Free Alternative to Google Apps for Business Emails?
I read this article and learned a lot from it - however, maybe there are some updates to it now? (I see it was posted on December 10, 2012 so maybe there are some new updates on it?)
Personally, I am still using my Google Apps account for business email since I signed up to it when the service was still free. With that being said, I am noticing the "firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of email@example.com," since I am still using the old free version of Google Apps. This is kind of annoying for business emails to clients as it's not as professional as the simple "firstname.lastname@example.org"
At work our employer has set up our company emails with a computer and networking business here in town and they transferred us over from Google Apps to use Outlook and POP settings. The networking business informed us that POP is better than IMAP (for reasons I'm still not clear on), but I don't quite understand why that is? Anyways, the emails are working flawlessly which is great, however, the syncing is still a bit old fashioned: when I receive an email on my Mac, it won't sync to my iPhone and vice versa. It seems to be a limitation of POP email, I have to download them twice and mark them as "read" twice on both my workstation and mobile device. With IMAP email it syncs them across all devices and shows the reply to on them as well. It is just a bit less clunky from my experience using Google Apps.
From the Lifehacker article it sounds like Outlook is planning to support IMAP in the future. Does anybody know when this has already happened? And is Outlook indeed the best free alternative to setting up free business emails these days? I am rather surprised that setting up business email still a bit of a tricky endevour to do these days - I mean, where do the costs come into play? They are giving away free @live / @gmail domains, but then again I suppose it is free because it is a form of advertising they get with those emails too.
Thoughts and opinions?