Gmail and Outlook (formerly Hotmail) have recently announced improvements to their offerings. Kudos for the significant changes made. Though, where is the increased safety and reliability that everyone has called for?
Among the recent overhauls, Microsoft made its bold move decided to drop the name of its decade-long email icon Hotmail to the new Outlook. Many would agree that the new Outlook logo and brand is far superior to that of the old but familiar Hotmail.
Outlook has also improved many functionalities like the new customization options and color themes, keyboard shortcuts, one-click archiving, conversation threading and more.
Outlook has even gone as far as saying that Gmail users will consider to switch over. It may be early days in the transition and these salvos are just fired across to signal intent. There are no actually facts and figures to back up this claim.
Around the same time, Gmail has further integrated Google Drive (Gdrive) into its functionalities. Web-based email provider Gmail is now making it easier to share files as attachments stored on Gdrive. The claim is that you can now send files up to 10GB.
This development echoes that of Outlook where they lined up their SkyDrive is a similar way. These integrations have made it easier for cloud-based application to data.
The user interface and user experience of both Gmail plus Outlook will definitely be improved. Adding customizable features and pairing up with sister products will wonders in making it more user-friendly. It may be trivializing the matter but these upgrades are quite cosmetic in nature.
Now with more content than ever being stored in the cloud. Email address are holding more secure documents than before – where is the promise to make it safer and more reliable?
Cloud data stored in email is just as vulnerable as it was before. It is still susceptible to server failures, email hacking, user errors and more. Despite looking pretty and more fun to use, what does it matter when the content can go missing so easily?
Just looking back a few months, blatant errors in Gmail, Outlook (then Hotmail) and Yahoo resulted in leaked passwords, lack of access to email, server outage, missing data and much more. There still aren’t tools for email backup, restoration and migrations. You would imagine billion dollar companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo should have come up with something by now.
The reason for the lack of the tools could be a combination of a couple of reason. One, the corporations like Yahoo and Google are providing these email address for free and hosting the millions of TB of data aren’t exactly making enough money to develop a backup service. There is just too much to build and this has slipped down the line. Two, plenty of tech gurus have resorted to backing up their Gmail with another Gmail. Using one unlimited email to backup another one seems rather ingenious.
There may be many more reasons available but these 2 reasons alone are not valid. As Internet penetration increases around the world, Internet users are still growing. Emails, as the most basic Internet tool, are also set to grow.
Evoking Murphy’s Law will remind all that their reliance on the cloud could backfire one day. A simple service charge can be levied for those wanting a premium service that guaranteed email backups.
For those who use a separate email of the same provider to protect your primary email is a paradox. If the primary email fails, due to any reason, what makes the secondary email any safer? Safeguarding with an external source is much better as it not afflicted with the weakness that plagues the provider.
Hence, for those “what if” days – which occur more often than not, email users should get themselves the “insurance” of backups. Hopefully, the email providers will also wizen up and decide to build something to rectify this. Tech gurus can also awake from their collective ignorance and realize the danger their data is in.
Perhaps large pockets of the online world are living in a comfortable bubble. Nothing really drastic has happened for a while so the concept of having to backup emails seems rather backward. However, bubbles are meant to burst and when the day disaster strikes – only the prepared will survive.