Category Archives: Opinion

Microsoft have two apps called Outlook and it’s causing chaos and confusion

If you are a Windows user, you might have noticed that Microsoft has recently introduced a new app called “Outlook for Windows”, although once installed it’s just called “Outlook”. This app is supposed to replace the old Windows Mail app, which was the default email client for Windows 10.

Two Apps, One Name

However, there is a catch: Microsoft already has another app called “Outlook”, which is part of the Microsoft Office suite. This app is the standard desktop email client that many people use for work and personal purposes. So, what is the difference between these two apps, and why did Microsoft decide to create such a confusing situation?

Outlook for Windows (desktop)

The Outlook for Windows desktop app is the one that most people are familiar with. It is a powerful and feature-rich email client that can handle multiple email accounts, calendars, contacts, tasks, notes, and more. It can also integrate with other Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The Outlook desktop app is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, which can be purchased as a one-time license or a subscription-based service (Office 365 or Microsoft 365).
The Outlook desktop app has been around for a long time, and it has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of users. It supports various email protocols, such as POP3, IMAP, and Exchange. It also has advanced security and privacy features, such as encryption, digital signatures, spam filtering, and phishing protection. The Outlook desktop app can also work offline, which means you can access your emails even when you are not connected to the internet.

Outlook for Windows

The Outlook for Windows app is the new kid on the block. It is a progressive web app (PWA), which means it is a web page that looks and behaves like a native app. You can install it on your Windows device from the Microsoft Store, and it will appear as a separate app on your Start menu and taskbar. However, unlike the Outlook desktop app, the Outlook web app requires an internet connection to work. It also only supports Microsoft email accounts, such as Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, and MSN.com. It claims to support POP/IMAP accounts but at the time of writing does not. Instead if gives unhelpful errors with no way of fixing the problem.
The Outlook web app is designed to be a lightweight and modern email client that can sync with your online Outlook account. It has a simple and intuitive user interface, which resembles the Outlook mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It can handle basic email functions, such as composing, sending, receiving, and organizing emails. It can also show your calendar and contacts, but it does not have the same level of functionality and customization as the Outlook desktop app. For example, the Outlook web app does not support email rules, signatures, categories, flags, or reminders.

Users with new computers or upgrading to Windows 11 will find that Windows Mail (itself a replacement for Microsoft Outlook Express) has been replaced by Outlook for Windows (and there’s no way of going back).

Why did Microsoft create two apps with the same name?

The reason why Microsoft created two apps with the same name is not very clear. According to Microsoft, the Outlook web app is meant to be a “new Outlook experience” that will eventually replace the Outlook desktop app. However, this seems unlikely, given the huge gap in features and capabilities between the two apps. The Outlook web app is more suitable for casual users who only need a simple and fast email client, while the Outlook desktop app is more suitable for professional and power users who need a robust and versatile email client.
The decision to name both apps “Outlook” is also questionable, as it creates confusion and frustration for users. Many users have reported that they accidentally installed the Outlook web app, thinking that it was an update for the Outlook desktop app. Others have complained that they cannot uninstall the Outlook web app, or that they cannot set the Outlook desktop app as their default email client. Some users have even expressed their dissatisfaction with the Outlook web app, calling it a “tricycle” compared to the “SUV” of the Outlook desktop app.

How to tell the difference between the two apps?

If you are not sure which app you are using, here are some ways to tell the difference between the Outlook desktop app and the Outlook web app:

  • Look at the app icon. The Outlook desktop app has a blue icon with a white “O” and a yellow envelope. The Outlook web app has a white icon with a blue “O” and a red dot.
  • Look at the app window. The Outlook desktop app has a ribbon menu at the top, with tabs such as File, Home, Send/Receive, Folder, and View. The Outlook web app has a hamburger menu at the top left, with options such as New Message, Folders, Settings, and Feedback.
  • Look at the app settings. The Outlook desktop app has a lot of settings that you can access from the File tab, such as Account Settings, Options, and Add-ins. The Outlook web app has a few settings that you can access from the hamburger menu, such as Theme, Reading Pane, and Notifications.

Could they make it any harder if they tried?

How to switch between the two apps?

If you have both apps installed on your Windows device, you can switch between them by following these steps:

  • To open the Outlook desktop app, click on the Start menu and search for “Outlook”. You should see the blue icon with the white “O” and the yellow envelope. Click on it to launch the app.
  • To open the Outlook web app, click on the Start menu and search for “Outlook for Windows”. You should see the white icon with the blue “O” and the red dot. Click on it to launch the app.
  • To switch from the Outlook web app to the Outlook desktop app, click on the hamburger menu at the top left and select “Open in Outlook”. This will open the Outlook desktop app and show the same email account that you were using in the web app.
  • To switch from the Outlook desktop app to the Outlook web app, click on the File tab and select “Open in Outlook for Windows”. This will open the Outlook web app and show the same email account that you were using in the desktop app.

