Dearest Microsoft Outlook,
We’ve been together since, wow…it’s been so long I almost can’t remember…at least since the year 2000, when I began my first IT job at Chemical Abstracts. Ok, so we did frolic together a little before that time, but those were personal POP email addresses and it didn’t really count. No, we became an official “item” when I first connected to a corporate Exchange account.
Through the years of Outlook 97, 2000, 2003, and 2010 we did it all. From basic settings such as my signature (which I constantly had to recreate since it was always stored locally), all the way through compacting PST files to free space on the server and stop those annoying “Your mailbox is getting full” messages. Let’s not forget the many times I had to rebuild an end-user’s profile…wow, what long hours that took, especially when the person wanted every little setting exactly how it was before. But with each reply, forward, and missent email (I still don’t understand why you have a ‘Recall’ feature, which never really worked), our relationship grew beyond anyone’s comprehension; even mine. I’ll admit I spent a few years with Groupwise, but during that time it was you I longed for, yearning for the days of a familiar Microsoft product to manage my email.
Honestly though, the signs were there that we were drifting apart, and it has nothing to do with the “Kill Email” movement that passed by me without a second glance. The end started when I purchased a Mac and I was relegated to using Outlook Web Access. Sure, you updated it so it would work well on Chrome, preventing me from having to switch to Parallels and using IE, but that was only a temporary period of elation. And yes, I did go with Outlook 2011 for Mac OS, and it generally worked well…for about day, but after periods of annoying freezing, which could only be fixed by rebuilding my ‘profile,’ I simply gave up on trying to run a local client. And let’s not even bringing up the Mail and Calendar updates for Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks – that pretty much sealed the deal with running Outlook as a local client.
Outlook, I wish I could say it’s not you, it’s me, but that simply wouldn’t be the truth. It’s you. I’ve moved on to a different employer, one that embraces the cloud; something you just were not designed for, despite Microsoft’s best efforts with Office 365. I do understand my new mistress, Google, isn’t perfect, but who is? My Calendar and Mail apps connect with it, mobile device configuration is a breeze, and I get the added benefit of integration with Google Hangouts, Google Apps, Google+, Google Drive, and well….everything Google. In short, it’s simply that you weren’t able to keep up with my new way of life. And while you could say I’m the one that changed, it’s really been the entire industry and you’ve had a tough time keeping up.
I won’t say you’re a bad product, Outlook. In some cases, you work out well for many different organizations. Look, even SysAid has a great blog post on you vs. Google, http://www.sysaid.com/blog/entry/google-apps-vs-microsoft-365-who-packs-the-bigger-punch, and it mentions many great features with Office 365 that your father, Microsoft, has been building and pushing to keep up with competition. In fact, I won’t even say this is a final goodbye for us. One day you may change and we’ll reunite back in productivity bliss. Until that time comes though….it really is you.