Coffeehouse Thread

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Outlook Express and Marketing 101

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  • manickernel

    This is an amusing article by J. Dvorak on the condition of Outlook Express. It does show how one product has suffered due to the lack of progress or interest in it's parent, i.e., IE.

    If Microsoft bases product development solely on "market opportunity" such that some markets/products they have dominated are ignored, then ultimately the result is that Microsoft is seen as technically inferior. 

  • Tyler Brown

    An interesting read. I never particularly cared for Outlook Express. I used it a couple of years back, and it was terrible at routing messages to the proper folder. I tried several times to re-create my rules, yet still many messages slipped through the cracks. I think that unless this application has a severe overhaul, then it should be pulled from Longhorn. It lacks many features and it definately is a huge security risk. I do however believe that this will be changed for Longhorn, I hope so anyways.

  • Michael Griffiths

    If they redo Paint, they'll redo Outlook Express Smiley

    Think about it this way: The IE Team will have, broadly, IE7 done at the end of 2005. SO they'll have several months - close to a year - to polish IE7, fix OE, add some more features for the Longhorn-specific version, etc.

    I imagine several developers are working on a Longhorn-only release of OE at the moment. Perhaps. Even if they are not, however, a few months of work could make a large difference.

  • manickernel

    Excellent riposte Manip. Kinda why I called it an 'amusing' article. Though I do find it a bit difficult to burrow down to those pesky dbx's.

    More to the point, I feel Microsoft's apparent tack of dangling IE7 and any additonal upgrades to the browser as an incentive to upgrade to a new OS is fundamentally flawed. Microsoft should maintain the title of having the premier browser for users simply because, well, they are Microsoft. The excuse that it is too much effort to backport IE7 to Win2K is kinda weak, at least in view of some kid writing FireFox.

  • Manip

    Moron wrote:
    "VIRUS-PRONE PREVIEW WINDOW. I thought there was some attempt to fix this, but apparently not. Other e-mail systems don't execute code from Web sites within their preview windows, but Outlook Express is happy to oblige." 

     
    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong!

    Moron wrote:
    "SURPRISE MENU BAR. This one amuses me. Exactly what is the mechanism for the editing-menu bar that allows you to use boldface, change the font, and the like? It comes and goes. It's there one minute and gone the next. What is triggering this? Who knows?"

     
    That's what happens when people new to using computers don't figure out how to use it correctly, oh wait, your NOT new to computers?! And your blaming the product?!

    Moron wrote:
    "IDIOTIC REPLY/SEND BUTTON LOCATION. What genius located the Reply button essentially on top of the Send button? When you have a message and want to reply to it, you click on Reply at the top of the message. As soon as you do this, the message is editable, and the button at that location becomes the Send button. "


    Have you never used a wizard? It helps you send it quicker and you will never need reply and send on the same page!

    Moron wrote:
    "While this doesn't seem like such a big deal, it is. Often during heavy system loads, you hit Reply and get no response (Outlook Express goes into "not responding" at the drop of a hat). You wait. Nothing. So you click on it again. Unfortunately, the two clicks are buffered, and when Outlook Express finally wakes up, it opens the Reply box and immediately sends a blank message—since the second time you clicked on the button, it was actually the Send button. This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in over 30 years of using small computers. And, mind you, this is Outlook Express 6! Microsoft has gone through six iterations of this code and still hasn't fixed this, even with their usability labs and usability experts? Incredible. "

    I've never had that happen ever. I now use Outlook but before that I used OE for about 2years? Maybe long, and I didn't do that a single time...

    But if you feel you might click like a mad nut while your 200Mhz 'puter works then I suggest you go Tools->Options->Send[Tab]->"Send Messages Immediately"(Untick)

    Moron wrote:
    MIGRATION. Oh, I know I can ghost my system and move things around with special programs. But how do you migrate Outlook Express from one computer to the other and merge mailboxes? I'd love to find out.


