Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Opera Acquires Fastmail.fm

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the hopefully-for-more-than-a-song dept.

Businesses 78

mattcsn writes "Opera Software just bought email service provider Fastmail.fm. Here's hoping that Opera uses a light touch and keeps the email service as unchanged as possible. From the article: 'FastMail has included a FAQ, in which it says that users who wish to not transfer their accounts over to Opera have to go into settings and indicate just that. Not acting upon the email the company sent out to its users or actively accepting the transfer will result in Opera assuming control over the mailbox and the account registration details. As to the reason for selling, FastMail says the market was getting increasingly competitive and that Opera's expertise in web browsers and especially the mobile market would help the company grow and take on the next big challenges in running and building an email service.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Opera Software (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047058)

For once I actually think the service will stay as it is. Opera's business isn't offering mail services, but their web browser contain mail functionality, and Opera has a good track record of a good company. What it seems to be is that they're looking to have a specific email provider in the browser, and buying Fastmail.fm is great for that.

Re:Opera Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047412)

personally i can't wait to use fastmail.fm in opera on my Courier.

Re:Opera Software (1)

D4rkn1ght (800767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050530)

personally i can't wait to use fastmail.fm in opera on my Courier.

You're not alone! My favorite browser and e-mail service together. wow!

Re:Opera Software (1)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048302)

Opera has offered mail services for a couple of years now. I haven't used it, but apparently it's there with my Opera account. This isn't new territory for them. It looks to me that Opera is buying the customer base and any technology/hardware/people/etc, is a bonus.

Re:Opera Software (1)

Lachlan Hunt (1021263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32051432)

Opera has had operamail.com for many years, but as far as I know, it has not been linked with the My Opera social networking site. As you can see from its current state, the operamail service has not been maintained for years. According to the TOS on that site, it's been outsourced to Outblaze - another mail company I know nothing about. It seems obvious that this new acquisition of FastMail.fm will change that.

(Disclaimer: I work for Opera, but I am not involved with our email products. The above represents my own opinion)

Re:Opera Software (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049708)

I hope the service stays as it is, I've been a Fastmail user for years and they've always been a pretty solid, inexpensive service.

It does seem like a good marriage to me, with both sides bringing something positive to the table that shouldn't interfere with each other's core businesses. We'll see if Opera enables Fastmail to continue its excellent service or if they mess around with a good thing and ruin it.

Re:Opera Software (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32051998)

I always do wonder how Opera makes money. They offer their web browsers for free now. How does Opera generate revenue?

Re:Opera Software (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32053124)

Same as many other free browsers which get part of their revenue from search engines + licensing fees from manufacturers who want to incorporate Opera tech into their products (Nintendo or some TV manufacturers for example); possibly also carriers including Opera Mini by default in handsets they offer.

Re:Opera Software -- good track record? (1)

mr_death (106532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056292)

Nope. This is the same clueless management team who couldn't compete on the desktop with Microsoft (while, of course, Firefox does, and commands ~30% market share), and whined to the EU to give them an undeserved placement on the desktop. Given their poor performance, I predict they'll screw up fastmail.

What for? (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047106)

Seriously, why is Opera doing this?

Re:What for? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047168)

Last ditch efforts to stay relevant in a business that has passed them by?

Re:What for? (1)

Zoidbot (1194453) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047532)

You really haven't used any of their products have you? If you had you wouldn't make such stupid claims. Most of the people that invented the fucking web work at Opera you dipshit.

Re:What for? (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048914)

Neither that, nor he is aware of business relevance outside his borders [liveinternet.ru] .

Re:What for? (-1, Flamebait)

DWRECK18 (1796294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047234)

Opera has not been relevant for quite some time, except for when I used opera mini on my bb some time ago I have not used it since. Especially since FF is releasing Fennec to the Android, and on top of that I use Google Chrome, FF, and IE8 on my PC's. So Opera has been surpassed by the Browser Market and now by buying the e-mail client they are trying to gain some ground, which I do not see happening. On a side not, there is also the Safari browser which I know a lot of people use, so honestly Opera is just limping along when it should probably just be bought out by someone who has a good foothold on the browser and e-mail market.

Re:What for? (1)

Zoidbot (1194453) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047394)

"Opera has not been relevant for quite some time"

100m+ users will disagree with you on that...

