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Outlook 2010

Well, my wife has had a little time to get used to how Outlook 2010 does things now.  So this is a brief update on our impression of it…

My wife likes it, but has some issues.  The same issues cause me to think that it is a worthless piece of crap.

  1. Old contacts from Windows Vista Mail were never imported.  Not doing this automatically (or at least asking permission to) is just pure stupidity.  What was the sense in transferring everything over from Vista in the first place?  To have the old files, yes, but also to have the very same application data and configuration.  Outlook 2010 is pathetic because it craps on the whole idea of maintaining a so-called “seamless” upgrade path.  This is absolutely inexcusable and stands a testament to the absolute thoughtlessness and complete lack of vision of the entire Outlook development team.
  2. Multiple accounts?:  Multiple Inboxes!  This in itself is completely void of intelligence.  The fact that Outlook has to have multiple inboxes for multiple email addresses and never incorporates them all into a streamlined universal inbox is beyond the realm of stupidity.  This is yet another stupid task that should have been done completely automatically.
  3. Adding contacts is pretty awkward as well. You don’t get access to this function unless you have an email previewed.  THEN you can add its contact and have access to the contacts.  But not until you have an email cued-up somehow.    Really?  I mean, maybe the only reason I ran the damn program was to change Aunt Len’s address because she moved.  And the social contacts is just in the way.  My wife doesn’t participate in any social networking sites, so it is just in the way and confusing her.

Really Microsoft? With the release of Windows 7 I was finally ready to take you seriously, and more than just a necessary business toy that I was required to have and support.  But Outlook 2010 can’t incorporate the simple email functionality that we have come to expect from every other email program in the world?  C’MON, MAN!  C’MON YOU MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION!  Get with it.

I already started taking Microsoft seriously when I found that their hardware products were so damn good (XBOX, mice and keyboards).  But I have still been waiting a very long time for them to develop any usable software products.  With Windows 7 I thought that Microsoft had started producing software that actually worked, but they have completely dropped the ball with any other software packages they produce (Expression, Publisher and IE8/9 are direct examples of this ineptness). With Outlook 2010’s pathetic featureless release I don’t really expect Microsoft to ever get what users expect out of their computing experience.

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March 7, 2011 Posted by | Apps, Brands, Business, Computing, Internet, Product Design, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DroidX Adventures – New Blog Posts

Over the past couple days I’ve been posting about my adventures with my DroidX, android apps, and the evil genius at Microsoft.

Getting the DroidX:

Finally, I have an Android!

…Got a comment from an Android development Guru, there!

Getting a Deal on a DroidX

…How we finessed a discount and why it wasn’t better than it was.

App Reviews:

What’s the Very Best Password Safe?

…This is a great app from Kuffs.

Need to Squirrel Away a Contact’s Info in your Droid Quickly and Easily?

…A review of the CamCard Business Card Reader, a great app that works well and is extremely convenient.

I also started a new blog about business application software:

Welcome to BApps, for Business Applications of All Kinds, on Any Platform

…Offers an intro and why I decided to write it.

And then we discover the evil genius in marketing behind Win 7 and the Office 2010 packages…

Windows 7 Mail Issues, Outlook and Office 2010 Purchase Woes

…which is more on my adventures in computing.  😉

All of those blogs are on Google’s Blogspot.  I only customized a few of the templates there, but I purposely kept them skinny.  Because in today’s age, even though we are viewing web pages on widescreen Hi-Def monitor resolutions of 720P scan lines, we rarely use all of that space when browsing the web and now more and more people are browsing the web on handheld devices there are just now getting to be 640 or 800 pixels wide (max).

Obviously, I have been influenced by my DroidX recently in my creative thinking and design.  Though I will sometimes push the envelope and experiment with Hi-Def widescreen web designs, unless we have at least another page for small device presentations, we really should be alert when we form singlular minded resolution designs.

Fortunately, This blog at WordPress.com is served up differently when accessed by a mobile device, so I don’t have to change this big ol’ honk’n template.  😉  But the Blogster blogs are served up using the exact same web page design template for mobile devices.  Plus, I honestly think that not all of the players have arrived in the hand held market yet because the small device phenomena is set to explode.  But, that’s just me.  Of course, when I said that “Everyone who wants one will have a computer.”, back when the hottest piece of business technology was an electric typewriter (1968 or 1970, about), my father and brother laughed at me then, too.  Then they ran around joking about it and teasing me.  Oh yeah, they don’t remember that, now.  LOL.

Oh, yeah

For quite some time now I’ve been working on a new project and I can’t wait to show every one.  But it’s just not quite ready to be revealed just yet.  In a few days, maybe.  🙂

-Doug

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Computing, Devices, Google, Product Design, Software | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows 7 Mail Issues, Outlook and Office 2010 Purchase Woes

Recently, my wife Maria’s HP laptop battery went bad, and we think that toasted some chip when it got hot and the computer refused to boot properly.  And of course you try everything to get the dang thing running again, so we invested a great deal of time just checking to make sure it was dead.  Of course, the results were definite, and she had to replace that laptop, which was running Windows Vista. Although we originally went shopping for a cheap replacement, I think that despite the fact that her Vista based HP machine was actually a pretty expensive model, she couldn’t seem to get the features she needed with spending a few extra bucks by avoiding HP products in the hopes that her new Dell would be much more reliable (to say the very least, the dang HP didn’t even last a couple years).

