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Microsoft Outlook is an Amazing Piece of Crap

January 3, 2007

I’ve been using Thunderbird for a while now. I’m a Windows user on my laptop. I wish I could use Suse (as I have in the past) or Ubuntu (as I have in the past), but it’s hard to dogfood when you’re using Linux, and Linux support on laptops, in my experience, isn’t the greatest; especially when you have newer hardware. Anyway, Mozilla Thunderbird is wonderful. Use it. Outlook is a piece of shit. I was using Outlook 2003 until last July when, right before OSCON, my laptop hard drive failed on me. I was so fed up with it and how hard it is to backup I gave it up (again). Now I feel forced to use Outlook again because I don’t have a calendaring solution and synching addresses with my blackberry is just too damn hard. Without my calendar in my hand, I tend to miss appointments. For my final justification I really need to dogfood our own software and we have an Outlook plugin.

Iamporting/exporting in Outlook is a joke. How anyone on the Outlook team thinks they should release software that is (intentionally undoubtedly) that shitty on something so fundamental should be fired. No, being fired isn’t good enough, they should be…I don’t know…publically flogged or something. I’m not even going to bother outlining all the ways that Outlook is a piece of shit. It would take me too long. Let me say the following: with a Core 2 Duo and 2 Gigs of RAM no application should drag your laptop to a grounding halt. With Outlook running I get out of system resources errors! It takes me an hour to export only 5 months of email and 30-45 minutes to import it. Thunderbird stores your emails on the file system and not in some bullshit proprietary file, backing it up is as simple as synchronizing that folder with your NAS. Thunderbird has useful junk mail filters. Outlook doesn’t. Thunderbird can actually handle IMAP elegantly Outlook does not.

Like I said Outlook is shit. As soon as I went back to Outlook 2003 I get this problem where it will not retain my network password for my email account (POP3). I scoured the Internet for a fix including Microsoft’s useless knoledge base. The only thing I found was this fix that required deleting a registry entry. It didn’t help at all. So, I tried installing Outlook 2007 on the off chance this would resolve the issue. It didn’t. Now I have Outlook 2007, which is even a bigger, crappier, resource hog than Outlook 2003, but this one has big obnoxious shiny bubbly buttons! W00T! Ridiculous…I want Evolution and the ability to synch! If Mozilla could provide the ability to synch Thunderbird and Sunbird I would be in heaven. I researched this as well, all to no avail. I can’t be alone in this camp. There has to be a sizable minority of Outlook users out there who only use it for synching with their Treos or Blackberries.

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17 Comments
  1. Jeetha permalink

    I have Outlook 10 & its rubbish. I wish I could use Outlook express with windows 7.

  2. thecontractor permalink

    I added Microsoft Outlook to simplify medial business chores. It became a freakin sour upheaving taste in my mouth. I've researched ways to correct the errors and without resolve.
    Microsoft and its crap, error plague and conflicting has been in the fore front of software incompetence.

  3. Gareth Gee permalink

    Outlook is terrible, so difficult to find anything, and so counter-intuitive. I usually just use web-based gmail, but at work I have to use Outlook. Why would I ever want to 'reply' to myself? Isn't it obvious that if I hit reply, wherever, I want to email again my correspondent, ie the other person, not me! And every time I try to add an email address to the junkmail list, I get a message saying that the address is already IN the junkmail list. So why does Outlook let it through? What exactly IS the point of this junkmail filter? And just to attach a file to an outgoing message takes 4 or 5 steps, tickboxes, whatever. A real waste of time. It's clunky, junky crap!

  4. MBN permalink

    My current employer requires the usage of Outlook 2007 to access company email. Everyday I discover yet another reason why Outlook 2007 is the worst piece of software in the history of time.

  5. Anonymous permalink

    Btw Thunderbird does combine with sunbird.. you just install "lightning" instead of "sunbird" ;)
    Imo there are many good good Outlook Express alternatives out there (just for emails).
    The difficult is to find a good Outlook alternative (emails AND a PIM)
    After some research I'm between 2 (or a combination of them): Thunderbird+lightning, and EssentialPIM.
    Both are fast enough, visually appealing, and have strong import/export/backup capabilities.
    EssentialPIM has a portable version too (no need to synch!).
    But also it has two -very serious- drawbacks: clumsy handling of multiple email accounts and only one calendar.
    With the first I can live. But due to the second I have to use Thunderbird too or use ONLY Thunderbird!