Re:What for? (1)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047482)

There's no email client involved in this purchase (as far as I know).

Fastmail, which I've been using since last August, is an good email service with a good web front end.

Re:What for? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047902)

Opera is the most widely-deployed mobile browser.

So Opera has been surpassed by the Browser Market and now by buying the e-mail client they are trying to gain some ground, which I do not see happening.

Really, Mr. Analyst! Please enlighten us with more of your carefully-researched gems of insight.

Re:What for? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048650)

Oh, so Opera has lost the invaluable DWRECK18 market. That's definitely the sign of a company in deep crisis.

Reliable, fast and standards compliant (4, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047562)

Amazingly clean, browser friendly interface along with superb IMAP support. That was why I originally subscribed to fastmail.fm and it went even better, not worse.

There is a huge level of expertise in fastmail.fm and I believe they use best of the technology but it has never been some "nerd" service, they used the ideas to make it more friendly to newbie user. Of course, there isn't a chance you can compete with free and brands like "Google", so it could never get into place where it deserved.

Hopefully, with Opera, it will be more known and used.

Re:What for? (1)

catman (1412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050244)

One provision in the EU Data Retention Directive says that ISPs must store information about recipients of all e-mail that their clients send. Now if Opera can offer EU users a webmail service outside the countries implementing the DRD that's a good deal.

Re:What for? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32051002)

Opera already has a bunch of online services grouped together as "My Opera" - some browser-tied, such as server-side bookmarks & history with sync, or Opera Turbo; and some generic ones [opera.com] , such as blogs. Given that Opera has a built-in email client, it would make some sense for them to also provide an email service to pair with that (so if you start Opera and click "e-mail", it'd offer you to create an Opera account if you don't already have one).

As for "why" in a sense of how they will make money on that - this [informationweek.com] might give a clue.

Re:What for? (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32053356)

I would guess Opera Mini will get soon a nicely integrated creation process and access to email account; so Opera Software will jump on the badwagon of hundreds of millions of people getting their first email adress (people in so called "3rd world countries", having access to the internet only via fairly simple phones; phones on which Opera Mini is very popular, it certainly helps it being #1 mobile web browser). Opera can also offer it in nice package to mobile carriers, I guess.
Who knows, perhaps next step will be some integration with My Opera and also basic mobile client for that online community.

in other news (2, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047170)

Tuffmail [tuffmail.com] remains cooler, and has not sold out. Happy customer for several years.

Re:in other news (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047310)

Tuffmail [tuffmail.com] remains cooler, and has not sold out. Happy customer for several years.

Wow Google apps really prices out all these guys by a lot

Re:in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047456)

good job ;-)

Re:in other news (3, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047534)

Yeah, I think I'll pass on giving a company that makes its money advertising access to all my private and business emails and stick with companies that make their money at offering email as a service. Tuffmail won't compromise your privacy because they'll go out of business if they do. Whereas Google owes you nothing.

I was a Fastmail.fm customer for years until their huge outage a couple years back. I switched to Tuffmail, and haven't looked back. Great service, rock solid reliability, never a lost email, no more than a few hours of downtime over the last several years.

I know of no other service that offers that kind of reliability for the very reasonable price Tuffmail charges.

Re:in other news (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047606)

Yeah, I think I'll pass on giving a company that makes its money advertising access to all my private and business emails

"Advertising"? What is this "advertising" you speak of?

Gmail IMAP [google.com] . I don't see the ads because I don't use the webserver. And I don't send outbound mail. I don't need to; I use an ISP mailbox for primary mail. GMail is just a receive-only convenience as far as I'm concerned.

Re:in other news (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047678)

Gmail IMAP [google.com]. I don't see the ads because I don't use the webserver.

Ads are less intrusive than the datamining which will occur regardless of whether you see the ads. To me, anyway.

I use an ISP mailbox for primary mail.

Do you mean that you use your ISP's SMTP server? What about when you're on the road?

Re:in other news (1, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050116)

So Google is aware that certain World of Warcraft accounts have expired. Gosh. Maybe they'll tailor the web ads they can't show me to offer me the non-existent opportunity to buy online gold. w00t.

Anything that matters would be GPG encrypted. And nothing that matters goes to this account anyways.

Do you mean that you use your ISP's SMTP server? What about when you're on the road?

