Web host turns to Gmail in Microsoft boycott

Hell has no fury like a Web host scorned

In a move that could alienate it from a lion's share of free e-mail account holders, Canadian Web host GaltGroup Internet Services has turned its back on Windows Live Hotmail - as well as all the products, services and partners of Hotmail's parent company, Microsoft.

The boycott was said to have been sparked by e-mail delivery problems between GaltGroup and some of its customers who were also Hotmail users. Despite having sent legitimate, authenticated messages, GaltGroup found that Hotmail's spam filters had been directing its e-mails past users' inboxes, spam and trash folders, to be destroyed without any notice to either the sender or intended recipient.

"It is analogous to the letter-carrier just deciding to throw away your letters, and not even telling you or the person who sent it," said Laura Brownlee, GaltGroup's chief marketing officer.

"I don't believe they [Hotmail] specifically target us, but rather we fall into some category of 'things their filters dislike'," she said. "As we are unable to reliably deliver email to Hotmail and reliable email delivery is vital for billing, we simply cannot afford to take the risk to customer satisfaction that Hotmail presents."

GaltGroup no longer accepts registrants using Hotmail or MSN email address. Instead, it directs potential customers to sign up for Google's free e-mail service, Gmail.

According to Ashley Friedlein, chief executive officer and co-founder of U.K. e-commerce research group E-consultancy, deliverability problems extend beyond Hotmail to other large Web mail providers also.

Friedlein explained that some country domains, like Russia, are typically treated more harshly by spam filters, because of the volumes of spam known to originate from servers in those countries. Other servers are tagged as likely spammers by spam filters because of the number of e-mails they send within a certain time period.

"Deliverability is a real headache. It's not just Hotmail, but the other large webmail companies too - Yahoo!, AOL, Google, etc," he said. "If you send above a certain threshold you immediately get them all junked as 'spam'."

Meanwhile, a Hotmail spokesperson claimed there to be no evidence that its spam filters unfairly targets specific domains.

"We seldom get Australian customers raise issues due to the spam filters in Hotmail," said Kate Beddoe, head of Windows Live Services at ninemsn. "Our customers have told us that ensuring their email is spam-free is of top importance to them. Given this, we have worked to deliver increased security and safety measures for Hotmail."

"While we are aware of some instances where some legitimate emails in Australia have been blocked by the spam filtering technology in Hotmail, we have not received any complaints from ISPs," she said.

Beddoe said that Hotmail users are able to access spam-filtered e-mail by selecting the message in their junk e-mail folder and adding the sender to a "safe" list. This would cause emails from the "safe" email domain to no longer be classified as spam.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liz Tay

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?