MBG Maiyun's Blog

Leaving Hotmail.com

Hotmail.com, or really, Outlook.com, is one of the email providers I have used for the longest time. In fact, if I remembered correctly, this is my tenth year using it. Back then, it was a pretty sound choice: I was already using 163.com as my main email, and Hotmail was quite a credible alternative — considering that Google was already exiting China.

Over those years, Microsoft was not that bad at all. Windows remains the most widely used operating system on desktops and laptops, Bing.com, another Microsoft service, has been one of the only usable search engines in Mainland China: after Google exited, Baidu.com essentially became an advertisement board. More impactfully, after Microsoft acquired GitHub in June 2018, it has become an inseparable part of my online presence. I eventually made the shift to change my primary email to Hotmail in March 2020, because at that time, NetEase (163) emails had way too many promotional emails.

One does notice the problems before getting close.

As students, we wish each other Happy Birthdays. Soon after switching over to Outlook calendars, I noticed that the birthdays were shown off-by-one-day on Apple devices. Then, when I switched over to Linux, using Thunderbird as my email client, I noticed that Outlook calendars do not use a standard protocol, and is, therefore, difficult to synchronize.

The spam filter did not become an issue, until I saw my school application, my scholarship application, and even my visa application, ending up in the junk folder. The server very “nicely” deletes any “junk” emails permanently after ten days, meaning that I have to check that folder very often: see it or miss it. What is even worse, there is no way to turn it off. Most guides online only tell you how to turn it off on Outlook clients, but Outlook.com will continue filtering important emails happily.

I ended up creating a Power Automate flow to automatically move junk to inbox.

When a new email arrives (V2) in "Junk", move it to "INBOX".

Ironic, isn’t it? Despite that, at the time of writing, it seems that Outlook still has a way to populate my junk folder with legitimate emails.

That is not it either. My own domain, with a dedicated IP from Oracle Cloud, can send emails to Gmails, other domains, and even Outlook for Business domains, but not hotmail.com not outlook.com. Why would you block me from sending emails to myself?

Sorry, but not all users need a spam filter.

Sometimes, people need the ability to control their own destinies. As ESPs, they have too much power to control what users see.

This time, it is a road blocker.

Sorry, Outlook. I am moving to my own email. Please treat those without the ability to set one up well.