All your emails are belong to MS

Microsoft is going to replace – again – the basic Windows email application. After Outlook Express and Windows mail, that despite some huge vulnerabilities were quite usable, the simple but adequate for a touch UI interface Mail in Windows 8, and the very limited and ugly Mail in Windows 10, it’s time of Outlook for Windows now.

This looks like a porting of the web interface of into a desktop application. This idiotic arrangement looks to come with poisoned features. If you use mail accounts not hosted already on some Microsoft server, to use them they need to be “synchronized” with the Microsoft Cloud.

My take is this desktop web application has not an implementation of mail protocols, nor has a full-featured local storage for mail data, relying for such function on its server side implementation. That looks to mean:

  • Your mail credentials are sent and stored on Microsoft servers
  • Your mailbox contents are read and stored on Microsoft servers

All your mail are belong to us, it looks Nadella thinks.

Now, if I have not my emails stored in a Microsoft server, and pay for having them in a different server, it is exactly because I don’t want them stored in a Microsoft server (or a Google one, if you ask).

Hope this is just another attempt to save on software development – Microsoft is turning into a services company, the only company model this kind of CEO understands – and not something explicitly aimed at hindering privacy. Under the CLOUD Act, any data in a US company server can be requested by US authorities, even abroad. The process of updating your current settings doesn’t explain the implications – referring the user to the usual extremely long “privacy policy”, and email data usually contain lots of personal information under GDPR.

So now the Mail application has wholly gone from my Windows systems. If Outlook for Windows replaces Outlook itself also – it looks Microsoft has this silly plan in mind too-, my Office Microsoft 365 subscription will be gone as well.

Let’s see how many users will drink the Kool-Aid.