I remember really liking Outlook 98 after moving from Eudora so much that I paid for Outlook 2000 as soon as it came out. I realized there were real security issues with the product but I was technically proficient enough to avoid
them. At the same time I was constantly trying to teach family and friends safe email procedures while using an unsafe product myself.
I finally came to the decision that, despite my like of O2K, I needed to change to something else before I could credibly give advice. The way I went about it was to download an email program and set it not to delete mail off the server. I'd use the client
while occasionally firing up Outlook to clean up the server.
The teething pains were horrible. Outlook did things one way while ClientX did it differently! Why couldn't ClientX do it the same way? Then I'd start to see some of the advantages to ClientX over O2K. I'd use ClientX for a week before switching to ClientX2
and starting over.
It finally came down to the highly regarded "The Bat!" and a Japanese program I'd learned of called "Becky! Internet Mail". I really wanted to like TB! but Becky! just seemed to fit me better. I decided to stick with Becky! for the 30-day trial before
going back to O2K to see how it felt.
Outlook just felt old and clunky and I couldn't do quite a bit of the sophisticated filtering I could do with Becky! I was sure (still am) that Outlook is perfect for what it's designed for but it just didn't fit me after using different clients for awhile.
Then I became a beta tester for Vista (got my invite from here on Channel 9) and immediately ran into problems. Some of my favorite programs just wouldn't work and things felt out of place. Slow, too. Real slow. I uninstalled for awhile and then reinstalled
a newer release. Much better experience with program compatibility, it seemed a bit faster, but there were still those annoying UI changes that bugged me. I uninstalled again.
Another build and another install. Things felt even better but the UI... sigh. And then I remembered my experience with moving away from Outlook 2000. If I couldn't stick with the change for a bit how could I truly evaluate it? I settled in and forced
myself to use Vista, warts and all.
I eventually got a new hardrive (SATA) and stuck it in this box and installed XP Pro. Yech!
I knew where everything was on XP and how everything worked. There just seemed to be something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on and it wasn't the eye-candy. Things just seemed to be better over on Vista. Smoother and smarter once you tweaked
things to your liking. I immediately went back to the Vista beta and used it ever since. Whenever I'm on an XP machine things just didn't feel right.
Then the Windows 7 beta came out and now the RC. I felt right at home with W7, obviously from using Vista. I ended up having a problem I thought was the beta but it turned out to be hardware related. Before I was sure of that I reloaded Vista... and realized
something was missing. It didn't feel as smooth and polished as Windows 7. I didn't feel as comfortable there. XP now feels even worse
There's been a lot of talk of Windows 7 being Vista SP3 but I'm not seeing it. This is a newer, better OS and I won't be going back to Vista.
One last thing, and this has bothered me. When asked why a person should change from XP to Vista I could never put my finger on the one thing. There were just so many small improvements everywhere that once you gave them a chance you would notice them
missing from XP.
So I told people not to upgrade from XP until they bought a new computer and to then just jump in with both feet. I'll now say the same thing - if you're really comfortable in Vista then don't upgrade unless you're a geek (me!) or buying a new computer.
And then jump in with both feet and don't look back.