Pros Sensible security additions (about time)
Cons Unreliable, intolerably slow, poor IMAP function
Summary As per most things MS seems to come out with, they have taken onboard ideas that people with any brain had years ago and finally implemented them.
There are a few additions to Outlook 2003 that are steps forward, and I can't think of any better solution to use for now, but it still has that usual MS feel - poor implementation of IMAP, irrationally slow searches, unpredicatable connection failures, and working with another MS trashpile - activesync!
As I suggest, I probably should be praising the software as the only offering available with the features I need at all, but should it really be such an ogre to get on with? I am currently splitting up my emails into pst files of 1,000 or the whole thing gets intolerably slow, logging onto my IMAP webmail to properly delete emails every couple of weeks for the same reason, and carting an external drive with my entire pst file collection in a briefcase to work every day to sync my information between two computers that are permanently connected via a VPN. None of this would be rocket science to implement in a far more convenient manner.
Pros Superior support from Microsoft
Cons The Office Suite is big, for sure, and that makes it slow if you don't have a fast computer
Summary I really don't understand all the negative stuff people say about Microsoft and Outlook or any other Microsoft products. Microsoft publishes updates for security vulnerabilities and continues to do so long after the program is released. Think of other software. You have to re-purchase it every year. Sometimes, the company that pproduces it doesn't provide ANY updates pertaining to security vulnerabilities. And yes, I've tried Mozilla and Foxfire and they're nice, but no more so than Outlook and they have their problems, too. For example, every time I start Mozilla, I get screens suggesting I support one thing or another.
Hey, Cadillacs ain't perfect and neither are Chevys. Jags aren't perfect and neither are Toyotas or Nissans.
Point is, like everything else, you do the best you can with what you've got and deal with it.
Show me a perfect e-mail client with no problems, that causes no conflicts, that has no security vulnerabilities, blocks all spam while ensuring non-spam gets thru, etc., and I'll be happy to try it, maybe even buy it.
I don't think it exists, not even my snail-mail client, my mail box, is perfect!
Pros looks like the rest of Office 2003 applications - layout-wise
Cons Works a bit like OutLook 97 - which was the pits...
Summary When Outlook 97 failed on many counts, Microsoft worked on an upgrade to it, but later decided to call it 'Outlook 98' - which was deemed the absolute best PIM (Personal Information Manager) - simply, ever.
But, as time has passed it appears the greatest changes appear to be cosmetic, not in other, much-needed areas; thus, all the 'fixes' and many tips and shortcuts.
Aside from that, historically, OutLook has 'played welll with others; and, has always been able to work quite well (not with AOL, though) with many, many other apps and applications, including scads of non-microsoft ones.
Recommendation - do more, the next time, with performance, more than appearance. But, I do hear that the future may take an entirely different to E-mail, and, perhaps, in the wings will be a complete rewrite of OutLook, exactly 10 years after its historic evolution! So, I'm crossing everything, and looking to the future!
Pros Stable and clean interface.
Cons Once again, Microsoft found a way to separate the features so you have your Business Contacts and other Contacts with separate sets of features and options for each. Why not INTEGRATE all the features into one comprehensive, unified solution? the result i
Pros Bit more functionality than Outlook Express; the ability to access Hotmail accounts
Cons Very slow; takes forever to load up; often suffers timeout problems; crashes frequently
Summary It's a joke! It's slow, bloated, crashes half the time and fails to connect to my Hotmail servers the other half. The biggest waste of space email client I've ever seen.
Why am I using it? I used to use Outlook Express (98 I think) which while primitive and antiquated was actually reasonably fast and had no problems connecting to all my email servers (both IMAP, POP and HTTP) and I never missed an email.
But apparently we all need to have MS Outlook 2003 on our laptops for B-school (mainly because of the Calendar function), so I had to go and migrate all my folders, emails and settings (a nightmarish exercise in itself that requires re-doing about 10 times before everything gets transferred over, even though Outlook and Outlook Express are made by the same company) and since then I've had endless problems, including:
- takes about 5 minutes to load up
- after the 5 mins will come up with a timeout error to one of my Hotmail servers (which needs to be clicked otherwise it holds up everything else)
- constantly can't connect to Hotmail accounts - requires constant repeating before you actually fluke it
- can't change your timeout setting for HTTP servers (which is the advice in the Help Files yet you can't actually do it in the program, funny that!)
- sometimes it goes into a fit and just won't send or receive, even if you repeatedly press the Send/Receive button, it just goes through the process and says "All Tasks Finished" even though you can clearly see email sitting in your outbox. The only solution to this is to close the application and reopen it, then having to wait another 5 minutes for it to open
- the archiving function doesn't really work (it says its archiving but the archive file doesn't grow at all). I've resorted to manually doing it
- once in a while completely cr@ps itself and hangs my entire system, even though I have 800+MB of RAM
I'd move to Thunderbird in a heartbeat, except that Thunderbird can't access Hotmail servers because apparently they're proprietary and only Outlook can do that. This is really Outlook's only redeeming feature for me - the fact that I can configure it to connect to Hotmail.
It's a joke, and totally unacceptable. At least Outlook 98 was usable. This is pathetic! I rate it 2 out of 10, and only because of the Hotmail option.