The customer be damned2004-10-25
The folks at Stata Labs must be ecstatic. Around for barely a year, they were purchased last week by Yahoo! The kind of money involved probably made the principals downright giddy. Maybe that’s why they forgot about their customers.
Bloomba made two products: SA Proxy, a Spam Assassin-based spam filter, and Bloomba, a revolutionary e-mail client. At Bloomba’s heart is an index that makes searching for an e-mail a breeze. You don’t need folders in Bloomba; just save your search. You can easily add newer e-mails to the search.
So impressive is the search capability that Yahoo! had to have it to bolster their own e-mail service, particularly in the face of Google’s gMail. So they bought Stata which announced last week that there were no plans to produce any upgrades to Bloomba. In fact, the software was no longer available in its current iteration. Those who bought it would continue to receive support for a year. But even the support section of the Stata site is gone, replaced by a brief FAQ document about the Yahoo! acquisition.
There’s no point continuing to use Bloomba. There will be changes to e-mail, new features developed and enhancements to RSS that will render the client obsolete in no time. I resigned myself to returning to Outlook. Migrating existing Outlook e-mail to Bloomba was a snap. I learned that it’s not so easy in reverse. I found one Web site that explained a multi-step process that will take hours.
I sent an e-mail to Stata tech support (as the FAQs instructed me to) last week to see if there was an easier way. I’m still waiting for a reply.
Now that Stata is part of Yahoo!, there’s no business reason for Stata to support those of us who paid real money for their now-defunct product. There’s no more Bloomba brand to be damaged, no Stata reputation to suffer. If the company had a shred of ethics, though, they’d realize the problem their decision to dump Bloomba has created and issue a utility to export Bloomba e-mail to Outlook. But I’m not holding my breath.