    As for smartphones, only Google Calendar seems a good alternative.
    And synch from T-bird/EssPIM to Google Calendar and back to smartphone sounds clumsy enough.. :(
    PS. doable however -if you think it's essential- due to their strong export capabilities ;)

    Ofcourse if you have a server and you want to go low budget, I agree.. time for Evolution!

  6. steve permalink

    Yes – Outlook is a piece of shit. I used Outlook express since it came out and had to upgrade to Windows 7 (which is someways is shit also) a month ago and had to accept Outlook. What a bunch of idiots put that together. I can't view jpegs in the email, I can't save all. It is not an email program. It is an appointments/calendar program. I would pay to buy Outlook Express, which was an efficient email program without all that other crap. I have been around PCs for 22 years and this is the biggest piece of shit. I hope MS goes under and everyone switches to Macs. It is this trend to make software so complete and organized that you have so many options that you get lost and slow down – like driving down the road always in motorhome when all you need is a car. I have to go through 6 clicks to save a bunch of attachments as compared to Outlook Express was two clicks with Save All – typical of how much a piece of shit Outlook is. Just viewing unread messages is several clicks to get there.Everything is more work and timie. Crap.

  7. Goya permalink

    I still use pine. ;)

    Although – I generally segregate the "client" from the "mailbox".

    That way I can aggregate multiple accounts into a central 'repository' – and access it from anywhere.

    The back end is a typical sendmail / fetchmail arrangement.

    General filtering is done by MailScanner (basically just a wrapper for SpamAssassin and ClamAV).

    Email clients are supported by dovecot (IMAP).

    Bottom line: I can get my email from a command line or GUI (be it [al]pine or Thunderbird) – and it's always the same mailbox.

  8. Lauren permalink

    Your thunderbird is also a piece of crap, use The Bat instead and feel real mail app power, but not these "software" craps.

  9. Neil permalink

    Outlook really is rubbish!

    Only today I was perusing the "sent" box and Outlook "intelligently" provided the "From:" heading, but no "To:" heading. So now I know all the emails I sent are from me, great!

    Yes, I know I can choose to view the "To:" header, but should I need to go through all the counter-intuitive steps to set this up? Ropey Microsoft product!

  10. Miguel permalink

    I moved from Outlook 2007 to Thunderbird. At the beginning I was happy, but as you start adding stuff to Thunderbird to make it more like Outlook (e.g., by adding the calendar, synchronizing data etc.) it has become the slowest piece of software I've ever used. I'm so disappointed that I'm thinking in going back to Outlook. Amateur piece of software.

  11. andrew permalink

    I agree completely. This one of the worse apps ever. Searching produces the white window and takes minutes for to return. Its doesn't remember passwords when it is asked to, and crashes mount from 1 to 10 a day. Microsoft you should sued for producing such shit.

  12. Wayne permalink

    I have been working to attempt to get Outlook 2003 to retain passwords (like it did very well for a LONG time) with XP PRO. I made no system changes and a few days ago I kept getting repeat popup windows asking for my email passwords (which I had marked "Remember"). For some reason Outlook 2003 has stopped remembering them. I too have followed all the "tips" from MS Knowledge Base Q290684. I have found many posts with the same problem, but I have found no solutions. I was considering upgrading to Office 2007, but from the above posts that seems to be no help.

  13. Steven permalink

    outlook 2007 is really bad. I cannot understand why a leading company makes this kind of overdesigned not working crap. I was a pc user from the start but am now heading to apple.

  14. Matt permalink

    I now hate outlook 2007 more than I ever thought possible. Just try to import or export data from or to a simple text file! Ha! Outlook will crash every time! Add-ins? Worse than 2003. Every friggin addin will crash outlook 2007.

    Junkware, crapware, shitware….take your pick.

  15. Jeff permalink

    I’m going to say that I actually like Outlook, especially 2007. The calendar is the best I’ve come across, and I have tried a couple of others. The task list on the right, in the mail pane, new feature in 2007. While a stupidly simple addition is great.

    However, 2003 was kinda sluggish, now 2007 seems to be more so. But what I really don’t get however is how the IMAP abilities in Outlook 2007 have somehow become worse than they were in 2003!? If you haven’t upgraded to 2007 yet and think that IMAP in 2003 is crap, wait till you get 2007, oh my god!

    I have on several occasions gotten home in the evening and had my girfriend abuse me because I did not reply to her email that I did not receive because Outlook decided to just stop checking my IMAP.

  16. I remember that really annoying issue. You know how I fixed it? I switched to Thunderbird. :-) http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird

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