This included the emails I sent to my first love. And the ones she sent me. All gone. Because Microsoft wanted to save some tiny amount of space. I love Microsoft and an writing this on a Surface device now but Christ, that was awful and would make me think twice about using Microsoft online services.
PS. If anyone on HN somehow knows ways to recover the contents on deleted hotmail accounts then please let me know.
XP put that data in \Documents and Settings\<user>.
Vista and 7 put it in \Users\<user>, and some stuff in \ProgramData.
If you've got user downloads and documents in \Windows (and thus \Windows.old), you're doing something really strange.
When Gmail launched one of its main features was the amount of storage space - people were used to having maybe 10MB of mailbox space. Companies competed over that number. It reflects that email was never seen as being permanent, you were expected to clear old emails out, and many services automatically deleted old emails.
Basically if it's local back it up to the cloud, and if it's only in the cloud back it up locally.
Really, the problem is that online services (startups that are shutting down are the worst offenders) are allowed to destroy user data with reckless abandon. You may argue "hey, it's their cloud" but it's also your data -- and that's kinda like arguing that a library that accepts book donations and then goes on to shreds book that nobody is borrowing anymore is justified in their actions.
I remember, a long long time ago, someone I knew had just ripped his massive compact disc collection to his Windows computer, and, by default, they were in encrypted WMA format. He was very receptive to me pointing out how bad DRM was, because now he couldn't copy them to his other computers, and how Microsoft lied to him.
DO NOT TRUST THE CLOUD
You mean, all libraries?
It probably doesn't help the parent feel much better about his situation, but it does help all the other readers to highlight and learn from his experience, and especially to emphasize that such adversarial action against user data is a significant risk at large, established companies as well as small ones.
Sure, you and I know that effectively all "cloud" companies will resort to this sort of scummy bullshit, but let's not blame users who have lost data because a company decided to delete their data with reckless abandon.
How much are you paying them, per month, to safeguard your data?
But look at it from a user's perspective. A small company shows up and says "hey, look at this great 'experience' you can get if you just give us some of your data". So the user gives them some of their data, and that overall builds the community around whatever the company is selling. Then one day the company decides to delete the user's data without warning (or without their acknowledgement or consent). The data itself had worth to the users, but more importantly it is the reason why the company has a community. The fact they didn't treat it with respect is an ethics problem. Just because users didn't pay you to act as a decent person doesn't mean you should treat their data as though it was worthless.
When Yahoo deleted GeoCities they managed to set the world record for the fastest destruction of the largest amount of user-created content. The entireity of GeoCities was several terabytes (in 2009 that was small enough to fit a few hundred dollars worth of hard-drives). Was Yahoo legally obligated to not delete 22 years worth of user content in a single afternoon? No. Were they complete and utter assholes for doing it? Absolutely. Was completely un-necessary? Yes.
Always backup. Even if it wasn't stupid MS behavior, it could have been a server error.
No, thanks, always backup regularly -- in real time if possible (e.g. with Time Machine) and then secondary delayed backups (inc. remote locations).
Plus, on the other hand, Gmail locked me out of several of my accounts for dubious security reasons. I lost my mails because of a suspicion behavior, which was me traveling or not giving them away my phone number. Lucky me I always have an IMAP client setup.
Unless you pay, you are the product. Don't blame them.
P.S: not saying this as a MS fanboy, as any peak on my comment history would let you see how much I blame this company for a lot of things. But this is business as usual. Plus, if emails are that important, you should have a backup.
What I'm not sure of is what happens if you buy credit without reactivating the inactive balance... Does it reactivate the inactive balance or not? If not... they are shameless.
But there isn't really any reason to disable them in the software. Especially since they can be reenabled.
Just like if you have fully depreciated an office desk, that doesn't mean you march into that person's office and take it away. Sorry, this desk must be thrown out as it is now fully depreciated!
So I think it is an attempt at scraping more money out of their users.
This gave me a good laugh. With lowering interest rates and quantitative easing not pumping up the economy as expected, any bets on long before this becomes a reality?
It's still weird because it puts off customers buying Skype credits in the first place, and getting credit from your customers is pretty great.
The marketing that has convinced us gift cards are appropriate while cash / cheques are not is impressive.
I know myself and many other people prefer gift cards because it forces you to buy something for yourself instead of just adding it to the savings account. It shows slightly more thought than just hard cash as well.
They neither remind you that "hey, you have credits, dont purchase more!" and they happily spend your new credits to hope none the wiser.
I imagine this was all for doing some creative accounting to pump up their books.
