I’ve been using GMail for about 10 years. Yes, it looks like you send mail to @studio711.com and receive a reply from there, but in the background, it’s getting sent to GMail. That’s not a huge deal but I’ve always felt a little guilty for not using my own company’s offerings. Plus, with the updates over the last few years, Outlook.com is at least on par with GMail, if not a little ahead.
So why didn’t I switch? It’s nerdy, but here you go. My old email DNS records were hosted by GoDaddy and all they did was forward email from all of my domains to GMail. I’d set up my mail clients to receive email from GMail and send through GoDaddy. Sending through the GoDaddy SMTP servers meant that I could send mail from my Studio711 domain. I was unable to replicate that in Hotmail because I couldn’t figure out how to set up an account that receives from Hotmail (which uses Exchange Active Sync) but send through a custom SMTP server. However, I recently discovered that in addition to EAS, you can access Hotmail through POP or IMAP. So I was able to forward all my email to Hotmail and then use a similar setup in Outlook except I point to the Hotmail IMAP servers instead of GMail.
Microsoft also offers to take over all mail handling for your domain. This lets you sign in to Outlook.com with firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send and receive just as you would expect without any extra hassle. Ideally I’d just have them handle all the Studio711 email and then I wouldn’t need such a complicated setup. The stopper is that the domain solution does not allow catch-all email accounts. Right now you can email anything @studio711.com and I’ll get it. I rely on that heavily. Whenever I sign up for a new website, I give them a custom email address so I know if they sell it to anyone. It also makes it really easy to filter out junk mail that just won’t stop. So if I let Microsoft manage my mail records, I’d have to manually create an account every time I hand out a new email address. Since I already have hundreds or thousands in the while, this was a non-starter.
Are you asleep yet? I imagine there are maybe two people who actually followed all that. If you didn’t, don’t worry. The bottom line is that I’m now running all my email through Microsoft servers instead of Google servers. I’m obviously biased, but I trust Microsoft more with that information than I trust Google.