On the road == business. "Leisure travel" is for suckers. "Travel" and "Travail" are based on the same Latin root for damn good reason.

If I'm traveling on business, the only email I need to see is business email, and the business makes adequate provision for that.

Oh, you mean, "what if I have to see my PERSONAL email while I'm doing the Road Warrior thing?" The answer is "I never HAVE to see my personal email."

I feel a little bad for people who've chosen to tether themselves to connectivity. Email is a functional convenience. It's not socializing, it's not connectedness, it's not a network. And IT IS NOT A NECESSITY. Speaking strictly for myself, o'course.

No, I'm not antisocial. I just don't mistake "on-line" for "socializing".

Re:in other news (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32061442)

Wow, the narrowmindedness overwhelms me.

Not everyone is addicted to their Crackberry.

Some of use actually find *occasional* access to personal email while on vacation to be rather useful, since some communication is better handled in writing than over a phone.

And, last but not least, some people actually write letters home, and email is a great way to ensure that they arrive in a timely manner.

Read the stuff before clicking "I agree" next time (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047832)

You specifically grant them (unless you pay) the rights to analyze your mail. It is up to them to use it whatever sense they want. Just because you don't see ads, it doesn't mean they are harvesting the personal mails.

There are some people who really feel disturbed about that kind of policy and please don't bring up "what about your ISP root user?", I don't use my ISP's junk either. Never did.

Re:Read the stuff before clicking "I agree" next t (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050202)

Yeah. So they can scan my email. The Gmail account is mostly throwaway stuff, so they can conclude from harvesting my email... that I get a trivial amount of throwaway stuff. Seriously. I think the Gmail account has handled less than 10 total emails. Ever.

I don't use my ISP's junk either. Never did.

Of course you are. You're using their routers, their CO equipment... that's no less (and no more) sacrosanct than the ISP's SMTP servers. 15 seconds with IOS and one Wireshark session and your emails would belong to the ISP's network techs.

There are some people who really feel disturbed about that kind of policy

Sure. If (A) my e-mail actually mattered, and (B) more specifically my email traffic passing through gmail actually mattered, then I'd be upset. Or not, since I did knowingly sign up for the service.

For me, it's a difference which makes no difference. If it matters, encrypt. If it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.

Gmail's issue is more political (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32055360)

I moved to VPN long time ago, in fact with Fastmail like services TLS/SSL support, they could never "wireshark" me.

Of course, I keep Yahoo mail since 1998, I just didn't like Gmail's (and Google in general), "You get it free, now sell your soul to us" attitude. If there were more people like me, they would seek for another solution. Of course, people jumping up and down saying "spyware" when poor shareware tries to check for updates using Gmail, it doesn't matter to them.

Re:in other news (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050102)

Uhh, just because you don't see the ads doesn't mean they aren't using the data to advertise to you.

You see Google ads all over the web. I'd be willing to bet a few pretty pennies that Google correlates information, knows who you are, and uses info about you to serve up ads, either on Google or via their AdSense ads all over the web. If they also host all your email, whether you are looking at it via the web or not, they can still use that data and provide it to advertisers.

I'm not a tin foil hat type, and I realize there are bigger problems out there in the world to worry about, I'm just saying if it costs 3 or 4 bucks a month (i.e. less than a Starbucks Mochalatteccino) to get a superior service from a company that specializes in that area, I'd much rather pay that than know that my email contents are fodder for the advertising industry.

Re:in other news (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049898)

Tuffmail won't compromise your privacy

Yet IMAPS and SMTPS are nowhere to be found. Your ISP and any network you connect to your mail from can be spying everything. At least GMail is encrypted.

Re:in other news (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050032)

Dunno what you are talking about, Tuffmail supports TLS and SSL over a variety of ports [tuffmail.com] , for both IMAP and SMTP traffic.

All the email I ever send to or retrieve from Tuffmail has been over a secured connection.

In fact, you can even manage your Sieve filters over an SSL connection.

Additionally, their webmail client (which ain't so great, but I only use it in emergencies) uses HTTPS.

This takes about 2 seconds to discover on their website - not exactly hidden information.

Re:in other news (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32051140)

Google Apps is a paid service with no ads.

Re:in other news (1)

onesandzeros (445024) | more than 4 years ago | (#32051230)

I was a Fastmail.fm customer for years until their huge outage a couple years back.