I went to the website and clicked a link and my credits showed in the Skype client again.
When following the link through this page I was able to reactivate it:
No matter what I did, I could not reset the password and just gave up. I redirect all conferences to GChat/Facetime. It was almost like a hiring brain-teaser. I guess I'm not going to be hired at Microsoft.
Source: I used to work at an online bank where we'd close the account after 6 months of inactivity.
If this had been released as "Skype for Fun" or "Skype for Kids" I'd almost understand. But trying to force users into this hideous mess is very frustrating, Skype was a dependable, if bloated app. Now I fear getting messages via it, it's so horrible.
Nothing will happen though. We're all upset, but Microsoft isn't going to roll back an upgrade/decision of this magnitude.
It's never worked, ever, for anything. Not for audio, not for screen sharing, not for chat. I now decline all meeting requests that rely on Skype for Business for some essential part of the meeting.
The "reason" that was said to be the issue was "our internal routing between the sites" and Yeah, pretty much every issue we had never manifested it worker was at home and used home connection or used cellphone client and gsm operator for data.
But yeah, fuck Lync. Worst gig ever. One reason why I think rebranding Lync to Skype for Business made sense: let's fool someone to buy it by letting them think they where getting same tech as real Skype, not just same shit with different name.
Skype used to be pretty solid, years ago. These days it's just dodgy as heck and moving Lync to be Skype-branded was one of the more baffling decisions I've seen from Microsoft marketing, because none of us thought Skype had any pedigree worth trying to exploit anymore.
That said, being in Australia we don't have Microsoft-provided telephony in it, nor do we have any requirement for hunt groups and so forth. All our staff use their mobiles to talk, so Skype is purely used for teleconferences and video chats.
Enterprise telephony is a weird space right now - Microsoft ought to emerge the winner eventually with their broader stack proposition, especially when compared with most other vendors that try to stick in their bloatware or poorly written software. But gee it is a painful and slow transition to observe from the sidelines.
Just my 2c. :)
I've got some seriously non technical people in the business who find it super easy to now arrange a conference call, when previously they would be using their iPhone on speakerphone to merge calls.
None of them worked flawlessly, some required to install some software to be able to run inside a browser? The audio on the others didn't work good. The others had bad video quality and massive lag/delay on the screensharing.
We switched back to Skype For Business/Skype (w/ personal account) and it was the best experience for us (except for that one guy :D), also very reliable!
Skype for Business is also quite nice, and doesn't have any bloat. Just call and message.
There was a discussion back here on HN, why nobody has written some good software just to call a client and share your screen. If you have millions of $, why is it so difficult to make a reliable app? I guess you can't get a lot of revenue on free calling software.
A lot of the time we just call the clients landline and use TeamViewer for screensharing. It's like we're still living in 2001...
Chat is it's own mixed bag. Sometimes there is noticeable lag, you will get a popup showing you received the message but it will take several more seconds to show in the chat window. Very occasionally a message will take minutes to arrive or not at all. Copying and pasting is always a nightmare.
I wish ICQ would take their client from the late 90's and make a business version.
But Skype for Business (ahem, Lync) also has some fun, enterprisey restrictions that make no sense at all:
- You can’t send messages longer than a few sentences (stacktrace, code snippet are “too long”).
- You can’t send messages to offline contacts and have them receive it when they go back online. The message just disappears.
It works flawlessly and I despise every company that doesn't have Linq/Skype.
things randomly don't work (e.g. video in groups, picture whiteboards in groups), there's an inability to turn off highlights in group messages, and my machine locks up when a voice call comes in (because the skype client is using 4gb of RAM and windows has swapped it out)
only the MS group chat software comes close to being that awful, that feels like an intern's first C# app
Not unless there is sufficient opposition --- and by "sufficient", I mean almost everyone refusing to upgrade or suddenly moving to an alternative.
Flashy dumbed-down UIs seem to be the "modern" trend now. I hope it starts going back in the other direction, but sadly I doubt that will happen...
Look at Ubuntu's Unity. Apple's emoji bar. Microsoft's Windows 8.1 tiles.
(I have nothing to do with them other than wondering why everyone doesn't use it)
1. It is a resource hog. Laptops spit fire when they run hangouts for more than 10 minutes
2. It can be buggy and unreliable. Almost every 3rd hangout meeting, someone on my team is unable to hear others or is unable to use the mic. Fix can range anything between restarting the computer to killing audio processes.
In my experience, it is much less reliable on OS X than Linux.
If they manage to make it reliable and reduce resource usage, it'll be the perfect video conference app.
Also, it doesn't currently work on firefox which is a pain.
