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Telstra Bigpond To Use Outlook.com As Email Handler 96

Posted by timothy
from the outlook-is-hazy dept.
New submitter sidevans writes "It looks like Australia's largest ISP is working closely with Microsoft and will soon be letting them handle customers emails using Outlook.com. The setup guide is available here. An interesting move, considering the National Broadband Network rollout is coming. What's in the future for other ISPs and how they handle email in Australia? Are the days of ISPs providing in-house email servers coming to an end?"
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Telstra Bigpond To Use Outlook.com As Email Handler

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  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:48AM (#43212293)

    Why do ISPs still provide email?
    There are lots of free and pay for email servers available. I say reduce my bill $1/year and get rid of it.

    • by CyberSlugGump (609485) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:53AM (#43212327)

      Why do ISPs still provide email? There are lots of free and pay for email servers available. I say reduce my bill $1/year and get rid of it.

      I've always thought that using an ISP-provided email address is a form of vendor lock-in. Want to change ISPs? Then you will lose the email address you've had for so many years.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yea must better to lock into Google. Your best interests are definitely in their mind for the zero dollars/month you give them.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          He never suggested you use google.

          There are lots of pay for email providers, or you could just setup your own. Not exactly difficult to setup postfix and courier-imap on a box at rackspace for $10/month. You can use the same machine for lots of other stuff.

          • He never suggested you use google.

            There are lots of pay for email providers, or you could just setup your own. Not exactly difficult to setup postfix and courier-imap on a box at rackspace for $10/month. You can use the same machine for lots of other stuff.

            Mail servers are an utter pain to run though from what I hear - i.e. for outbound at least you have to deal with all the blacklisting and stuff which goes on due to spam.

            Though outside of that the idea is appealing - I've long been thinking that I need to get a box hosted somewhere to act as a personal server for all types of things.

            • by Sipper (462582)

              Mail servers are an utter pain to run though from what I hear - i.e. for outbound at least you have to deal with all the blacklisting and stuff which goes on due to spam.

              The only time I've heard of this happening are for mail servers that also run mailing lists. I've been running my own server for 14 years and I haven't been blacklisted once. (Maybe I've just been lucky?)

              Though outside of that the idea is appealing - I've long been thinking that I need to get a box hosted somewhere to act as a personal server for all types of things.

              Yes... it's got a lot of advantages. Dealing with your own email server is rather interesting, it does take time to "get it right" (that takes a couple of years of tweaking) but after that it generally requires very little maintenance. And it's nice to have a server online to store and distribute files,

            • by mwvdlee (775178)

              Blacklisting is only a problem if you send sufficiently large volumes of email to warrant being noticed.
              If you have a server (with a private IP) and host just your family's email accounts on them and assuming they behave like normal humans, the server is unlikely to ever be blacklisted.

              In my own experience, setting up a mail server is one of the more difficult things you can do on a linux server. I've spent a lot more time setting up Courier+Dovecot than I spent on Nginx+Varnish+PHP(+extension)+MariaDB+ProF

            • Or inheret an IP address that was abused.

              I've got a rented VM for mail, hosting my website showcasing all my failures to change the world, transfering files, running IRC bots for some friends, things like that. Works well. Aside from my being very uncreative when picking a domain name, so now I get asked why I have everything at birds-are-nice.me.

            • by BlueBlade (123303)

              Google will host email for your own domain for free. All you need to do is point your MX at their servers and register for a free account. No hassle, I've been doing this for years for my domains. Works like a charm. They also support POP3/IMAP access if you don't like using the web interface.

        • Yea must better to lock into Google. Your best interests are definitely in their mind for the zero dollars/month you give them.

          Whilst I tend to agree that using Google isn't the best idea; you're wrong here - you can set up google mail on your own domain, if you want to move you can just move whilst keeping the domain.

      • by IANAAC (692242)

        I've always thought that using an ISP-provided email address is a form of vendor lock-in. Want to change ISPs? Then you will lose the email address you've had for so many years.

