[FoRK] Outlook Is Awful

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Apr 1 20:04:42 PDT 2011

On 4/1/11 7:08 PM, Bill Kearney wrote:
>> Keeping users.  Avoiding being the laughing stock of technical companies.
> Shirley you must be joking.  Like that has ever stopped them?

In the long run, it will.  Or at least it will curtail their stature and funds in significant ways.  Already they're worth less than 
Apple, for exactly this sort of reason.  A large part of the remaining valuation of Microsoft is essentially: How likely is it that 
they will keep most of their flock of willing dupes?  That can change a lot in an instant.

>> but they mostly don't know it.
> Because the competition has no money to spend on changing that.
>> The whole problem with Microsoft is that, in this situation, they see no "profitable interest" in fixing the problems.
> Except that it's profitable.  Oh, wait, that IS the whole point.

Draining all trust and good will from your customers only gets you so far.  If you can't help but constantly abuse your customers by 
not doing your best, it will eventually bite you.

> I'm not arguing that Outlook doesn't suck.  Just that it's a windmill not worth tilting toward.

Tough to overcome it, but not impossible.

> And meanwhile the competition can't even rise to the level of competing effectively with it.  Outlook is a lot more than just mail 
> and Thunderbird, et al, come nowhere near close to providing as robust a solution.  The graveyard is littered with failed attempts 
> (Kapor, Novell, etc).

Calendaring is the only "other thing" that I've used.  And the Outlook/Exchange model is completely broken outside a single large 
organization.  It was always the wrong way to do it.  Far better is something like Google Calendar.  It begs to be a web 
application, with standard email messages, formats, etc.

All of the other features are gimmicky and mostly useless.  And Thunderbird has added a lot of the equivalent features, usually in a 
far more open and usable way.

> -Bill Kearney 


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