When Will The Confusion End?

Microsoft has created a confusing situation by having two apps with the same name: Outlook. These apps are very different in terms of features, functionality, and user interface. The Outlook desktop app is the traditional and powerful email client that many people use and love, while the Outlook web app is the new and simple email client that Microsoft wants people to use and love.

However, the Outlook web app is not a suitable replacement for the Outlook desktop app, as it lacks many essential features and capabilities. Therefore, users should be aware of the difference between the two apps, and choose the one that best suits their needs and preferences.

Not Had Enough Yet?

Microsoft of course also renamed Hotmail to Outlook.com so when many people refer to “Outlook” they are talking about their web-based Outlook.com account.

  • Outlook.com is a website you visit using your web browser only.
  • You can use it to create your own free email address ending in outlook.com.
  • A replacement for Hotmail.com.
  • A web-based user interface used to access only @hotmail, @outlook.com and other Microsoft email accounts.

As you can see, Outlook.com doesn’t relate to Outlook other than having a similar appearance to Windows Outlook. But naturally Microsoft have given it the same name and logo as their desktop versions.

The Role of 4G Backup in Business Continuity

Businesses are now relying heavily on digital processes but have a more urgent need for continuity and security. When the office internet goes down, a minute can feel like an hour waiting for it to come back on, especially if it’s out of the company’s control. Even if digital technologies are widely used, the harsh truth is that these disruptions go far beyond being inconvenient. The flow of business operations could be seriously compromised by an abrupt internet outage that may have disastrous repercussions.

Why 4G?

We’ve seen a lot of fibre optic developments over the years, but one of the best that businesses have tried and approved is using 4G as their backup.

Boosted Productivity on the Go

The need for fast and reliable connectivity while on the move is rising, driven by a growing number of businesses—both small enterprises and large companies—supporting mobile work policies.

While 3G is suitable for tasks like receiving emails or staying connected on social networks, it falters when it comes to quickly sending large files or using advanced business applications like video calling. This is where the efficiency of 4G comes out tops. Giving employees the opportunity to work on the go will boost productivity and let them have freedom whatever the location.

Customer Comms

Using a 4G connection has numerous benefits for your customer service. It can allow you to respond to orders and inquiries quickly and efficiently, no matter where you are or what device you’re using. Because of the speed and lack of limitations, you can also resolve complaints quicker, leading to better efficiency when closing queries.

Responding quickly to their questions and requests not only builds a positive relationship but also improves customer loyalty, and shows you care. Building that valuable rapport with customers will consequently encourage them to keep using your services and give you a reliable customer base.

Online Sales Surge

Digital sales will continue to thrive from introducing 4G as a backup plan, especially as it allows those form rural parts to become connected to the company too. It can also be beneficial for companies who’re themselves located rurally and can connect to a wider client base.

Interestingly, there are still areas marked by broadband “notspots,” where the population density falls short of making high-speed services commercially viable. With the use of 4G as a plan B, it can boost these numbers and bring more customers to purchase online.

Greater business continuity

With 4G rolling out nationwide, it’s becoming one of the securest ways to ensure business runs smoothly and internet disruptions become a thing of the past.

All it takes is one second of unplanned downtime to throw off operations and become substantially costly to your company. This can translate into losses in of customer satisfaction and your overall financial performance. By integrating 4G with your internet connections, your employees will consistently have access to their online resources. Any time sensitive projects will have a better and securer chance of being met on time.

Using 5G to Back Up Your Business

Businesses can alternatively use 5G instead of 4G to back up their office internet. With 5G operating at a higher frequency than its predecessor (4G), it provides lower latency and has speeds of at least 10X times faster.

In practical terms, 5G acts as a secondary connection in case the primary one fails, ensuring that business operations continue seamlessly even during connection disruptions. Thanks to its faster speeds and lower latency, 5G facilitates quick and efficient backup processes, allowing companies to effortlessly transfer and protect important data, applications, and systems. This means that downtime can be further minimised, and operations within the business can be as stable as possible.

Why Is Backup Important?

Having the ultimate protection for your company is something that every business owner should prioritise, even digitally. Without the proper precautions taken to make sure that efficiency is at a constant high, businesses could face significant losses financially. Unexpected outages can cause serious problems, and the unpredictability of them means you need to be prepared. Have a backup plan that allows workers to continue at a normal pace without disruption to work or client communications. The peace of mind that it’ll provide will be rewarding in itself.

