Microsoft Acquires Acompli

…and now they have a cool mobile email app.

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When a company doesn’t really have a US focused mobile device strategy – and let’s face it… Microsoft really doesn’t – things can get a bit stressful. Yes. You’re right… Windows Phones exist. Yes. I have one. No, it obviously ISN’T my daily driver; but you also have to understand one thing – Microsoft’s target market for all of its Windows Phone is NOT the United States (or other First World countries).

Microsoft isn’t making high end Windows Phones any longer. They have instead decided to concentrate their efforts on Third World countries. Very quickly, here’s why that’s very smart
1. There’s no way they are going to overtake Android or iOS devices in any kind of market share race. They just don’t have the legs to do it. Both Android and iOS are too firmly well established to nudge out of the way.
2. Microsoft’s Mobile strategy is still largely unknown. Without any real presence in the US, we’re left to people like Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott and to give us any kind of clue on what Microsoft is going to do with itself in the mobile space.

Let’s face it… even though the Surface Pro 3 may be an interesting ultrabook, Microsoft has no real content consumption device or smartphone that it can really point to or rely on in any of the markets that will either garner a lot of press or a lot of money via flagship sales. They want to concentrate on third world sales, and while that WILL perhaps produce a lot of global share, in the markets that really drive innovation and enterprise sales – First World markets – they’ve got next to nothing…

So, to help address that issue, early on during the morning of 2014-12-01, Microsoft announced it had acquired the email app developer Acompli for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200M USD.

The acquisition is a good move for Microsoft on a number of different fronts. They acquired not only the app and its IP, but also the people that coded it. Acompli has a really good Exchange interface on both iOS and Android devices, and they plug a hole where something is CLEARLY missing from Microsoft’s mobile Office Suite – Outlook.

Microsoft doesn’t have an “Outlook Mobile App” to speak of on either iOS or Android before this acquisition. According to Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office 365, “This acquisition brings us an app with innovative technology and a set of talented people who are passionate about reinventing email and communications on mobile screens. It will expedite our work to deliver the full power of Office to mobile devices.”

It’s clear that Microsoft is intending Acompli to be “Outlook mobile.” How the app is rebranded or actually integrated into their newly forming mobile suite for iOS and Android is yet to be totally understood. However, one would think that users would see something for those mobile suites sooner rather than later…if not before they intend to release the “touch” version of Microsoft Office for their Surface and Surface Pro tablets, currently codenamed Gemini.

This is a developing story, and I intend to follow up with either an update or a new post if something interesting comes to light. Please stay tuned.

In the meantime, what do you think of this development? Do you use Acompli? How badly do you feel “Outlook mobile” is either missing or is needed on the iOS and Android side of the world? Why don’t you join me in the discussion area and let me know what you think?

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Inky

inky_logoTake control of your inbox with this cool Windows based email app.

There are a lot of pundits out there who say that email is dead and dying. I totally disagree. There will likely be a need to send an electronic letter or memo from one place to another outside of a social networking setting for quite some time.

Organizing your inbox isn’t always easy. Email comes from a number of different sources, and most individuals have two or more accounts. It’s for this reason that I really like applications like Inky. It’s a Windows app that helps you take control of your inbox.

Inky helps organize your inbox and saves you time by displaying all your email messages in one place. It sorts them by relevance. As soon as you sign in for the first time, Inky goes to work figuring out what mail is important to you and helps you find it by prominently displaying it. Inky is customizable and can sort and filter using any criteria.

Whether you have one account or five, Inky provides a new, refreshingly simple interface to check all your mail. From one click unsubscribe to package tracking, Inky’s smart tools help you get things done and get on with your life.

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Inky is a decent email client that does simply an ok job. It’s very simple and easy to use and if you’ve used an iPad or a Windows tablet recently, then you should be pretty familiar with Inky. Its interface is similar to those.

The biggest problem I had with Inky is that while it pulled the headers for all of the mail in the one account that I used to test the app with, it couldn’t or wouldn’t pull the full message. It made working with the program nearly impossible.

The app also doesn’t do much to help you get to “Inbox-Zero” or a fully, empty inbox where all of your email is addressed. The of the relevance filters didn’t work well on my MSN email address. I’m not certain why.

The app isn’t bad, and the price is definitely right. However there wasn’t a lot here that made me want to keep it.

download Inky

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Backup and restore Firefox and Thunderbird with Ease

As great as it is to use Mozilla Firefox for browsing the Internet, and Thunderbird for sending and receiving emails, backing them up is quite hard for most of us. I’m talking about all those things you care about: bookmarks, mail, contacts, history, extensions, passwords and so on.

