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Fri Dec 19 18:29:29 SAST 2014

Fewer than 25% of Yahoo employees use Yahoo Mail

Stuart Thomas | 25 November, 2013 13:21
The Yahoo logo is shown at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.
Image by: ROBERT GALBRAITH / REUTERS

Fewer than 25% of Yahoo employees use the company's own email service, with most clinging desperately to Microsoft Outlook.

This has, in turn, resulted in a doozy of an internal memo - first spotted by AllThingsD's Kara Swisher.

The memo, titled “Windows 95 called and they want their mail app back”, starts out by comparing the migration rate to a high school grading curve, before going on to make Google references and aiming a few more jabs at Microsoft.

One paragraph in particular digs deep at the Microsoft-built email app:

"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 terrorised 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]."

From that, it seems like the memos authors Jeff Bonforte and Randy Roumillat are as perplexed about the exact reasons Yahoo employees refuse to make the switch as anyone else (functionality aside, you really ought to believe in your company's own product). According to Swisher though, a potential answer is that they prefer Outlook's functionality when it comes to meeting requests. 

One other thing worth noting, is that if Yahoo employees are expected to understand all the historical and literary references they must be a pretty bright bunch. Unless, that is, the higher-ups are trying to play a game of one-upmanship in a bid to convince their employees that they know best and crossing over to Yahoo mail really is in their best interests. 

Either way, it's an impressive piece of corporate artistry and too good not to share in its entirety: 

"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 terrorised the data centre 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"

- Copyright: Memeburn.com

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