Friday, April 20, 2007

Outlook 2007 patch helps sluggishness -- so what.

Microsoft has released a patch that appears to help the sluggishness people have been seeing from Outlook 2007.  I installed it but I have to ask if Outlook is really relevant any more.  We're headed to an all online world but we're not quite there yet.  Even so, with all the products available that allow syncing Google calendar to your PIM do we really need Outlook any more?  Thunderbird is so much better than Outlook at handling IMAP mail accounts it's not even funny and who out there isn't actively using or looking to use an all online contact database?

So I ask you again.  Is Outlook still relevant?


  1. Oh, and BTW, when I recently upgraded to Office 2007, I didn't even install Outlook.

  2. For home users with broadband access, I say Outlook is irrelevant. My family has moved to "All Google All the Time." It was so difficult to set up shared calendars in Outlook, and my wife is always moving from laptop to desktop and back, and without setting up a domain controller and an exchange server, we were constantly having sharing issues. Once we moved all of her contacts and calendar information to Gmail, everything is peaceful again. Now, no matter where she is, if there is Internet access, she (and the rest of us) can access her email, calendar and contacts.

    Hooray for Google!

  3. For me, the answer to that question lies in my own behavior. For years, I held a web-based email account, happily enjoying the benefits of "email everywhere". However, I always kept a POP account with my ISP so I could sync to a local client, where the _real_ power was. I was dying for a web-based service with free POP access, where I'd have the best of both worlds.

    Fast forward a few years ... Gmail arrived, and as a Mutt user it was a good day. Somebody had taken Mutt online! At this point, I switched over, now exclusively online. Fast forward a few months, and alas -- Gmail offers free POP access! Hooray, right? Well, no ... total indifference. I thought about setting it up, but honestly it just wasn't worth it ... access to email offline? OK, nice ... but that also means dedicating some local storage, making backups larger, etc.

    So at that point, Gmail had taken over simply because of convenience. Over time though, it's added features that actually make it definitively superior to offline clients, Outlook or otherwise. I recall one instance where I needed to find a friends address. I went to Gmail, searched for their name and city, and was staring at the address moments later. Nice. Then, out of habit, I copied the multi-line address to the clipboard, prepared to then re-paste it into an editor to munge it into single line format for insertion into an online directions program (and you wonder why people think computers are hard to use).

    Just before I switched to my editor window, I noticed a piece of text in Gmail's right hand column ...

    "Map this"

    Goodbye Outlook.