No matter which scenario are you having in mind – you reinstall your OS, your profile file gets corrupted, you move to a newer computer – you’ll want backup and than restore all the those thing you care about related to Firefox and Thunderbird. One of the best tools you could use to automatically back up Firefox and Thunderbird as well as Sunbird, Flock, Postbox (Express), SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite, Spicebird, Songbird, Netscape and Wyzo is Mozbackup.

Mozbackup is a light tool which makes the process of backing up all those programs a stress-free experience. Without further introduction, lets start backing up Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. Before launching MozBackup, make sure both programs are not running in the background. Now launch the application. Choose “Backup a profile”, select Mozilla Firefox from the list and click Next to continue. In the next step, we’ll have to choose a profile from the list and the backup location. If there is only one profile associated, click default. After this, MozBackup will offer you the option to password-protect your backup file, why not choose ‘yes’ – just in case. In the third step, choose which elements you want to back up and click Next to begin the process.

The same procedure goes for Thunderbird or any other supported applications. In case you want to restore your Firefox profile or your Thunderbid emails using a backup, launch MozBackup, choose “Restore a profile” and click Next. In the next step, select the profile you want to restore. An important thing to remember is that the profile you select will be overwritten by the contents of the profile that is backed up in the backup file. If you do not want to overwrite any of the profiles listed in the MozBackup screen, you should create a new profile by clicking on the “New Profile” button. After that, select the backup file that contains your backed-up profile. When done, click next to begin the restoration process.

Download Mozbackup

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EmailTray is an email monitor tool that can keep track of your messages from your desktop

Keep track of your emails accounts with a useful email notification tool called EmailTray. Add as many email accounts as you want, whether there are web-based email or POP3 accounts (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!), cause EmailTray can manage them all and alerts you whenever you will receive a new message. Compared to other similar products with EmailTray you can also read the messages locally and reply them without the need of opening your inbox. You can also sort the received emails based on a priority system.

download EmailTray

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Atos Origin to be a zero email company within three years

Paris – Atos Origin, an international IT services company, today sets out its ambition to be a zero email company within three years. Speaking at the forth in a series of innovation press conferences, Atos Origin CEO and Chairman, Thierry Breton, addresses the challenges organizations face as a result of the explosion in data. He explains his ambition to eradicate all emails between Atos Origin employees by using instead improved communication applications as well as new collaboration and social media tools.

The focus of Atos Origin is to adopt innovative social business solutions in the workplace to bridge the ‘social business gap. Built on collaborative technology these solutions provide a more personal, more immediate and importantly more cost effective means to manage and share information that supports the way of working in the 21st century and enables the Smart Organization.

In line with its wellbeing at Work Programme launched in 2009 to support its goal of being one of the best places to work, it has implemented a number of initiatives to improve communication and information sharing across its organization For example, it is encouraging the use of tools such as Office Communicator and has set up social community platforms to share and keep track of ideas on subjects from innovation and Lean Management through to sales. Initial feedback is that these type of tools reduce email by between 10 and 20% immediately.

Information overload – the facts:

* By 2013, more than half of all new digital content will be the result of updates to, and editing of existing information
* Online social networking is now more popular than email and search
* Middle managers spend more than 25% of their time searching for information
* 2010 : Corporate users receive 200 mails per day, 18% of which is spam

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An extremely simple but useful app that notifies you when you have received a mail in your Gmail account

Gmail Peeper comes with an extremely basic interface based on two tabs featuring the actual diplay list and the settings. In order to start it you have to input your Gmail username or account and password into the settings tab and ‘voila’, Gmail Peeper is ready to start. You can manually scan you inbox or you can set the app to do this job automatically after a desired period of time. In this way Gmail Peeper can run in background without using any resources and can be loaded when you start up your machine.

read full review download Gmail Peeper

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Great tool for sending newsletters and other marketing products through emails

Atomic Mail Sender is a mass mail utility that sends e-mail messages to the recipients’ mailboxes without using your ISP mail server. You just have to import the mailing lists which are saved either in .txt, .lst, or .csv format or connect directly to a database. You can also import unsubscribe mailing lists in the same formats as the mailing lists. With its basic management options such as: adding new addresses, removing addresses, filtering features, etc, represented by easily recognized icons and buttons, Atomic Mail Sender brings nothing new in terms of mass mailing utilities but it definitely stands out as one of the simpliest applications.

read full review download Atomic Mail Sender

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