It's times like this when I wonder why all the anti-Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) zealots out there don't seriously consider a new hobby. I mean, with all its missteps, you'd think they'd be happy to see it bumble along, leaving lucrative scraps for everyone else to enjoy. Take email, for example.

This week, Mr. Softy introduced a new online email solution that looks like it should never have gotten out of the gates. It aims to link the firm's Office mail handler, Outlook, with an online mail service like Hotmail.

(Cue handsome radio voice.)
For the low, low introductory price of $45, a $60 value, you can enjoy 2 gigabytes of online mail storage plus the ability to send attachments as large as 20 megabytes!
(Stop handsome radio voice.)

Unimpressed? I thought you might be.

Let's see, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) enormously popular Gmail gives you one gigabyte. And it offers POP access, meaning you can download your mail via Outlook already. For free, did I mention that? So, Microsoft gives you twice as much for. a lot more than zero dollars.

Moving on, Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) pretty decent free webmail gives you a quarter of a gig worth of storage. Or, you can pay $20 a year for two gigs of storage and POP access. That's one third the price of Microsoft's hot new product.

If I were a Microsoft shareholder, the first thing I might wonder is whether anyone over there can do math. The next thing I might be asking myself is how much time and money was wasted on coming up with this silly scheme, which is obviously doomed to fail. My guess is that Microsoft's bean counters figured that tight integration with Outlook would lock consumers into a service that's three times the cost of its nearest competitor. Nice one, guys. That'll keep the antitrust suits rolling in.

Everybody at McAfee (NYSE:MFE), Trend Micro (NASDAQ:TMIC), Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), and others in the computer industry can probably relax a bit. If Microsoft is as savvy with its new virus and spyware control as it is with this email service, there are still plenty of safe IT jobs out there.

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Seth Jayson texts his peeps via tin cans and waxed twine. At the time of publication, he had positions in no company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.