General Question

zen_'s avatar

Why does Outlook suck, and why haven't they gotten their act together?

Asked by zen_ (6273points) September 1st, 2010

Look at the evolution of email – from crappy hotmail with less space than a youtube clip – having to delete every email sent, let alone received. Then Yahoo came along and gave us unlimited storage… gmail and yahoo have chat within email… hotmail is now live… with yahoo you can add large files, and getting larger…

But Outlook sucks.

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10 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Don’t forget the archive feature Gmail gave us – the ability to not delete it AND not see it? Priceless.

I think it’s because once email started getting to the Gmail stage, people didn’t need Outlook. Still, many wanted it or something like it, but Thunderbird is free and open source – it can improve much more easily than Outlook. There seems to be a gap between when people didn’t need it, and when they realized they might still wanted it, and Outlook didn’t really improve, and now they have no way to convince people to pay for it when they could get something else free, so they don’t bother.

wgallios's avatar

You can always try Thunderbird, I love it

lilikoi's avatar

Outlook does suck.

I think Outlook’s market is businesses not individuals and GMail et al cater to the individuals. It may be an issue of privacy and confidentiality. As a business, maybe you don’t want your email stored on someone else’s server, bound to someone else’s not-so-private privacy policy.

GMail can now do phonecalls! Within the US and CA its free but international isn’t.

rebbel's avatar

I still use Outlook because i have since plus ten years.
Then, when i started with it, i put in all the things required (like POP3 and SMTP).
When i wanted to move from Outlook to another email client, i had no idea how to retrieve this data.
I still don’t.
I am locked in Outlook forever.

marinelife's avatar

Because it is a Microsoft product.

Response moderated (Spam)
zen_'s avatar

Zapped the spam, ha ha.

robmandu's avatar

Not sure the complaint here. Do you use email in a corporate environment? If so, Outlook rocks with the ability to plug into more than just email.

It’s instant messaging aware, showing me the chat status of co-workers from the email I’m looking at.

It’s got calendar sharing (actually, it can share almost anything) and you’ve got a rich set of privacy controls allowing you to customize who exactly can see what.

It works seamlessly with Sharepoint, a document storage and collaboration solution from MS.

It provides you with the ability to use custom external text editors for email, like MS Word, if you prefer.

Hell, not only does it provide the ability to dial my phone for me, it even tells me if the person I want to call is already in a conversation first (again, according to their own configured privacy settings).

Every poor sap I’ve talked to who is stuck using Lotus Notes (Outlook’s primary competitor in business IT) is unabashedly jealous of anyone who has Outlook.

I haven’t even walked all the way around the tip of the iceberg here. There’s so much more.

However, if you’ve got it only for home use and you don’t have all of the enterprise whizbang elements at play, then yes, I can see where it’s a bit underwhelming.

zen_'s avatar

^ GA – interesting – yes, I was referring to home use only.

robmandu's avatar

I think I may have hit upon the answer to your original question then.

Outlook is primarily for the corporate world where it can talk to the Exchange Server and assume a cohesive set of Microsoft tools that can all talk natively to each other. All the serious development effort goes there, where licensing fees and profits are MASSIVE.

So in my opinion, Outlook for home use is just for those corporate wonks who want something that looks and feels familiar to them already. It’s not a real revenue driver for Microsoft in that venue.

That said, I’m frustrated by nearly all home-based email solutions. Thunderbird, Apple’s Mail, and even some of the cloud-based ones, like Yahoo! and Gmail (who was the first provided 1GB of space per user). They all feel underpowered, feature-poor in some way. :-\

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