When did they have a significant outage? I opened my account in 2004.

Opera has, as far as I know, a fairly good reputation. I hope this works out well.

Re:in other news (3, Informative)

Bronster (13157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052754)

We put a lot our eggs in one basket for a bit - we had a 2Tb (yeah, I know - not so big by today's standards) RAID6 set die when 3 disks failed. This is before we had replication. It took about 2 weeks to get everyone back online as we streamed from backups as fast as we could!

Our infrastructure is a lot more fault-tolerant now. We actually lost a RAIDset about 3 weeks ago when two drives failed within about an hour of each other (a RAID1 of 150Gb drives - it was about 80% rebuilt)

Users didn't notice anything at all, but there were a couple of days when a subset of our users didn't have a realtime-replicated copy of their mail store as replication re-synced all their data to the new drives.

Re:in other news (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056000)

I like tuffmail's server-side spam policy [tuffmail.com] but how does it compare to Gmail's? Is it the same or more stringent - or can it be configured to be more stringent?

Re:in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047604)

Yeah, if only Google offered the features [tuffmail.com] of even a smalltime dedicated mailserver provider, as well as downtime of under an hour per year averaged over the last 5 years, I might question the onerous burden that is under $50/year for enterprise level e-mail configurability and availability.

Re:in other news (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049932)

Yet they don't offer encryption. Lame.

And $50/year won't give you 7GB of storage.

Re:in other news (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050204)

Yet they don't offer encryption. Lame.

What is your motive? You've posted that twice in this thread, yet the site is clear in several places that encryption is offered. Perhaps you want to see this comprehensive matrix of encryption offerings on various ports for various services [tuffmail.com] .

And $50/year won't give you 7GB of storage.

I have more interesting things to worry about than some upper limit which I'm not an eighth of the way to reaching. Incidentally, the Tuffmail text filter is great for stripping HTML and attachments from mail for archiving (as well as reading on restricted platforms).

Re:in other news (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32050582)

What is your motive? You've posted that twice in this thread, yet the site is clear in several places that encryption is offered. Perhaps you want to see this comprehensive matrix of encryption offerings on various ports for various services.

None. I follow the guide to configure the client and they explicitly selected "No encryption".

I apologize for my mistake.

Re:in other news (1)

haystd (145257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047722)

While google apps mostly works just fine and is certainly a good product, sometimes it can take awhile to convince google fix an issue when problems do occur.

On the other hand, Tuffmail usually responds very quickly to issues.

Re:in other news (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047764)

In other news, real geeks have their own root server with their own setup (including greylisting and amavisd with spamd and clamav).

Please hand in your geek card, appliance user! ;)

Re:in other news (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047958)

In other news, real geeks have their own root server with their own setup (including greylisting and amavisd with spamd and clamav).

Well, I was running an Alpha OpenVMS-based mailserver until I moved to Tuffmail, if that counts as unnecessary geekery. The server had uptime countable in years, but when it turned out that the hardware was underpowered and the electricity overconsumed for my growing needs, I had the choice of migrating to the nowadays turnkey Linux solutions people dare to call "geeky", or finding someone who could do it for me.

And I say that as someone who loathes the mediocrity of most outsourcing efforts (Google, I'm looking at you). If I want to tinker for the sake of tinkering, I'll write an OS or magick up and/or implement an obscure language... maintaining a mailserver is today boring to me, whereas the guys at Tuffmail seem to find it interesting enough to do it even better than I did.

Re:in other news (1)

awyeah (70462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049170)

whereas the guys at Tuffmail seem to find it interesting enough to do it even better than I did.

Not to mention the fact that effectively fighting spam as well as the big guys (Google, Postini, Tuffmail, Fastmail, etc) is a complete PITA.

Re:in other news (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057438)

Not correct. I had much better spam fighting than them.
Setting it up, is pretty hard. But there is a really great and complete HOWTO on the Gentoo Wiki (something with “complete” and “mail” in the title).

But when you are done with that, it just works. :)

Re:in other news (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057888)

Sold out? What do you mean by "sold out"? And who cares what's "cool"? I want something that works, not some vapid "we are 'tuff', choose us" nonsense.

You must be new to the tech industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047494)

"Here's hoping that (COMPANY_X) uses a light touch and keeps (COMPANY_Y) as unchanged as possible. "

You must be new to the tech industry?

Out of interest, what are the great tech buyouts that have worked int he last 15 years?
What are the top 5 synergy-tastic deals and where are they now?

Nick

Re:You must be new to the tech industry (1)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049276)

Out of interest, what are the great tech buyouts that have worked int he last 15 years? What are the top 5 synergy-tastic deals and where are they now?

I can think of quite a few actually.

Of the top of my head, Google's purchase of YouTube ended up working out very well. I honestly think that without Google's support, YouTube would have died by now (or at least be a few orders of magnitude smaller entity).

Another one I can think of is IBM's purchase of OTI, which led to VisualAge then to Eclipse, which is now used as the platform for just about every IBM software product, from Lotus Notes to WebSphere.

Re:You must be new to the tech industry (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057904)

Opera's acquisition of a Swedish company 10-15 years ago worked out just awesome. That branch of Opera produced the insanely popular Opera Mini browser. In fact, all of Opera's acquisitions have been a success.

Do not transfer = Cancel (5, Informative)

Lambticc (563530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047516)

I suppose the poster didn't actually RTFA as you can either accept by clicking, accept by doing nothing or not accept by cancelling the account.

What if I don’t want Opera to take over my account?
Go to http://www.fastmail.fm/ [fastmail.fm] login to your account, then go to the Options -> Cancel Account screen and enter your password to confirm you want to cancel your account.

Re:Do not transfer = Cancel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047598)

I suppose the poster didn't actually RTFA

Well, someone has to.

Re:Do not transfer = Cancel (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048356)

The submitter was trying to incite opt-out anger.

users who wish to not transfer their accounts over to Opera have to go into settings and indicate just that.

Notice that not is in italics and "have to". The submitter wants to imply that fastmail is forcing users to opt-out of something new that they are doing, rather than just saying that Opera is going to be the new boss, and if you don't want to use a service run by Opera, you can cancel your account.

Fastmail had stopped investing. (3, Informative)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047540)

Fastmail has served me very well over the years, but a couple of years ago they stopped making improvements and adding new features.

I wondered whether they decided that they wouldn't ever be able to compete with stuff like gmail and so they decided to stop investing and just milk it for whatever revenue they could get. This wasn't a terrible thing, mind you - the service kept working very well, but it did fall further and further behind. Gmail, in particular, is now offering a better service for free, so I doubt that fastmail was getting many new subscribers.

Re:Fastmail had stopped investing. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048364)

Fastmail does everything I could want it to do. All you really need out of an email provider is standards compliance. Any bells and whistles you need are provided by the client.

Re:Fastmail had stopped investing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049204)

I finally moved to fastmail after running my own Qmail then Postfix mail server. Fastmail was the one place I could find that matched the flexibility I had running my own mail server.

But then as I found myself on my Gmail account more and more between work, desktop, and laptop, I got fed up with fighting with "only-on-this-PC" mail clients and filtering. Moved my domain to Google Apps and was able to do everything I was on Fastmail, with a much better (and simpler) interface.

Still, I wish Fastmail the best of luck. I really had no reason to leave them other than improving my webmail experience.

Re:Fastmail had stopped investing. (1)

Uksi (68751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049340)

I agree. One of Fastmail's big draws was its lightweight, fast-loading, reasonable web interface. Sadly, that interface has stagnated and is barely keeping up.

I don't do local e-mail clients anymore (other than my smartphone). For any desktop e-mail needs, it's the web browser. So a lot of the value is in the web browser.

For example, Gmail had autosave way-way before Fastmail (to protect against browser crashes). Fastmail, as a commerical e-mail provider, should've been jumping on copying that, to match their web interface with those of the free competitors. Sadly, they didn't and that says a lot about what the company's vision is and what it isn't.

Their spam filtering is very good, but not as good as Gmail's. Yeah, I can define custom rules via Sieve, which was a fun novelty until I got tired of writing the rules by hand. At some point, e-mail becomes that damn thing that has to work and you want to spend less time tinkering and more time doing other, more interesting things.

There really is very little keeping me at Fastmail now and this acquisition makes me think twice about switching away. I have a $35/yr top-notch account.

