Hate Outlook? So Do A Ton Of Other People

I learned of fixoutlook.org from this article, so I’d like to add into the fray why I don’t use Outlook personally.

First of all, I used to use Outlook. And I’m not talking about Outlook Express here, I mean the full version of Outlook. The client was good but there were certain things about the software that really rubbed me the wrong way.

I couldn’t stand the "heavy" nature of it. Outlook has always been a beast. Yes, I know it has a ton of functionality to it (which is a huge perk), but the tradeoff is that the software is huge not only in size but also in what it eats up for memory.

It’s a target. The only time I ever, and I mean ever, got viruses from emails that actually infected my computer was from Outlook. Being it’s so widely used it is a huge target for getting your computer infected. In an enterprise environment this isn’t really a problem since there’s an I.T. staff ready to take care of problems like that, should they occur. But for the home user, you really have to make sure you’ve got some better-than-average protection specifically for your email when using Outlook.

The Word rendering engine. This is a huge bone of contention with a ton of people and the primary focus for the article linked above. I also hated this because that engine never rendered HTML emails correctly. And for Outlook 2010 it’s probably not going to change.

The reason the Word engine is bad is because it’s the "Microsoft Way" of viewing email which does not follow web standards. And yes, this has to change. Email should be rendered in the client in such a way where it follows standards like everybody else does it.

Do you use Outlook now? Is there stuff about it you can’t stand?

(I’m particularly interested in I.T. guys out there who have to support this thing on an enterprise level.)

Let us know by posting a comment.


  1. Actaully of all the emial clients I have used I like outlook the best.

    Seems strange but if you turn off the HTML, Word, and automatic reply you are less of a target than you think.

    Turning off the HTML helps stop most viruses.

    Turning off Word as the editor stops the Macro and a couple of other virus attacts.

    And turning off the Auto Reply keeps the spammers at bay.

    Will you still get spam? Yes

    Will you still be a target for viruses, Yes (It is an Apple thing, errrr MS) 🙂

    If you have a good to excellent anti virus-trojan-spyware program then you are coverd also.

    Now why do I like outlook?

    I can catagorize my saved emails, my saved emails are already on my comptuer (I don’t have to get them from some other source) and when I delete an email it is removed from the email server. (That is a biggie, I don’t have to worry about stroage space on Google, Yahoo, Live, or any other web based email server).


  2. I am a reasonably heavy e-mail user at work. Something on the order of 50 to 100 emails per day. I have never really noticed the HTML rendering problems, but most of the emails I deal with are all about the text and the attachments.

  3. I’m actually on the other side of things. Where I work we still use Novell Groupwise for our email. However, people are complaining more and more about it and that they want to switch to Outlook. They don’t seem to understand that Outlook is worse from a security perspective because it, and not Groupwise, is the target of malicious hackers. Plus, each email client has its quirks, and the people who complain about this or that little thing in Groupwise will find new, different things to complain about in Outlook.

    I think we’ll switch over eventually when we can afford it, but I don’t think in the end users will be any happier.

  4. I have 20 years in the field and I have used a lot of email clients. I think outlook , or should I say “LookOUt” is the worst of them. I’m a Novell GroupWise administrator and I am constantly having to defend the GroupWise client. I hear all the time “but at my last job we had outlook and we could do this….. blah blah blah”. They also had an entire staff of geeks devoted to noting but email and its upkeep. I run 6 companies email all by myself and I can still count on one hand the amount of minutes of unplanned downtime we’ve endured. I also can recall the amount of viruses we’ve encountered through our GroupWise email system. The answer is ” 0 ” .

    GroupWise FTW

    • Personally I’ve always liked Lotus Notes with GroupWise being a close second over Outlook/Exchange. But I will admit that GW needs the *least* amount of server power to get going and that’s a huge perk. It’s also solid just like Notes/Domino is. Definitely good stuff.

  5. What about Thunderbird? I have a few offices where I have switched them from Outlook to Thunderbird. I moved all their archived emails and address books over as well. The only complaint that I have heard from them is that when someone sends them a calendar from Outlook they can not view it. Not getting any viruses, no lag, works quickly and securely all in all I think it has been a fairly smooth transition for my clients.


