Bitter Clingers: Yahoo Employees Hang Onto Microsoft Outlook For Dear Life

The title is a reference to a controversial statement made by President Obama while campaigning in 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=z75WFJIAXmw#t=225

An internal memo, obtained by AllThingsD, shows Yahoo employees are having a tough time letting go of their favorite mail client Outlook (the software often bundled with the Office suite).  Microsoft is famous for “dogfooding” its own products, meaning they use their own beta software throughout the development process.    Yahoo’s SVP of communications products Jeff Bonforte and CIO Randy Roumillat are trying to get Yahoo employees to do the same, only with Yahoo’s new mail client.  It proven to be rather difficult, and only 25% of their employees have moved on to Yahoo’s solution with over 75% clinging onto Outlook.  Here’s the full text of the memo:

Hello Yahoos,

Earlier this year we asked you to move to Yahoo Mail for your corporate email account. 25% of you made the switch (thank you). But even if we used the most generous of grading curves (say, the one from organic chemistry), we have clearly failed in our goal to move our co-workers to Yahoo Mail.

It’s time for the remaining 75% to make the switch. Beyond the practical benefits of giving feedback to your colleagues on the Mail team, as a company it’s a matter of principle to use the products we make. (BTW, same for Search.)

For some reading this email, you are saying, “Jeff, shut up, you had me at hello.” *hug* Jump over to yo/dogfood, click “Corp Mail/Cal/ Messenger” and you are ready to join our brave new world at yo/corpmail or https://mail.yahoo-inc.com.

For others, you might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol’ gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance. Hold on a sec, pilgrim.

First, it doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana. At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl. There was a similar outcry when we moved away from Outlook’s suite-mates in the Microsoft Office dreadnaught. But whether it’s familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness dressed in a cloak of Ayn Randian Objectivism, the time has come to move on, commrade [sic...go deep in this pun, it is layered].

Using corp mail from the Y Mail web interface is remarkably feature rich. It supports booking conference rooms, folders, calendar, filters and global address book. Plus, you get built-in Messenger, smart conversation threading, powerful keyboard shortcuts, the new quick actions, attachment preview and our beautiful new rich themes. In the rare case you do need Outlook, like adding a delegate for your calendar, you can still fire up Outlook for 30 seconds.

But wait there’s more. By using corporate Mail, you’ll automatically get to dogfood our new features first. I’m especially excited about a new feature premiering in just a few more days: smart auto-suggest, powered by a platform from the still-have-that-new-acquisition-smell Xobni team. We have been testing this feature with select users in and out of the company and the response has been fantastic: “Whoa!”, “Amazing”, “Already in love with it. Woot!” and, my favorite, “So nicely integrated that it appears as if it’s always been there. I already can’t imagine it not being there again.”

Feeling that little tingle? Take a deep breath, you can do this. We want you on board, sailor!

Please note, on the mobile side, corp mail is not yet supported in our Mail app for Android or iOS, but that will change (PB&J!). And, like all dogfood offerings, there is a feedback link in the product. Use it generously so we can make the improvements to make Yahoo Mail the unquestioned inbox champion of the world. I pitty [sic] the fool who resists.

Thanks for your support. It really does matter and we appreciate it.

Jeff Bonforte, SVP Communications Products Randy Roumillat, CIO

Knowing Mayer and her love for metrics I suspect she’ll simply fire those employees who do not move away from Outlook in the coming months.  She has already quietly fired over 600 employees and has introduced her own variation of stacked ranking.  I think Mayer would be wise to listen to what her employees are silently telling her, Yahoo mail sucks.

Source: Kara Swisher

Many people poking fun at the crazy memo:

Yahoo Rap Genius

About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • view2share

    I would not like being called a ” yahoo “. Please look up the dictionary meaning of this word. They are anything between a ruffian and a slave, by definition.

    • RROD

      Look up Microsoft in dictionary:
      Very small flaccid penis

      • arrow2010

        Microsoft is named for Microcomputer Software. Please learn some history fool.

        • RROD

          LoL are you really that dense…or did I hit a nerve ?

  • V.A.N.

    Exactly where is the part where theses Yahoos are hanging on Outlook for dear life? In the corporate world, change is not totally welcome.

    A couple of years ago, can it be said that people were hanging onto “Internet Explorer 6 for dear life?”

    In a situation like this the “higher ups” need to force those employees to change or it will be right for them to relieve them of their duties.

    • arrow2010

      Good and Mayer can further destroy a once proud company. Probably was placed there as a Trojan horse to devalue Yahoo to the point that Google will acquire them for pennies on the dollar in 2015.

      • symbolset

        Devalue the company? She is doing lousy at that. In the 18 months since she took over YHOO is up over 100%.

        Was this sarcasm?

    • nickcraze

      Really? You sure fail to see that this type of leadership does not fly for long. More so when you provide an inferior product.

      • Guest

        Ballmer lated 13 years…

  • BIAS

    Holly crap! That was GENIUS!

  • BIAS

    But on a different note, yahoo mail does suck. When it comes to mail, I could care less about the features and “powerful keyboard shortcuts” but more about reliability. Using yahoo on windows phone is super PIA with password not working, synchronization issues, etc. I’m slowly cozying up to outlook myself, moving my email contacts and account associations to team MS….

  • MonkeyUncle

    At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era
    ^^^^^^^
    That’s some funny shit!!!!!

    • BIAS

      This was a masterpiece…

    • arrow2010

      I only wish my company upgraded to Outlook 2013.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    I’m almost certain she just uses Yahoo! to produce a cheap e-mail client on the company’s expenses so when the company is doomed she’ll sell it to Google, Yahoo! Mail will become Google Mail Desktop or something and Flickr and Tumblr are popular places where Google at present doesn’t call the shots and they’ll be integrated into Picasa… or probably Scroogle+, personally I hope that Microsoft will buy Yahoo! in the future, the company has a lot of talent and great applications, also Y!M is the last ”real” competitor to Skype (QQ is not used for this comparison) and some of their features would greatly compliment Microsoft.

    • first name

      She’ll leave once the ship begins to sink, at which point Yahoo will be sold off to Apple. Mayer is an opportunist, in it for the money.

  • Karthikeyan

    :D Its crazy!

  • Willem Evenhuis

    and right they are. It is also my experience that outlook is the best integrated full multitasking email client I’ve ever used. I would not be satisfied with a different one, even if I were forced to do so.

  • grs_dev

    Yahoo is clearly confused.

    Outlook has a high adoption rate especially among businesses. They should have a Bring Your Own Client offering to cater to those who do not want to switch to Google Apps nor are they ready to take the full plunge with Office 365.

    It provides a Mail service. To think that it has a world class, best of breed, email client is simply the result of some weak leadership and a lot of spiked Kool-Aid

    If Yahoo! wanted to be smart, they’d adopt Outlook and go deeper into the integration and position their mail service as 2 products.

    1) A consumer facing one that is ad supported

    2) a business facing one with both an ad supported model as well as a paid version with no ads.

    • NegLewis

      Yahoo on software/content/services side makes same mistakes as BlackBerry did.
      Yahoo had a $15b offer from MS. They kindly rejected it – they wanted more.
      Now Yahoo… barely register on the map – at under $5b.

      What Yahoo must do?
      Not what BB did.

  • first name

    I used to like Yahoo mail until Outlook.com appeared. Now I won’t use anything else.