Google Apps Alternative
UPDATE 8/14/2013 Zoho Mail is now offering 5 free user emails with the ability to get up to 20 free users just by inviting other admins or by getting an invite by an admin. Since this recent change my preferred email service is defiantly zoho. outlook has terrible administration settings and many times you have to submit posts to the microsoft forum for changes to be made.
Google Has officially ended its 10 user Free Google Apps Accounts and the search for a free Google Apps Alternative began. You can still get a 1 user Google Apps account through the Google Apps Engine but since it’s only good for one user it doesn’t really make sense for anybody other than people building apps that need a firstname.lastname@example.org email.
I started to look for a Google Apps Alternative because I didn’t want to setup an email server for all my new hosting clients and most importantly as replacement for Google Docs. Thankfully there are few Google Apps Alternative services that are defiantly good enough to replace Google Apps and not look back.
Zoho Mail is a great replacement for Google Apps and has loads of add-ons. I love the fact that even the free version is completely add free. The interface is nice and very easy to get use to. They have android and iOS apps and have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. The main downfall is that the free version only allows a maximun of 3 users. That may work for some people but it’s just too few for most of my clients. My typical client setup includes 3 primary email accounts. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, even if i consolidate all 3 emails into one that still leaves the client only 2 emails.
The best Google Apps Alternative I found to date is the new outlook.com you can use your own custom domain and since its microsoft you get excel/word/powerpoint all better then the Google Docs we all grown use to. There’s also a nice online calendar and the UI is very clean and modern. You are allowed 500 emails/users and get 7 gigs space free on Skydrive. After using it for a few days I have really grown used to it and the main thing I miss about Google Apps is the option to get a Google Voice number for free. I’m not sure how long Google is going to give out Free Google Voice numbers since it looks like it’s moving away from free services. I’m starting to keep an eye out on Google Analytics alternatives in case the big changes coming soon include eliminating free Analytics. online Outlook is very easy to setup and I’ll have a nice guide coming soon. Here’s are a few quick screenshots of the outlook email service.