    Go to

    [Installation Drive]:\Documents and Settings\[User]\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\[Unique ID]\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    Copy. Paste on other machine. Open OE

    File -> Import -> Messages -> Outlook Express 6.0 -> "Import Mail from OE 6 store folder" -> Ok -> Browse -> Ok

    Moron wrote:
    SPELL-CHECKER. Microsoft has spell-checkers for everything. Why not this? It makes no sense.


  • AndyC

    manickernel wrote:
    Though I do find it a bit difficult to burrow down to those pesky dbx's.


    Isn't that what the File and Settings Transfer Wizard is for?
    Smiley

  • Tekmaven

    Durring the Featured Community Summit in Redmond last November, I had the privlidge of meeting Tom Koch, an Outlook Express MVP.  I'd love to see his reaction to this article!

    I use Outlook Express quite often when I need a quick viewer for reading an IMAP mailbox.  OE also does a pretty good job for me with the MS newsgroups,  I've yet to find something that I like more.

  • BruceMorgan

    Michael Griffiths wrote:
    Think about it this way: The IE Team will have, broadly, IE7 done at the end of 2005. SO they'll have several months - close to a year - to polish IE7, fix OE, add some more features for the Longhorn-specific version, etc.[

    I imagine several developers are working on a Longhorn-only release of OE at the moment. Perhaps. Even if they are not, however, a few months of work could make a large difference.
    While there are indeed several developers working on LH specific OE, that work has nothing to do with IE or IE7.

    The IE team and the OE team are no longer part of the same internal org as they were in the past. 

    You can read a bit about that on the IEBlog.

  • androidi

    AndyC wrote:
    manickernel wrote: Though I do find it a bit difficult to burrow down to those pesky dbx's.


    Isn't that what the File and Settings Transfer Wizard is for?


    I am not talking about this wizard in particular, but one could go and think that something is wrong in the UI if you need a wizards to streamline and duplicate functions elsewhere in the app.

  • Tom Servo

    John C. Dvorak. Says already enough. That this smacktard's still allowed to write baffles me.

  • Cairo

    Tom Servo wrote:
    John C. Dvorak. Says already enough. That this smacktard's still allowed to write baffles me.


    There's two things wrong with the situation, as far as I can tell:
    1. John Dvorak is a troll
    2. Outlook Express


  • Harlequin

    I wonder if they'll take newsgroup support out of OE. I used to use it quite a bit in OE5, then in OE6 you could only combine and decode one thing at a time. On top of that, you couldn't read your email when doing so. I just moved on to Outlook 2003 and NewsRover Smiley

    Maybe OE should just die and they just make an Outlook Lite 2005 without the fancy calendar, appointments, contacts, etc etc...

  • W3bbo

    Harlequin wrote:
    I wonder if they'll take newsgroup support out of OE. I used to use it quite a bit in OE5, then in OE6 you could only combine and decode one thing at a time. On top of that, you couldn't read your email when doing so. I just moved on to Outlook 2003 and NewsRover

    Maybe OE should just die and they just make an Outlook Lite 2005 without the fancy calendar, appointments, contacts, etc etc...


    I can actually see Microsoft abandoning OE completely, after all... they're pushing the MSN Services to the consumer and home user.

    Since the MSN Services have their own advertisements, it makes more business sense, compared to Outlook Express which allows a user to use services provided by 3rd parties (something we know Microsoft hates Wink )

    Of course, now that Eudora is out of the scene and Thunderbird rising in popularity, I expect OE will go the way of Active Desktop.

  • Mike Dimmick

    Manip wrote:
    Moron wrote: "IDIOTIC REPLY/SEND BUTTON LOCATION. What genius located the Reply button essentially on top of the Send button? When you have a message and want to reply to it, you click on Reply at the top of the message. As soon as you do this, the message is editable, and the button at that location becomes the Send button. "

    Have you never used a wizard? It helps you send it quicker and you will never need reply and send on the same page!


    As far as I'm aware, it's never done that. What it actually does is close the message you were reading, and create a new message window as a reply. However, it creates these windows at a default location, which by default are in the same location. So if you don't see the brief disappearance, it does indeed look as if the window has changed.

    IMO, that's not terribly clever. You should create a new window, and it should be offset from the window that created it, so it's obvious that there are two windows.

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