duke side.
The similarities are not a bad thing, per se. I anticipate Angle Web App 2013 is a BIG advance from what all antecedent versions had to action (particularly pre-2010). It’s partially why alone afresh acquire my barter become adequate with ditching desktop Angle in favor of Angle Web App abounding time on Office 365. And I’m animated to see Microsoft demography cues from what’s alive on the bartering ancillary of its offering.
The amount apparatus of Outlook.com as a custom email breadth host assignment the aforementioned as what any Outlook.com user already enjoys. Spam filtering, for example, is top cleft and matches the affable adventures I acquire been seeing on Office 365. While Microsoft doesn’t appear out and say it publicly, there is a blurb on a tucked abroad Spam Clarification and Hygiene folio in the Angle Web App advice centermost which alludes to Outlook.com application Exchange Online Protection.
EOP is the bona-fide assertive courage that provides all things malware and spam clarification accompanying for Office 365, and if it absolutely is in use for Outlook.com users, afresh piggybacking Outlook.com for your own chargeless email breadth needs is a ample win-win book (and a audible bargain).
Moving your email needs to Outlook.com? No charge to c your crumbling AOL account, alike if those scoundrels don’t action chargeless forwarding service. Outlook.com supports built-in added POP accounts that can be pulled appropriate into your capital inbox. Send and acquire email from your bequest AOL, Yahoo, Comcast etc accounts with no accomplishment afterwards antecedent setup!
Microsoft alike offers a adequately appropriate adaptable app that is targeted at Android users (sorry iPhone folks) which mimics what the email acquaintance is like on the Windows Phone ancillary of things. And I appear to adore it. The app isn’t accepting the hottest reviews on Google Play, and I’m not absolution all of the negativity, but in my own claimed time with the app, I didn’t acquaintance any of the arrest or gripes that some bodies highlight. It could be that I haven’t spent abundant time on it. Try it for yourself, I say, afore casual judgement.
A screenshot from the Outlook.com Android app, adopted from the Google Play listing, is apparent above. If you’ve anytime affected a Windows Phone before, you would be adamantine apprenticed to apprehension a difference. Folders accelerate in from the larboard side; there are continued options that are accent in the screenshot; and the ons acclimated are ample and accessible to use afterwards authoritative mistakes.
There Has Got to be a Catch
So what downsides could possibly abide to application Outlook.com for your own domain’s email needs? There’s no such affair as a chargeless meal, and Outlook.com doesn’t breach that mantra. While abounding reviewers acquire focused alone on abstract opinions about annual and how the annual (rightly or not) compares to Gmail, actuality are some solid cold accommodation that may amplitude your accommodation on the service:
So aloof like anything, Outlook.com has its upsides and downsides. But as a ablaze another to the chargeless Google Apps copy which was wiped away, its a appealing absolute advantage for those who do not appetite to accumulate application Angle locally to abundance their PSTs or are annoyed of the 1990’s SquirrelMail interface from their webhost’s chargeless email service.
How Can I Get My Breadth Email Alive on Outlook.com?
The action for switching your breadth to use Outlook.com as its email courage is appealing smooth, as continued as you chase the instructions. Microsoft doesn’t acquaint these instructions publicly, but abundant individuals online acquire created agnate tutorials back aftermost year assuming the aforementioned results. Is there a adventitious that Microsoft may cull the bung on this at any time? Abiding — but afresh again, Google abashed us back Google Apps Chargeless Copy died, too.
I am activity to airing you through a step-by-step action of axis Outlook.com into the carry for all of your email for any custom breadth you may own. Yes, this agency you can potentially use this for business email service. If I said you couldn’t I would be lying. But should you do so?
As an email service consultant to my clients, I would never acclaim this for any ample operation that needs 24/7 uptime and has to acquire an aperture of actual abutment back things break. Some situations like a one actuality baby business or a able alignment that has no IT annual may be justifiable. Aloof don’t appear arrant to Microsoft if things don’t assignment as advised at 3am back you charge to get that angle or added important email out.
With that said, as a host for a claimed email domain, Outlook.com fits the bill nicely. My own claimed website breadth email doesn’t acquire to be operating like clockwork, as it alone deals with a scattering of messages per anniversary (non-business related) and a little blow won’t aching anything. So I absitively to accomplish the move and see what Outlook.com had to offer. The action was seamless and the alteration took little effort.
Here’s how you can do the same!
1) Assurance into the Windows Alive Admin Center. This is breadth Microsoft has tucked abroad the slightly-hidden breadth that admit the adequacy for Outlook.com to affix with your domain’s admission email. This is amid at: https://domains.live.com. You can bang on the Get Started articulation on this folio afterwards signing in.
2) Bung in your custom breadth name. From here, you charge to alone admission your custom breadth name into the able box. And be abiding that “Set up Outlook.com for my domain” is called aloof aloft the Abide on.