At the moment, it's easier to send people to a Slack channel to chat during a Hangout than to use Hangout's chat.
It really is good, at least on Chrome, but I worry that Google will let it stagnate.
Basically everything. It used to be the main communication tool of the Ingress community (precursor of Pokemon Go) due to it's integration with the game but 95% of all players have moved to Telegram because HO is a horribly broken piece of tech which becomes worse and worse after each update.
A running gag in the Ingress community was that the HO is to Google what Australia was to the U.K., e.g. if you did something stupid while working at Google you would be sent to work with the HO team as punishment.
That there is a new product using the same damaged brand inspires zero confidence. It's ridiculous to have all these separate apps that don't seem to be cohesive at all. For instance, nobody I know who travels even knows that Hangouts Dialer exists, even though it's incredibly useful while abroad.
Pretty much every product that Google makes is crap, or there is always a better alternative, or the product is virtually invisible, and most updates seem to be making each product harder to use or more unstable. They're not intuitive, features have no useful help reference in the app, and bugs are everywhere.
The worst so far was the new web UI for Google Voice. It doesn't show the most current messages. I've filed a half dozen bug reports for months with no feedback or fixes.
As for what's awful about it, where to start? Slow, hard to join, doesn't play well with multiple Google accounts, bugs and crashes with screen sharing, ...
It seems that over the years, their PM team is more confident (capable?) in keeping a good balance between core chat usability and all the "extras", perhaps because they are not playing catch-up in the market.
But I hope for the return of XMPP. While the client development stagnated for the most part over the last years, there are a few which seem to catch up with the innovation of the last years (conversations, chat secure).
The last great hope was back when both Facebook and Google used it, and you could connect one to the other.
Since then both have gone proprietary, and dragged their user base with them.
It is sad though that basically the only desktop based chat/voice/video communications app listed at alternativeto.net is LinPhone which in theory is a drop in replacement for skype, but in practice it is not =.=
Wire.com -- I'm not affiliated, just a big fan. They're very new and need more publicity in my opinion.
How do you take the original king of VoIP and easily make it the worst experience? Sweet Jeebus.
Just like it’s ridiculous to let installers run as root without a sandbox, it should be considered ridiculous that we can’t constrain updaters: I should be able to say “bug fixes only” or whatever, and see only that happen. Instead, it’s UI-of-the-week.
A straightforward way to ensure this would be to have substantial limits on size. It is pretty hard to redo an entire UI if you’re restricted to a 100K update, for example. And it would help to prevent data plans from being sucked up by careless app vendors.
Look, I don't like some of these stupid updates either, but that idea is completely unworkable.
Either allow people to install older versions of the app, or as suggested, find a way to uncouple presentation from functionality. That's no more or less "unworkable" than any other engineering problem.
Unworkable? Are you kidding? It's absolutely brilliant. It's exactly what I want.
Give me a feature set. Give me a separate UI which interacts with that feature set. Let me pick and choose both of them, completely separately. That's what an API is supposed to be and do.
But it's still unworkable, like I said.
a) I know this isn't reddit, but it would go against reddiquette to downvote a comment you disagree with. You donwvote comments that don't bring anything to a discussion, which your suggestion doesn't.
b) You installed a piece of software of your own volition. If you don't want updates to your software of a certain kind then choose another software whose developers are contractually obliged not to change it. Or write your own. But don't push your ideas on us.
Picking and choosing a feature set for most applications sits in the completely infeasible plane.
Yes Skype is a comms app that supposedly "requires" cloud infra spend but... wait... they had a decentralized peer-to-peer communication system years ago but decided to move away from it. It was a poor choice if not to further their control over the product, so they could better force their crap on us when all we wanted was to send texts and make calls.
I don't see why we need to get laws involved. Also, it sounds like you're chomping at the bit to pull one over on Microsoft. Sure. Maybe you feel wronged by what Skype has become.
But how would that affect every other operation that's smaller than Microsoft that doesn't have the resources to make -- and I'm not even sure what was described -- some sort of pick-and-choose UI/API adventure.
Just doesn't seem like a coherent reaction. Can you actually pitch a solution that sounds reasonable for everyone instead of just corporations?
I find it rather interesting that there have been tons of applications that have, historically, had optional features. Many of them work quite well.
The best thing they could have done years ago would have been to open-source it and let it evolve naturally.
So I started telling people that "I don't use Skype" and to call me on Google Hangouts or my cell phone instead. Slack's free plan also offers voice calls. If you need a phone number that forwards to you, Twilio offers that service at a much better price than Skype.
