Thousands were outraged when Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) introduced a complete overhaul of Yahoo Mail in October, and apparently none are quite as angry as Yahoo employees. According to a leaked internal memo, 75 percent of Yahoo employees refuse to use their own company’s email service.
The memo, leaked Monday by All Things Digital, came from Jeff Bonforte, the senior vice president of communications products at Yahoo, and Randy Roumillat, Yahoo’s chief information officer. Yahoo admits that the company failed in a mission to get employees to use Yahoo Mail as their corporate email account.
The email is filled with humorous references, sarcastic remarks and snarky jabs. The memo was even titled, “Windows 95 called and they want their mail app back.”
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]."
Yahoo encourages its employees to make the switch to Yahoo Mail not just on principle but also to help test the product and provide the Mail team with feedback. Certainly the Yahoo Mail team has received more than enough feedback online, but perhaps a lack of internal testing explains why the product was released with so many bugs and glitches.
Yahoo gives a list of reasons why Yahoo employees should use Yahoo Mail instead of Microsoft Outlook and even reveals a new feature coming soon to Yahoo Mail that they want the team to test: “smart auto-suggest” powered by Xobni, which Yahoo acquired in July.
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!
The memo repeated that using Yahoo Mail will be good for the company as a whole, and frequently compared it to eating “dogfood.”
What kind of makes the whole thing sad is that the memo concludes by stating that corporate mail is not supported with the Yahoo Mail app for Android or iOS. Employees will probably be much more likely to use Yahoo Mail if they could actually check their messages from their mobile device. Could this be why Yahoo stopped allowing employees to work from home?