As you know, when you buy a new computer it’s always a huge hassle reloading it with all the applications that you have used routinely over the last few years.  Email is, of course, detrimental to business, and the Live Mail that had come with her new Windows 7 based laptop was apparently no longer downloading her mail to the server.  On top of that, the simple spam detection, protection and deletion system which had previously worked so extremely well in Windows Vista Mail was apparently not working at all in the new Windows 7 laptop.  Maria was spending all sorts of time deleting mail that the computer simply trashed for her, previously.  And the mail server kept sending out warning messages about the size of her email box even though I finally got fed up with increasing her mailbox size and set it to infinite (we are talking about GBs of spam, here).

And spammers wonder why we hate them?

Maria had used the version of Outlook from Office for her email when she owned desktop computers previously, and Vista had come with a really nice “Mail” program for email that worked for her when she was on Vista. So, by the time all this trouble with her email started resurfacing every couple weeks we had no idea where her legal copy of Office 2007 went.

Now, of course we decided to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 for Home and Student.  Everywhere that I looked for this program online just showed the price and no write-up or package details.  There weren’t even any reviews that I noticed.  We had used other versions of Works and Office before, as well.  So, when I went out shopping at the stores for the best price (as we were in a hurry to get this working and we didn’t have to wait for a package to arrive from Timbuktu), I was quite surprised to find that apparently Microsoft had changed the Office Home and Student edition and weren’t including Outlook in the package anymore.  This was a pretty big deal because the reason she was buying it was to get Outlook and have Word, but without Outlook, that Home and Student bundle was pretty much worthless to her.

Now this was quite interesting, since I had some familiarity with the package.  Although I don’t use it, Maria has almost always used it.   And I had checked all sorts of sites, read descriptions, even visited the Microsoft Office website and read as much as I could about the package.  So it was strange to me that when I arrived at Staples to start shopping for it, it was only then (right when I was staring at the actual product packaging) when I finally realized that Outlook didn’t even come with the Home & Student edition of Office 2007.  Huh?  We were only really buying it for email and it didn’t have it?  Whoa.  I guess Microsoft got smart about it and gave everyone a (really, really) crappy email client figuring that a business wouldn’t be able to handle such a pathetic program and they would all most certainly have to upgrade to a paid email client.  Pretty smart, when you think of it.  But I consider this type of smarts evil genius, you know what I am talking about?  I mean, don’t give consumers who purchase a new Windows 7 based computer even a half-assed good email client?  Win 7’s Mail Live client is absolutely pathetic.  But that is what I am talking about, it’s evil genius.

Doesn’t Microsoft know that the car companies were sued for purposely engineering-in breakdowns on car parts?  What ever happened to that suit, anyway?  Oh yeah, we never heard anything about it after a while, did we?  See?  Evil genius.  HP did the same thing with printer ink.  I had to opt-out of that class action suit.  Maybe the battery overheating and killing my wife’s Vista laptop was also an engineered issue.  Absolute evil genius.  I stand in awe of these fault-engineered computer time-bombs that can’t even last a couple years (but will always make it past the one-year warranty).  A bow to the genius of these evil engineers.

Anyway, there was no way we were going to solve our email problem with the Office 2010 Home & Student edition.  And Outlook, all by its lonesome, cost the same as the Home & Student: $120.00!  We had to upgrade to the Home & Business version of Office 2010.  I wound-up buying it at Staples for $180.00.  It was the first place I looked, but I didn’t actually buy it until after searching the whole city for the best price because my DroidX’s Savvy Shopper app had just upgraded and wasn’t working.

I grabbed the product key from Staples since she already had Office 2010 preinstalled on her new Windows 7 Dell.  I thought that the install would be a breeze because of this, and because I had already copied all of her email contacts from her Vista machine hard drive.  But apparently, Outlook 2010 doesn’t even look to see if there are any contacts to import from Vista Mail?  LOL… and of course, that lead to more confusion!

Then we go into the issue of the Outlook upgrade.  As it has been updated for social media and community networks, just getting the dang contacts in there is apparently a chore because everything has changed.  I’m hoping I can fix it by importing her contacts from the old Vista Mail program somehow, but she seems to be making do anyway now that she has spent a terrific amount of time on the computer figuring everything out.  She keeps showing me the computer when I don’t have any glasses on, and I already hate Outlook so I can’t make heads or tails of anything, yet.

She should slow down so that I can jump-in to take a look soon, though.

But all this really makes you think about how badly these companies are gouging us.  All this hassle just for a convenient, reliable email client for business?  But when do we stop getting reamed in the butt for it?  We really are dependent on technology these days, aren’t we?  It is because of email that Maria needs to communicate with her students that she had to run out and buy a new computer in the first place.  Otherwise she could have gone without.  Computers were supposed to help us and ease our work process, not make everything more complicated, expensive and laborious.  Lately these hardware and software companies have just been cramming it up our boots and I am getting pretty sore about it.  Damn evil geniuses.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Brands, Business, Computing, Internet, Product Design, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment