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Facebook gets in bed with Microsoft

Mircrosoft logo shaped like lips sip off a cup branded by FacebookThe new Facebook email shot out of the gates on Monday as the announcement went live.  I have written extensively about the features and functionality of the new Facebook “Not-Mail” messaging system.

Since the news broke, people immediately started asking if the new Facebook mail is going to replace traditional email.  Although Zuckerberg is claiming that this is not Facebook’s goal, the recent struggles between Facebook and Google may indicate that it is indded what they are trying to do.

Regardless, the first big issue that Facebook mail is going to face is Spam. The second issue is turning their back on Adobe…and, well, everyone not Microsoft.

What do I mean by this?

One of the basic functions of an email, beyond communicating, is sending attachments.  We send documents, powerpoints, pdf’s, photos and other various and sundry items to each other via email.  If you are in business, being able to send attachments is an extremely important part of your communications.

Facebook is allowing attachments, however they are only allowing attachments from Microsoft.  So if you are sending a .doc, .ppt or .xls then you should be fine.  However, if you want to send a .pdf you are out of luck.  You heard me right, you cannot send a pdf via Facebook mail.

The reason Facebook is excluding everything other than Microsoft is because they are getting a benefit that other email programs, like gmail, are not.  You can view your attachments, in completion, online and without downloading them. This is a special privilege that Microsoft is giving Facebook for attachment exclusivity.

So the question is: does the benefit of viewing your documents without downloading outweigh the pitfalls or inconvenience of not being able to attach anything other than Microsoft?