        Maybe. I also think it's a CYA thing on the part of he ISP. They're probably required by law to be able to notify customers of changes, etc., and the only way they can do that is if they make sure the customer has an email address.

        That said, I remember back in 2000 when I had ATT as an ISP, they used Yahoo as their mail provider.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I am pretty sure their customers have real world addresses too, and letters could be sent there. They could also ask for an email account.

          If my ISP ever sends an email to their provided email account I will never know. I have never and will never log into it.

          • by IANAAC (692242)

            I am pretty sure their customers have real world addresses too, and letters could be sent there. They could also ask for an email account.

            If my ISP ever sends an email to their provided email account I will never know. I have never and will never log into it.

            Of course, most people do have other email addresses, too. My point was the CYA aspect of it for the ISP. That you never check the ISP-provided email address isn't the point. Next time you complain of not being notified of something, they'll come back with "We notified you."

            It's been a long time since I considered an ISP having a user's bests interests at heart.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            But email accounts change often (for some people). It's not a very reliable way to get ahold of someone.

        • My ISP notifies me of things via my ISP email. However, I don't know what my ISP email address is... nevermind where to log in or what the password might be. I know of only a small handful of people that do use their ISP email, usually older people.

          • by Geeky (90998)

            I just set up my gmail account to poll my ISP provided pop account for me, so on the rare occasion I get email there it comes through to an account where I can see it. Using my own domain with google (apps, got in while it was free), I don't have tie in to google, I could switch and still keep my email address.

        • AT&T still uses Yahoo to handle their email. att.net email addresses use Yahoo servers. The webmail interface is a rebranded version of Yahoo webmail. I was able to combine it with my already existing Yahoo account (though I never used that email address for anything either), so both the yahoo.com and att.net addresses I have point to the same inbox, and I can interchangeably use my Yahoo or att.net ID to log in to various Yahoo services.

          Interestingly, when I lived in an area where Qwest (now CenturyLin

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Why do ISPs still provide email? There are lots of free and pay for email servers available. I say reduce my bill $1/year and get rid of it.

        I've always thought that using an ISP-provided email address is a form of vendor lock-in. Want to change ISPs? Then you will lose the email address you've had for so many years.

        Most of the basic hosting include nowadays email addresses on their basic plans and they have $4-$5/mo plans. Include a .com domain name for about $10/y, it's a cost of $70/y to gain your independence of your ISP in regards to email.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Which is part of the reason I got my own domain name years ago. It's the same problem with webmail providers. Once you start giving out that address, you're basically required to keep using their services. Over the years I've gone from Email.com, to Yahoo, to Gmail. As some point when I was using Yahoo, I got my own domain name, and started forwarding it to my webmail of choice. This way, I'm in control of my email address, and don't have to worry about some mail provider disappearing and taking my email a
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Except in the case of Australians, having this go through outlook.com means all of your mail is accessible to the US government under the Patriot Act.

      So, for anybody not in the US, decisions to do this kind of thing is a bad thing. And depending on data-privacy laws, could be construed as illegal.

    • by skywhale (664067)
      ISPs also provide domain email, ie bigboss@yourdomain.com, rather than generic me@myisp.com. I know google will do this also but its not free. We can also provide custom mail routing and other features than are not part of the 'free webmail' ecosphere. IAAISP.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Because it's a service. Customers like a one-stop shop. Having to get ISP, then be unable to also get email without finding a second supplier is highly inconvenient. For a nerd it's no big deal, but for people who are barely computer literate they will just bypass the ISP who doesn't have email and find a different one. May as well ask why ISPs bother with DNS servers since customers can get DNS servers elsewhere.

    • by mibus (26291)

      Why do ISPs still provide email?

      FWIW; I've seen inside a few large ISP mail deployments, but I speak for myself in my comments here and not my employer (etc etc etc).

      Why do ISPs provide email? Because a huge percentage of customers use it, and want it.