Abandoning Skype over the past few years hasn't been a problem at all.
1) Microsoft has absolutely no interest in Skype being a viable option, and wants Skype users to adopt some other Microsoft product. Why doesn't Microsoft tell Skype users "Well, Skype is done, just use MSN."
2) People responsible for Skype are optimizing for some metrics, which is opposite to user satisfaction. What is that metric?
3) People responsible for Skype have no idea what they're doing, get no input from community, don't see how people are mad about these particular UI changes, and misunderstand how people use Skype... In which case, why are they still in charge?
They already did this the other way around. They closed MSN Messenger in 2013, and told everyone to just use Skype. Skype WAS supposed to the their main messaging app now.
So in reality you might as well say they "reskinned" Office messenger, called Lync (which I believe started as a version of MSN messenger long ago) and then put out an "update" for Skype that replaced it with Lync, with the banners, window titles, website names, etc, replaced with "skype". That's what happened.
The trouble is, they also don't ever seem to have done anything to make it better, and the ongoing saga of native Windows 8 and now Windows 10 Skype clients is face-palmingly awful.
Flagship chat system on flagship platform doesn't even work right... what hope for Android and iOS?
Every proprietary messenger ends up like Skype sooner or later.
I guess I will have to upgrade either to Windows 7 or to Debian (if it won't work too slow) because many applications including browsers don't work on XP anymore.
Windows 10 is pretty resource efficient. There's even a stripped back 'long term support one' which is incredibly lightweight. Anyway, RAM is incredibly cheap now, I don't think you should be risking getting totally pwned for the sake of an investment in a few GB of ram.
* Full disclosure: my co. was acquired and forced to use office suite.
What I'll call "automatic transmission" VoIP solutions are all very similar in terms of quality. That said, there are absolutely things you can do to improve VoIP call quality and reliability: https://book.pod.guru/voip-secrets/
Beyond typical consumer/business VoIP, there are professional solutions like Source-Connect Now and ipDTL. They support selectable bitrates that go beyond what popular consumer/business solutions typically support, with commensurably better quality.
For highest quality, the solution is a "multi-ender". In a multi-ender, audio is recorded uncompressed (or losslessly compressed) at every end, then merged/sync'd after the call for a result that can sound as if everyone was in the same room. WebRTC-powered services like Zencastr, Ringr, Cast and Cleanfeed can help automate multi-enders.
I live the UK and have been spoiled with high speed internet. I have been working on around 50kB/s download speed and WhatsApp really shines. Skype sometimes works well, with a much more noticeable delay.
Coming somewhere like this really makes me appreciate small webpage sizes. Hacker News loads much, much quicker than just about any other site I regularly use. Granted it's known for it's light bandwidth size... I've been finding myself slimming my projects down considerably, which a really nice side effect of being somewhere with terrible internet for some time.
Too bad they don't have a desktop client :/
With Zoom and other conference programs, callers just join the call (after they've downloaded the program which admittedly is an initial pain point).
Google hangouts does a pretty solid job reconnecting (even after switching off a VPN during a call).
Because I'm guessing this is just Microsoft further differentiating their product categories: today's Skype is for consumers (ala Facebook Messenger), so it gets "cute" features at the expense of the ability to use it for productivity; while Skype for Business continues to be about efficient collaboration and productivity (ala Slack) at the expense of "fun."
The real thing that's upsetting people, I think, is that before Skype for Business existed, Skype was for both use-cases, so a lot of people used "Skype" to get things done and were satisfied with it, and it has since evolved into a product that's not for them. The product that serves those people's needs now is Skype for Business, not Skype.
I like that it integrates well with Outlook. You can do something like create a meeting invite from within the calendar in Outlook. Then when meeting reminder pops up it will automatically contain a link the invitee can click on to join meeting remotely via Skype things like that make teleconferencing etc dead easy.
There are some other pretty nice features like being able to see someones Skype status from outlook when you read email. i.e so you know if they are at their desk or working remotely etc.
It is also simple to do things like sharing a screen, we use this feature a lot for remote meetings. There are a heap of non technical people in my org and screen sharing was always a huge pain point in the past.
I haven't noticed the issue with timestamps but no one in my org really uses the messaging/chat features everything here has traditionally been email based so I've never seen many missed conversation messages. The only thing conversations are used for are quick fire stuff like "Are you coming for lunch?" and even then 90% of people still use email or phone for this.
One horrible bug I have noticed is Skype will email me when I have a new voice mail and it uses some horrible speech to text conversion to describe what is in the message which results in what is essentially nonsense.