Reference list:

https://www.buzzwireless.co.uk/4g-mobile-data-in-the-modern-workplace/

https://yotelecom.co.uk/dedicated-internet-access-for-business-is-it-worthwhile

https://www.excaliburcomms.co.uk/expert-articles/top-five-benefits-of-4g-for-business/

https://glide.co.uk/news/the-importance-of-4g-backup

https://www.lilycomms.co.uk/why-you-need-a-5g-mobile-backup-system.html

This article has been provided by a third party.

For broadband connectivity from 2020Media.com, including 4G and 5G backup, please see https://www.2020media.com/internet-services/internet-connectivity/coffee-shops-wifi-case-study/

 

 

Ofcom takes measures against UK cloud duopoly

Ofcom is proposing to refer the UK cloud services market to the Competition and Markets Authority for further investigation, as its probe finds practices and features that could limit competition.

The regulator is particularly concerned by the duopoly of Amazon and Microsoft which collectively own 60-70 per cent of the market.

Read More: Comms Dealer – Ofcom takes measures against UK cloud duopoly

Google Analytics Ruled Illegal In Austria

The Austrian Data Protection Authority (“Datenschutzbehörde” or “DSB” or “DPA”) has ruled that Austrian website providers using Google Analytics are in violation of the GDPR.

This ruling stems from a decision made in 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that stated that cloud services hosted in the US are incapable of complying with the GDPR and EU privacy laws. The decision was made because of the US surveillance laws requiring US providers (like Google or Facebook) to provide personal data to US authorities.

The 2020 ruling, known as “Schrems II”, marked the ending of the Privacy Shield, a framework that allowed for EU data to be transferred to US companies that became certified.

About the Austrian DPA’s Model Case

In this specific case, noyb (the European Center for Digital Rights) found that IP addresses (which are classified as personal data by the GDPR) and other identifiers were sent to the US in cookie data as a result of the organisation using Google Analytics.

This model case led to the DPA’s decision to rule that Austrian website providers using Google Analytics are in violation of GDPR. It is believed that other EU Member States will soon follow in this decision as well.

“We expect similar decisions to now drop gradually in most EU member states. We have filed 101 complaints in almost all Member States and the authorities coordinated the response. A similar decision was also issued by the European Data Protection Supervisor last week.”

Max Schrems, honorary chair of noyb.eu

What does this mean if you are using Google Analytics?

If there is one thing to learn from this case, it is that ignoring these court rulings and continuing to use Google Analytics is not a viable option.

If you are operating a website in Austria, or your website services Austrian citizens, you should remove Google Analytics from your website immediately.

For businesses in other EU Member States, it is also highly recommended that you take action before noyb and local data protection authorities start targeting more businesses.

2020Media uses Matomo On-Premise Analytics as part of our Managed WordPress service, meaning two things:

  • Setup is done automatically for you.
  • Full compliance with GDPR and Data Protection Rules because your website data is held entirely within the UK.

Find out more about 2020Media’s hosting services at https://www.2020media.com/#web-plans

How to Use Web Analytics to Improve SEO – read the Matomo blog post about making the most of your web stats here.

UK has 2nd highest number of domains per head

The UK has been revealed to have the second highest number of domains per head of population.

A survey of domain registry data from around the world ranks only the Netherlands with higher domain name ownership.

Source: Domainity: Domain quantity per 1000 people – Site.pro

Statistics always need a bit of unpicking and you’ll see that two exclusions are made –

Does domain pricing have an impact?

Certainly domain pricing the UK and Netherlands for their own country domain name, .uk and .nl is low compared to many countries, but Switzerland (.ch) pricing is comparable to what you pay for a .com or .org domain. However the statistics collected include all “flavours” of domain extension (we think), so the graph is really a good overview of domain name usage as a whole and pricing should not make too much of a difference.

What does the future hold?

An annual survey from Afnic, shows the number of domain names registered and held continues to grow year by year.

The global domain name market accounted for approximately 349 million domain names at the end of December 2020, up 1.3% compared to the 4.7% in 2019, broken down between:

155 million .com and 32 million other Legacy TLD (.net, .org, .biz, etc.)

130 million ccTLDs (country TLDs, corresponding to a territory or country like the .fr domain)

32 million new TLDs or nTLDs (geoTLD, brand TLDs and community TLDs and generic TLDs created after 2012).

Undoubtedly domain name usage will continue to grow as more businesses and individuals launch websites and email for themselves. 2020Media can help you with your search for the perfect domain, just contact us at www.2020media.com/contact.