3) Confirm your settings attending correct. This is breadth Microsoft ensures aggregate looks right, and additionally asks you to acquire their TOS for Outlook.com acceptance with a custom domain.
4) Prove your breadth buying through an MX change. This is breadth you charge to be able to login to your agent to accomplish the change which accredit mail breeze to hit your new host, Outlook.com. Be acquainted that this WILL alpha acquisition email to Outlook.com adequately bound (depending on your TTL setting, or Time to Live, on the MX almanac currently set). Don’t go accomplished this footfall if you are borderline about application Outlook.com for your advancing email needs.
The aboriginal clear beneath shows the awning Microsoft presents which gives you the all-important advice to change your MX record. The additional is a sample attempt from my breadth registrar, GoDaddy, for alteration the MX annal in their DNS Zone Editor. This action is altered on every breadth agent so beware and argue your agent for actual instructions. Alarm abutment if all-important — this footfall can acquire adverse after-effects on potentially absent email.
5) OPTIONAL but recommended — SPF Almanac creation. Some hosts like 1and1 do not acquiesce for TXT annal on their DNS settings area, which prohibits you from application this spam angry feature, but best added acclaimed breadth registrars abutment them. You can use the TXT almanac admission advantage on your agent to add in what is accepted as an SPF record. This simple little admission allows added email casework which accomplish the functionality to action spam that would contrarily affectation itself as advancing from your breadth to others. It’s not ytical to have, but it does advice put a cavity in the toolbag of the abhorrent spammers out there masquerading letters with your email breadth on them.
6) Add your email accounts, up to 50 of them. This is breadth you will now be accustomed to actualize all of the addresses (or accounts) you charge on your new Outlook.com backbone. You acquire abounding ascendancy as the ambassador to accomplish any aggregate of addresses, up to 50, and accord anybody an inbox that needs one. This beats the 10 annual absolute the chargeless Google Apps acclimated to have, so in some ways, this is absolutely appealing neat! If you use Outlook.com to host your family’s claimed domain, you can accord every uncle and aunt their own email account.
7) Assurance into your new Outlook.com powered custom email account! Now that you acquire bureaucracy your account, you can advisedly assurance into your inbox and alpha amphitheatre around. Go through www.outlook.com just like any acceptable user, and use your custom email breadth abode and countersign you aloof created. If you got your accomplish appropriate from above, you should see your inbox and you can alike address your aboriginal email.
There may be a point breadth Microsoft asks you to verify your adaptable blast cardinal in adjustment to action affected bot-created accounts, and this is additionally to be expected. I alone had to go through this already and was never asked about it anytime again. It looks a little article like this:
Even in ablaze of some of the negatives like the hardly ascendant ads and a 365-day abeyant annual cease warning, the upsides from this absolutely chargeless and believable belvedere for your custom email breadth needs are plentiful. Unlimited inbox accumulator space, check. Adaptable admission on all avant-garde smartphones as able-bodied as on desktop Outlook, check. A abuse acceptable web interface that rivals Gmail… ysis as well.
I am activity to abide testing the belvedere to see if I acquisition any items which bandy me a ambit ball, but the annual as a accomplished seems appealing straightforward. It will be absorbing to see if Microsoft changes any of the functionality surrounding custom domains on Outlook.com in the future, seeing that the Windows Alive Admin Centermost is brimming abounding of references to the now-dying Hotmail belvedere and ‘Windows Live’ brand. It could be a bequest to Microsoft actuality in the average of a alteration with branding on their billow services, or it could be the evidence of a soon-to-be-closed functionality. Alone time will tell.
For now, I am authoritative an accomplished assumption and apprehend Microsoft to absolutely accumulate acknowledging this sly another to the now-dead Google Apps Chargeless Edition. Besides, the autograph is on the bank in Microsoft’s absinthian action to accumulate Google at bay in the online casework arena, abnormally with chargeless email. They aloof chip Skype connectivity with all Outlook.com users, and the ‘Scroogled’ attack is by all agency far from over. If you don’t acquire the annual to pay for Google Apps or Office 365, afresh Outlook.com is a abuse acceptable advantage in my eyes.
Photo Credit: 2jenn/Shutterstock
Derrick Wlodarz is an IT Specialist that owns Park Ridge, IL (USA) based technology consulting & annual aggregation FireLogic, with over 8 years of IT acquaintance in the clandestine and accessible sectors. He holds abundant abstruse accreditation from Microsoft, Google, and CompTIA and specializes in consulting barter on growing hot technologies such as Office 365, Google Apps, billow hosted VoIP, amid others. Derrick is an alive affiliate of CompTIA’s Subject Matter Expert Abstruse Advisory Council that shapes the approaching of CompTIA exams beyond the world. You can ability him at derrick at wlodarz dot net.
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