By now, many of you know that I am a huge proponent of “cloud computing”. As the online universe continues to evolve, this cleverly coined concept will continue to define our digital destiny.
Be that as it may, as a visually impaired person using both screen reading software such as Mobile Speak (Mobile Phones) and Jaws (Desktop/Note Book PCs) as well as Screen magnifying software such as ZoomText, I find accessing web-based email, in the “cloud” as it were, slow and inefficient at best, unsatisfying and tiring at worst.
In a previous article I posted entitled “Email Me One More Time”, I discuss how the iMAP (iMAP4: Internet Message Access Protocol) as opposed to the POP (POP3: Post Office Protocol) has significantly shortened the gap between web-based email access via a web browser such as Fire Fox and locally installed email clients such as MS Outlook for those not fortunate enough to be on an MS Exchange service, truly the Cadillac of online communication vehicles.
In its infinite wisdom (not), Microsoft does not allow iMAP access to those using Windows Live Hotmail, MSN, or anything else Microsoft. Further, those wishing to access Live Hotmail through an email client can only do so via POP and only after upgrading to a Windows Live Hotmail Plus account at the cost of $19.95 per year.
Now, let me say that I have no problem with the upgrade cost as paying it insures that my Microsoft Live account will not be deleted due to inactivity and, more importantly, it removes any advertisements from any messages sent or received.
You may be wondering why a person like me, who owns and manages several email and web servers, would want to use a Microsoft Windows Live account. There are several reasons but perhaps the most significant is the fact that using a Windows Live Hotmail account streamlines the Microsoft Mesh experience. Oh yeah, and I like having an email address with the domain of “live.com”. (Smile)
Like Google, Microsoft offers an ever increasing array of free online services such as Calendar and Contacts synchronization. Unlike Google, however, Microsoft makes any online synchronization convoluted and, at times, down right painful; at least until now. Read More…