      I personally don't (I have my own domain, and use Google apps), and know very few people who do, but lots and lots of customers still use it. I can't get into numbers for obvious reasons, but it's seen as being incredibly important, up to and including in the

  • How many (Score:1, Troll)

    by ruir (2709173)
    millions Microsoft paid them?
  • My rule of thumb is that if you call yourself an ISP and can't manage e-mail without outside help, you don't get to have your domain name in my e-mail address.

    • by dintech (998802)
      One consideration is deliverability. An ISP might be really good at handling the mechanics of email but what if that ISP is in China or Russia? If email is coming from a highly trusted source such as Google rather than a relative unknown such Shadycom then it is one of many factors in deciding whether your mail is spammy or not. Your mail might be entirely legitimate, it's just more possible that it won't be treated as such.

      This whole issue of trust is one of the reasons that start-ups tend to use Amazon
    • This probably has less to do with managing e-mail, and the associated equipment, and more about shifting costs. By out sourcing email, they reduce the storage needed, the servers needed, people to manage it, data center costs, backup costs, and I am sure there are a few items I am missing. That can result in significant cost savings to the provider.

      Not to say that I agree with it, or disagree with it. I mean, I used to run my own mail as well using postfix/courior-imap/squirelmail, it was not that hard, a

      • by c (8461)

        This probably has less to do with managing e-mail, and the associated equipment, and more about shifting costs.

        Of course.

        The way I see it, my (personal) e-mail address is an endorsement and advertisement of my e-mail providers services. If my ISP outsources those services, keeping their domain in my address amounts to false advertising. And keeping their domain in my address when they outsource the services to someone I wouldn't rely on separately is just stupid.

  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:59AM (#43212373) Homepage Journal

    > Are the days of ISPs providing in-house
    > email servers coming to an end?

    Considering that AT&T farmed out their email to Yahoo about five years ago, I would say the answer is probably "yes." Or at least "yes, in some cases."

    I know of very few people who use their ISP-supplied email addresses. One reason I quit using mine is because I've had 10 ISPs in the last 15 years. Out of all the things an ISP can provide me, an email account is probably the least useful.

    Whenever I get an email with a bunch of recipients, I look at all the addresses and I'd say maybe 1/4 are using email from an ISP. (And of those, probably half are AOL.) The rest are mostly split between gmail, yahoo, and hotmail.

  • by jamesl (106902) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:07AM (#43212433)

    Are the days of ISPs providing in-house email servers coming to an end?

    In my experience, ISPs provide at best, a second class email service and I would be surprised if it was anything more than a necessary evil for them.

    Microsoft, Google et al can provide a product that is fully integrated across all devices and easily accessed around the world. How many valuable ISP customers are using ISP provided email anyway?

    • Actually, having a good and well working email service is pretty interesting for ISPs, as has been mentioned before, a lot of people use their ISP-issued mail address for many important things, and switching ISPs automatically cuts them off from using this mail address. It creates a lot of hassle for many people to get rid of their ISP so they are more likely to stay.

    • by jrumney (197329)

      In my experience, ISPs provide at best, a second class email service

      As opposed to the third rate service you get when they outsource it [slashdot.org]?

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:22AM (#43212531)

    Telstra have traditionally worked closely with Microsoft, and are resellers of their products [telstra.com.au]. This is just business as usual for them.

    On one hand you have a massive, monopolistic company that has held back competition in the industry (but whose influence is now waning), while the other company is Microsoft. It seems like an obvious match.

    What I don't understand is why there is any reference to the NBN in the summary?

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:26AM (#43212561)

    Really having your email on somebody else's server is just a bad way of doing things.

    It's doens't give you the same legal protection as having your stuff in your home. It makes you beholden to somebody else for your email address. And it slows down delivery considerably.

    Best to just run your own server.

    • by hodet (620484)
      Then 99.999% of all people are doing things badly for the simple reason that they cannot get a static IP address. Not to mention all the port blocking making running an email server in your home futile. It is not even a matter of personal choice. For the vast majority of those even willing to, they pretty much have to go with a VPS. I am with google now on my own domain but have considered moving my email to my own VPS. Years ago work allowed me to setup my own on their network and I really enjoyed the
    • by ogdenk (712300)

      And if you're on a cable IP range, a lot of well-configured mail servers won't accept mail from you.

