This is a really strange article. Microsoft is bucking the trend of doing everything possible to shove ads down your throat. Really! What’s the scam then?
I’ll assume you know that Google reads your gmail. Didn’t know that, well, are you really that naive? And they read your email to do a mini-extortion (when that doesn’t work, they’ll do really big extortion, so watch what you say). Google thinks it is so smart at figuring out who you are by looking at your email that they get to sell ads at a premium because the ads are “targeted” at you. Talk about getting a new pair of shoes in your emails to friends, guess what ads you’re going to get.
Now let’s back up. You pay for the Internet, right? I mean you pay for your data connection and all those web sites you go to are just magically part of what you pay AT&T or Verizon or Comcast, right? No, actually not. None of the money you pay Apple (or Dell) for your device, none of the money you pay your provider, goes to any of the services. So what are poor Google and Facebook to do? Well, they’re going to suck you dry (since you neglected to actually pay them) and sell you bit by bit to somebody else who is trying to get money out of your wallet. And you think you can ignore them, right – just don’t pay any attention to the ads. Well, you’re not doing a very good job of that since everybody is making tons of money off you (it’s sorta like the notion that most people think they win when they go to casinos).
So Google is scamming you in gmail and so what’s poor Microsoft, the Johny-Come-Lately to do? They’re promising you they really are your friend. (You’re a “customer” not “inventory”, nice of them) They’re going to give you that free email on Outlook.com without ever reading your emails and selling your profile to advertisers. No, really, they are – it’s not a scam.
So given Outlook.com is not free for Microsoft to run how are they going to make money off you? actually charge you for the service they provide – no way, you all know the net is free and you’d never pay for using it. So Microsoft thinks that by integrating Outlook.com with Office and the cloud version (OWA, Azure, Office365, etc) you’ll go buy those services. After all you do pay for hardware (at least what it costs to make) and you sorta pay for software (you won’t pay the real price, plus you pirate a lot) so Microsoft figures you’ll buy enough stuff from them (esp. “cloud”, which is hugely profitable) that they can give you Outlook.com (and Hotmail and Live) for free, or at most with the low cost non-targeted ads. Of course, only old fogies and business nerds want Office, so most of you won’t pay Microsoft the cost of the service it is providing to you. But that’s the gamble they’re taking and you’ve seen how well Bing paid off for them.
Good luck with that one Microsoft! You really think people looking for free email accounts are going to buy a bunch of boring business software. No wonder you’ve gone nowhere in the past decade while Apple has gone up 20X. Not even a good try. Better luck next time.