Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

“Why don’t Microsoft talk about Admin Center?”

with 14 comments

[Warning. This post gets a bit technical.]

I had a conversation today with a colleague (let’s call him John) about various online email providers and the services that they offer around that. He told me that his wife uses Hotmail for her email because she likes Windows Live for Windows Mobile – the client that can be installed on Windows phones to enable push email and email sync with Hotmail.


John however prefers to use Google Apps (which incorporates Gmail) because it enables him to use his own email domain (e.g. john@johnsdomain.com) rather than a Google-provided address like john12345@gmail.com.


He had one complaint about Google Apps though – there was no mobile client as good as Windows Live for Windows Mobile. However, the fact that he can use his own domain (johnsdomain.com) keeps him on Google Apps.

That’s when I mentioned a service that my wife and I (and others) have been using for a couple of years now, Windows Live Admin Center


Its a competitor to Google Apps because it allows you to use your domain (mine is jamie-thomson.net) in conjunction with Hotmail which also means you get to use the goodness of Windows Live for Windows Mobile, Outlook (via Outlook Connector) and Windows Live Mail for email plus the plethora of other Windows Live products and services. All for free.

John was pretty taken aback at this. He didn’t know that Windows Live Admin Center existed and upon taking a brief look he seemed very interested in migrating off of Google Apps. He’s going to take a closer look and then make a decision.


What I found most interesting though is that John asked the same question that I’ve been asking for the past couple of years, “Why don’t Microsoft talk about Admin Center?”. It really is a fantastic service (and recently got improved – more on that in a later blog post) but nobody out there knows about it and meanwhile Google Apps is hoovering up customers while Microsoft do nothing about it. It doesn’t make any sense to me.


clubhouse Tags: clubhouse, story, admin center, hotmail


Written by Jamiet

August 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses

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  1. John didn’t know about Admin Centre? Well hey! Neither did I. Thank goodness we’ve got you, and you’ve always got your eyes open!


    August 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm

  2. Brilliant and informative post Jamie! I didn’t know about it nor have I ever heard of it either! I think that sometimes Microsoft have so many programs, so many applications that some just ‘slip by’ without being given the focus they deserve. I would imagine that there are others we don’t get to hear about as well. As Jen says, thank goodness we have you to let us know!


    August 27, 2009 at 7:57 pm

  3. I was interested in this when I discovered it a few months back, but it didn’t seem to have many practical applications for me at the time. I think Admin Center needs to provide more comprehensive services than just custom e-mail addresses powered by Hotmail. They need to provide comparable services to Google: Sites (not just Spaces), Calendar, and GDocs. I’d personally love to register a domain and create a WL-powered multipage website with a wiki-style multiauthor collaborative features, a discussion forum, SkyDrive integration, a publicly visible calendar, etc. Hell, I’d even consider paying for it! Maybe when Web-based Office apps are launched next year, we’ll see Microsoft make some much needed headway in this area.


    August 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm

  4. P.S. Admin Center offers calendar also – Live Calendar.


    August 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

  5. Yeah, I run a web design/hosting company and constantly use custom domains to host my clients’ email services (with a co-branding). They’re constantly impressed by being able to sync their email across devices, use the Outlook add-in, etc.But the service is very out of date, and lists now-defunct services (no co-branded home.live.com for example, search macros are now long gone). Would be handy if this was updated….Don’t know why they don’t promote it – you’d have thought this would be linked to from the "Get a new Live ID" page at least, and appear in the account settings as an option?


    August 28, 2009 at 6:47 am

  6. Jamie, I do hope you’ll share more about the advantages of WL Admin services with us. I’m very interested in learning what additional value it may hold for me. Thanks!


    August 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  7. Having used "Live Domains" for the past year, I have to say I am testing out moving to Google Apps for only a few simple reasons:1 – Hotmail is slow on adding new features to the service itself, while the interface keeps getting better. Where is +Addressing? It’s hard to migrate people from other mail systems to Live Mail when it’s mail service isn’t as feature rich.2- Folders vs Labels – I fought the "Labels are better than Folders", until I started using Labels instead of folders. It’s a much better way to classify and organize email.3 – Live Domains don’t have a "catch-all" address/box? I have to create a user for each known address and setup forwarding. not every friendly.4 – Where is a Mobile Calendar Sync to Windows Mobile? I was getting sick of having to sync my Live Calendar to Google Calendar just so I could sync it to my Windows Mobile phone (Using Active Sync). It’s been rumored to be coming for far too long. What if I want to use a non-windows mobile phone and sync my calendar? Will this be supportable?I will say that I have had many a family domain on Admin Center/Live Domain for the simplicity of it, but as far as feature rich it’s not innnovating with it’s features yet.I will say that the Google App Domains is a mess as far as unified IDs. With Live Domains your ID is a LiveID universally. Google App Domain IDs only work with SOME services, so you need a GoogleID as well.


    August 31, 2009 at 8:09 pm

  8. Jef,That’s some great info – thanks. I’ll pass it on to John!-Jamie


    August 31, 2009 at 9:09 pm

  9. Is Windows Live Domains or "Windows Live Admin Center" Free?Beacuse for my domain i currently use Google Apps, But i do rather the hotmail style client???


    October 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

  10. Vivian,Yes, WL Admin Center is completely free.-Jamie


    October 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm

  11. Has anybody else (Jamie?) had problems with this since the latest Hotmail rollout? All of my co-branding has disappeared entirely…


    October 7, 2009 at 6:37 am

  12. Hey ALi,No problems here but then, I don’t use co-branding anyway.-Jamie


    October 7, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  13. hay i will give it a go!i will let you knowAllie


    October 23, 2009 at 12:27 am

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