Bad voice mail auto translation have become a kind of office meme around here with people sharing the funniest ones etc. I do not think their speech to text understands Australian accents at all...
I only get those for conversations I didn't miss. Apparently if I don't have the last word, I missed it.
Fortunately my company uses Slack almost 100% for internal business.
Edit: Just to clarify, here's what I'm looking for:
1. Free plan; available everywhere in the world (I have family outside the US).
2. Both Mac and PC clients that are actually good.
3. Video chat quality (including noise filtering and such) that matches or exceeds what Skype can do.
4. IM-like client that supports text, voice, and video chat. This disqualifies business-type solutions that are geared around groups pre-scheduling meetings. I just want to see who's online and send them an IM or video chat request.
They were bought by Atlassian recently and they used it to replace the HipChat video/audio chat function.
I'm not sure yet whether you can also use it with the jitsi desktop clients (https://jitsi.org/) seamlessly, but it'd make sense :)
Just saw some news that they also enabled calling into meet.jit.si conferences by phone (https://jitsi.org/news/telephony-support-on-meet-jit-si/) so that's also a bonus point if you liked Skype.
Though it is business focused.
1. There is a free plan, but limited.
2. Android, iPhone, Mac, and PC clients that work well.
Occasional notification syncing issues. That's about the worse of it.
3. I don't know; I haven't used Skype in years. Better than Lync and Polycom.
Signal actually looks great, but their Mac/PC client has been in beta since 2015 and isn't linked from the homepage -- I had to dig it up on their blog. Also, video chat has been in beta since March 2017. It's not clear if their beta non-phone client supports the beta video chat. Still, I'm digging their encryption.
I don't mean to shit over your suggestions, I really am looking for something better. But so far, nothing seems like a clear winner.
Video chat actually came out of beta in March . The beta was released in February.
I personally don't know anybody using it past early 2016. It's all Whatsapp, Messenger, Telegram (but many people don't know what it is) and Skype on the desktop. Snapchat among the kids.
Not really here in Germany. iOS has about 20% of the market, Android the other 80%.
macOS is at about 8%.
Anecdotally, even discounting that I have neither, of the 20 or so people I'd realistically want to chat with (friends and family), two have iPhones and one has a mac.
Plus: What happens when they switch? Or when I want to switch?
Also, I don't really want to use multiple applications.
In the US, many people have the iPhones and iPads. For professionals worldwide at least in developed countries, it makes sense to use iPhones which are far, far more secure than Android platforms, especially when taking into account total cost of ownership, the monthly fee for cell service on a high quality network.
In professional settings, the Mac is becoming a more popular platform, IBM is converting many Thinkpads over to Macs.
Many in Europe, even the young, smoke cigarettes which are very costly with the taxes. I'd suggest for both health reasons and using money for better purposes to quit smoking cigarettes and use the money for iPhones (and Macs).
A pack of Marlboros in Germany is about $8 per pack according to Wikipedia.
My daily cost for being on the Verizon (top cell provider, esp in NYC) network and having Verizon yearly upgrade for latest iPhone is $5 per day. Upgrading to latest MacBook 15" Pro from recent model is about $2 to $3 per day.
The Macs, iPhones, and iPads play much better together as an ecosystem.
FaceTime used to be nice if you were all Apple, but when they removed P2P it went to crap. The performance got terrible.
Lately I've been using appear.in, which works if you have a webrtc browser or you use the app. It works decently well.
This update actually made me open skype and talk to people. Skype became terrible, but this update interested me and now I'm actually using it for first time in months. The design is pretty straightforward and satisfying. Could be better, but this is a huge improvement over what they had. Don't know why they put in stories tho.
That's the problem man! You wanted an app to talk to your friends. Now you got some kind of snapchat clone.
I really just want them to de-unify MSN Messenger (those contacts who don't get on Matrix or anything else are the only reason I still use skype) and let me use Pidgin/Emesene again but that's way up there in the pipe dream clouds of never happening.
Skype does not feel like a serious communication tool anymore.
I can't believe they are working on this garbage instead of making it as reliable as slack. Ridiculous.
Some are absolutely awful and it perplexes me to no end how people and organisations are so willing to throw money at those products. It's like they could do better with sending hand written letters sometimes.
Then it slowly got worse and worse. We both used Skype to talk to our parents and spent most of that time fixing issues related to Skype not working or explaining the latest daft UI redesign.
Nowadays everyone but her parents are on Apple devices and a FaceTime just works and every visit to their place involves fixing Skype and explaining to them about the clusterfuck that is Skype on Windows 8/10.