    • The biggest problem with Thunderbird is its lack of native calendaring. You have to install a separate app like Sunbird or Lightning just to get it. While this may be fine for small business, in enterprise that’s suicide – especially if you have an Exchange server (which goes worthless at that point).

      I sincerely like t-bird. Truly. But it’s got to get some native calendaring/scheduling built into it.

  6. I manage IT for a small company. Personally I like Outlook and all it’s functionality. I couldn’t get by without it.

    On the management side, my biggest problem (which may not be unique to Outlook) is all the various ways spam can be managed. First, you have the junk email filters, white/blacklists, etc. Then, most anti-virus companies add their own white/blacklists, spam folder, and rules. Then you have Outlook rules themselves. I get constant complaints about spam (who doesn’t), but I have to spent too much time figuring out what the heck the user has going on rather than improving anything.

  7. I guess I run IT for my offline business, and we have around 20 heavy email users. I was a commited Outlook user for years and years, but recently migrated all our accounts to Google Apps (using our domain). My original plan was to use Outlook with Google Apps, but I decided to run it using the web interface for a few days first. I’m not totally converted! My PC runs much faster without Outlook open all the time, the Google email works much better with my Blackberry than the old Outlook synch did, and I’m happy to say I won’t have to pay a licence fee for Outlook ever again!

  8. I use outlook myself, why? same reason I use my ISP based email address. I paid for it so I may as well take advantage of it!!!!

  9. I have no other alternative, I have to work with Outlook, even if I don´t like it that much!
    But in the company I work for, we have a tiny little search tool, which makes the work with outlook easier, because the outlook search sucks! The fast tool is called lookeen http://www.lookeen.net
    Maybe for some of you a alternative for an more convenient work-life with outlook!

  10. Anyone who hates MS Outlook obviously has not used Lotus Notes. My company just converted from MS Outlook to Lotus Notes and the Lotus e-mail client is so frustrating to use that I’m considering looking for a new job! I will admit that I did experience challenges from time to time with Outlook, but not at all like I have now on a daily basis with Lotus Notes. Emails frequently get lost, disappear, reappear after being deleted, etc. you cant drag and drop anything, you have to import things. you can’t cut and paste or right click and save, etc. I could go on for pages. Anyway to those of you who hate MS Outlook, try Lotus Notes and you’ll never complain again!!!!

  11. Let’s face it, considering the wide use of E-mail, both Outlook and Notes both suck like hell. I used both – I hate both. I used to develop software and I can not understand how users can accept such trash. Frankly, I do not even know an alternative, since any company I worked for uses either one of those two crap tools (pardon my language). Guess we all will have to wait for the big revolution so we can put those developers of both tools against the wall 🙂

  12. I have been using PCs since 1988 and watched MS move up all the way through today where I now have Windows 7 and had to switch from Outlook Express to Outllook. I loved Outlook Express and have been using it since Windows 98. It’s not perfect, but I learned how to use it well. When I switched to Windows 7 OE was no longer around, only Outlook, which I consider to be pure crap. Problem is Outlook is not an email program. It’s a appointment/calendar/email program. All I want is an email program and Windows Live is BS. I would pay if they had OE again. I don’t care if it’s free. So many things are faster in OE than Outlook and less steps. And many things you can do in OE you can’t do in Outlook. Plus Outlook has so much extra crap that every menu is incredibly long. But then again, MS has been going downhill since they ended XP. If MS doesnt change it’s ways, Apple will take over OS.

  13. I am an outlook user and I also use PlanPlus for Outlook from FranklinCovey. It make Outlook much better for managing tasks and projects and puts my tasks, calendar, and notes all on one screen. I highly recommend it.

  14. I like my MS email as it is, I have not made the change to Outlook; although I am not sure for how long; I keep pressing the key “Ask me Later” key, I guess until the change is made for me. We should be given the option: Yes or No to Outlook. Everyone I know who made the change to Outlook are not happy. I have seen Outlook, know how to use it, but I do not want nor like it. I enjoy using my MS email and made it personal for my use. I do not enjoy working on Outlook . . . or is this being done to weed out persons using MS email? It gives me the impression that you either keep using it with the changes they made or leave MS.

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