Gmail's spam filtering better? (1)

hadaso (798794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069718)

I've deliberately subscribed (also "unsubscribed") some FastMail aliases to some botnet spammers lists. I never got a single piece of spam on these addresses. Subscribing to same lists with other providers produces a steady flow of spam. This has nothing to do with Sieve because most spam never reaches this stage at FastMail. With my Gmail address I don't need to subscribe: the spam finds its way to that address, and there's lots of botnet spam getting into Gmail. True, it's getting into the junkmail "folder", but so are many legitimate messages (false positives) so the spam has to be manually sifted there.
WIth fastMail I know that whatever message is rejected and not delivered into a mailbox (junk box or any other box) is producing an "undelivered" report to the sender. With Gmail there has been reports of disappearing mail: mail that was accepted by their servers yet not delivered to either the recipient's inbox or spam box. I have also seen reports by users of Gmail that get so much spam in their spam box that they gave up fishing for false positives despite knowing that they lose some business this way.

Re:Fastmail had stopped investing. (3, Informative)

Bronster (13157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052772)

I guess you haven't seen what's going on behind the scenes. We haven't been quite so public, but personally I've been doing a LOT of work improving the Cyrus imap server that we run on. It's stability and the reliability of the replication system has improved enormously over the past few years, and most of that has been due to FastMail investing time (mostly mine :) ) in not only working on Cyrus itself, but in the monitoring and introspection tools we use to make sure that the replicas are truly up-to-date.

We've almost fully rolled out UTF-8 support internally throughout our interface, which you'll notice if you have to deal with emails with more than one character set at any point. In the past we did everything in a user's default characterset, which was OK for most people but a pain for some.

And heaps of minor fixes that most people don't ever see :)

Re:Fastmail had stopped investing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32053046)

Thank you for your work and contributions to Cyrus!

No, FastMail have kept improving their service (1)

chris-chittleborough (771209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059936)

Actually, FastMail have continued to improve things in lots of small ways. They may not have rewritten their web UI again ... but they have kept tweaking an already-excellent system.

The FastMail team have an extraordinarily high level of clue. No wonder Opera got out their chequebook ...

Will have to wait and see... (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047548)

I was just thinking about paying them for the excellent service I've had for free for the last 10 years. I've had a free account with them for that long, and have always been extremely happy. Never paid for an upgrade because I never needed it. I think I'll hold off now and see how Opera handles the takeover.

What will the future bring? (1)

Uksi (68751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049704)

The acquisition FAQ says that they are excited to work on new webmail interfaces.

However, I just don't get that spirit of insight and innovation from the Opera team or the Fastmail team. I don't think they really have the chops to look past gmail and think about what the next best e-mail experience is. I feel that they will forever be constrained by the old-school thinking of the underlying protocols.

!Oprah (1)

bsharp8256 (1372285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047608)

Why would Oprah want fastmail?

I cancelled my account a few months ago (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047802)

I knew nothing about Opera acquiring them and there was nothing particularly wrong with fastmail.fm, but there was nothing particularly good about them either. I was hoping to get spam filtering good enough that I could have my phone alert me about new mail but even after months of training their spam filter it still let through far too much spam.

I have resorted to just leaving Thunderbird running on a desktop computer to delete spam and manually checking my phone when I feel like it instead of having it chirp every time a new email comes in. Thunderbird is a lousy mail client, but it catches at least as much spam as fastmail.fm's spam filter did.

I think fastmail.fm has a very small niche. For most people there's not really a compelling case to made for them.

Opera is a good company.. done webmail before (2, Insightful)

osssmkatz (734824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047892)

This isn't their first attempt at webmail. Operamail has been maintained and was their first attempt. They have no reason to shutter a webmail service. Their mail client is decent as well, and very similar to Gmail.

Re:Opera is a good company.. done webmail before (1)

Erik Fish (106896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052354)

Operamail is is just rebranded Outblaze (which was bought by IBM recently).

I don't think Opera has much to do with the inner workings of it, although the interface did just get a revamp and all references to paid subscriptions were removed.

Maybe next they'll up the quota?

quick (1)

Alexvthooft (1798010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047916)

That was quick.......

privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048294)

Fastmail was pretty much the only people that asked you for almost nothing to set up an account.
account name, password, name and junk confirm address.
They believed in your privacy by simply not asking for extra non operational [to you, not them] info.

Tuff mail askes for all sorts of stuff.

