Yahoo VPs urge staff to stop using Outlook for email already

Stop with the 'anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era,' says company memo

Did you Yahoo! that?

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Employees at Yahoo just won’t start using Yahoo Mail and corporate VPs are urging their staff to make the switch from Microsoft Outlook already, according to a hilarious memo obtained by All Things D.

The email, which is posted over here in full, was leaked to reporter Kara Swisher.

In it, Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo’s SVP of Communications Products and Randy Roumillat, Yahoo’s CIO, urge the 75 per cent of staff members who haven’t made the switch to Yahoo Mail, and are supposedly using Outlook, to used the Yahoo product. It reads:

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.

With a full 75 per cent of staff still on Outlook, the Yahoo bosses try some humour to convince the holdouts:

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 terrorized 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].

The memo goes on to sway staff by telling them they’ll: “get to dogfood our new features first.” In this case, dogfood means testing out new features as a way of showing faith in the company and, eventually, selling the product to a wider audience.

The problem is, however, that sometimes dog food doesn’t taste as good as you want it to. The leaked memo comes as a very vocal group of Yahoo Mail users protest recent changes to the service. The Yahoo Mail redesign, which went live in October, has generated thousands of angry comments over at a Yahoo forum designed to troubleshoot the new service. The main complaints are that the new mail service is hard to organize, full of bugs, and that helpful tabs have been entirely removed. Bonforte and Roumillat using a little humour can’t hurt, given the situation.

Awhile you’re at it, the bosses write to employees, maybe stop using Google to search: “as a company it’s a matter of principle to use the products we make. (BTW, same for Search.)”