      • That's only an issue if you are stuck with a dynamic IP.

        You can still use your cable company for outbound mail and maintain your own mail server.

        If you don't like your cable company there are commercial options as well, which let you pick a privacy policy.

  • by guttentag (313541) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:42AM (#43212659) Journal
    In other news, the U.S. Postal Service is partnering up with local garbage dumps in an effort to reduce its costs, clear landfill space and bring you fresher junk mail than ever before. While some people will grumble about the security and public health implications of re-delivering old junk mail that has already been thrown out, others have pointed out that they weren't using the service anyway.
  • by GrBear (63712) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:48AM (#43212711)

    Outlook.com still doesn't support IMAP, which is why I'll stick to my own email hosting solution.

  • Ancient "news" (Score:4, Informative)

    by Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @10:11AM (#43212865) Homepage

    Telstra started migrating Bigpuddle customers to Live late last year.

  • Back in the 90 I got tired of my email changing everytime my ISP got bought out so I got hotmail, thats been my primary email for about 15 years now. I have many email accounts that Ive been forced to sign up for (yahoo, several Gmail, comcast, etc) that I never use.
  • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @11:26AM (#43213543)

    Lots of ISPs have been doing something similar all over the world, for a very simple reason:

    The profit margin in providing internet service is miniscule. And people expect more and more from email.

    15 years ago, you'd get POP3 and a mailbox quota of maybe 20MB. If you were lucky, you might also get some sort of web-based email, but it was usually pretty primitive by modern standards.

    Today, people expect a sophisticated web-based service that they can also use with their smartphone and there's still quite a few people who want to use something like Outlook (and so need IMAP). Yet the profit margin per-customer per-month after you've met the costs in providing a DSL line and backhaul to the Internet is something stupid like £1. They're being expected to setup, support and maintain something comparable with GMail for £1/user/month. Well, less than £1/user/month because you still need to make some profit.

    Even a Google Apps for Business account is £2.75 per user per month.

    No wonder they want to stop providing email, you simply can't do a good job unless you specialise in it.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @11:35AM (#43213639)

    Microsoft has no monopoly in this area, they're not acting aggressively or anticompetitively, and they're not doing a crappy job. They're also no more likely to be hacked than the competition. And Google isn't exactly saintly anymore. Sure, you can expect that there will be some security breach in the future; there always is in basically every system, and the competition isn't going to be any more immune.

    Ok, sure, you don't want to give money to Microsoft. But this is a WEB SERVICE. It's not the same as installing Windows on your PC and letting Microsoft take control of what you can compute. It's email, and it does a good job for most people. If you need to meet some other requirements, you can set up your own email server. But that's you, not Joe User who wants to send photos to grandma.

    Anyhow, so this ISP probably evaluated multiple solutions, including Google and Microsoft, and decided that Microsoft was going to give them the best value (them, not necessarily their customers). Sucks for Google, good for Telstra, basically indifferent for most of their users.

  • What's the link between the NBN and ISP's providing email services? Apart from ISP's will use the NBN to deliver service to customers and customers use email.

  • They always have, chucky. Any anyway, all the ISP email systems I have seen recently use google.

  • They've been using hotmail for years, this isn't news, just an upgrade.
  • About half of my familly's ISP's use a 'cloud' based email solution. This has been so for about 10 years.

  • Australia holds a lot of useful information. Now, China will hold it as well.
  • Bigpond to use Outlook.com as email handler and still, in the year 2013, you can't use IMAP for your email.
    It's bad enough that up until now they've been providing nothing but a POP account (except with the switch to Windows Live Mail last year) but to move to another provider that doesn't support IMAP is just crazy.
    Sure, you can use EAS on your mobile device, but what about on your desktop. Oh, you mean there are other email clients than Outlook?

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