Gmail is a crock, because now they want your cell phone number and date of birth too.
Do not trust anyone who says they want your stuff for good or private reasons.

There really do need to be free and pay email only providers, not linked to search companies, web corps, social sites.

fuck!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049526)

ASSOCIAtION OF haapen. 'At least

From one of the developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049832)

"I'm one of the main developers and was one of the (now previous) owners of Fastmail.

Fastmail has always been a small company, there are just 3-4 main developers (myself, Bron, Richard and recently in the last year, Kurian), and a couple of support staff scattered around world. For that small size, I think we've managed to build a pretty great product with lots of niche and power features, loyal users, and apart from a small disaster in 2006 (2-3 day outage for a big chunk of users), we've also been incredibly reliable, especially in recent years.

http://www.pingdom.com/reports/lzdx4pr0pdhk/ http://www.fastmail.fm/help/overview_reliability.html

Fastmail was nicely profitable, but not spectacularly so. We're basically all geeks, and we don't have a marketing or sales department that can grow our customer base significantly (we tried, but it didn't work out, and we probably should have put more effort in, but didn't... because we probably preferred to spend time just building neat stuff, or fixing that edge case bug, or doing that fun thing... like I said, geeks).

I think we had to face facts a bit, we were a small fish with limited resources in a market that has become severely more competitive in recent years. We needed to invest a bunch of time and money in updating our interface, and adding new features (especially better mobile syncing).

And coincidentally, it's around that time that Opera came along and started talking to us. Despite being half a world apart, there's a lot of fit between the companies. They use a lot of perl, we do to. They're a company run by technology people, creating a product that's loved by geeks, is highly customisable, has a loyal fan base, and despite it's small size, punches above it's weight. I think that describes us pretty much as well.

So the timing was right, and Opera have an interest in picking up email as a core competency, and a bunch of ideas on what they want to improve, what they want to build. The other Fastmail guys were also interested in new opportunities, and we're all becoming Opera staff and are committed to working there for a few years at least. There's already plans for some staff to move to Norway to work, a change of life after 5 years of just 3 of us in a single office (apparently the Norwegian lessons are paying off... Jeg vil gjerne et øl til)

So it'll be an interesting change, and something new I'm looking forward to. I've been working for Fastmail for 10 years now. It's been a great time. I've loved building the product and the company. Like anything, there's been ups (it's fun developing a site that customers really love and tell you about) and downs (some people are addicted to being able to access their email, and running a 24/7 email service means that if people can't get to their email for even just 1 minute, you'll start hearing about it). After 10 years, it'll be strange having a boss again. I've met a bunch of the Opera people, and it'll be really great working with them. I know the other staff are looking forward to it as well.

It'll also be great to have Neil on board as well. He worked for us over a couple of summers, and basically designed the entire "new" web interface, all the HTML, CSS and JS. We've already got 80% of a whole new AJAX interface done (remember in programming though, the first 80% takes 80% of the time, the remaining 20% takes the other 80% of the time), and I'm looking forward to completely finishing that off, and working on a bunch of new stuff.

Hmmm, this story went on longer than I expected. Hope it's interesting to someone...

Rob Mueller
"

Which country is home base now? (2, Interesting)

tempwaldo (1799606) | more than 4 years ago | (#32051888)

I'm hoping Jeremy is reading this thread. I've been a fastmail user for 9+ years. One selling point that Jeremy touched on in the previous article [slashdot.org] is that Fastmail has been bound by Australian privacy laws, which he describes as the most protective on the planet. Will Fastmail now be a Norwegian company bound by their laws instead? That would be my assumption. What change does this mean for privacy at Fastmail? This is not adressed in today's announcement or the FAQ.

Re:Which country is home base now? (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052684)

Actually, Norwegian privacy laws are among the most protective on the planet. But FM is now owned by Opera Software Australia.

Re:Which country is home base now? (1)

quineska (791747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052752)

I believe the Opera Australia division bought it, so its likely to bound by Australian privacy laws (maybe just under a different state jurisdiction?), but they are already moving staff to Norway [fastmail.fm] .

Re:Which country is home base now? (1)

Bronster (13157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32052816)

That would be me, hopefully :) Not forever, but for a while. Long enough for the kids to pick up a new language while they're still young and for me to learn all I can from the people there and teach them everything I know!

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?