Forgive me Outlook for I have sinned (not)

Forgive me Outlook for I have sinned.

I have been using you as one of the primary communication tools that I have form your very first days. I have stayed within the 2Gb PST file limits but when I was told that Outlook 2003 can hold up to 20Gb I have rejoiced, joyed and thanked you for your kindness.

I still dreaded the old 2Gb limitation but decide to look forward for a better future. I therefore installed Outlook 2007 blindfold as I have known that each version of Outlook brings it’s own bliss and helpfulness to the world.

But oh and behold, my mail downloads prolonged. Is it thy punishment for my ever increasing in size PST? Am I guilty of not enabling “Auto Archive” and splitting my PST files?

Perhaps I was still good this year, for you have sent me a savior in the form of this fix

Seriously now… I have discovered this fix via this post in Download Squad and the responds from Outlook’s PM was very annoying:

“Outlook wasn’t designed to be a file dump, it was meant to be a communications tool…There is that fine line, but we don’t necessarily want to optimize the software for people that store their e-mail in the same .PST file for ten years.”

While it may be true that it wasn’t designed to hold ten years of mail, this is certainly not the first or second version of Outlook. If you’ll take the accumulated usage hours of Outlook of all the people on this planet you’ll amount to thousands (if not more than that) of man years.

Do you want to tell me that all of the MS employees don’t have PST files larger than 1Gb? Do you want to tell me that after 5 years of developing Office 2007 and thousands of hours of dog fooding Outlook 2007 within Microsoft you didn’t check an average user’s PST file to see that its well beyond 500Mb? I don’t save 10 years of Email on my main PST file, mostly from the years that the PST was limited to 2Gb, but I do have 2 years and its more than 500Mb.

It’s you that decided to add RSS feeds into the PST file which means MORE information is placed inside the PST file not less. You should have seen that coming. Really.

Perhaps now is the time to chip in and help the new versions of Thunderbird (the Release Candidate for 2 looks really well) and combined with Lightning (the project to add Calendaring abilities to Thunderbird) and create a decent and usable replacement for Outlook!

Outlook 2007, you have failed me and robbed me of my productivity time while I waited for my mail to download. I’m afraid its time to pick up a fight and make sure that the best PIM software really wins.

Stop the PIM tyranny and join forces to beat the beast. Competition will make it better and we will all rejoice in reclaiming our mailbox as well as our lost Email download time.

Bubbles – Clean, round and really refreshing!

Ohad, the leader of a small Israeli software studio named 3D3R, just released a cool little app named Bubbles.

The concept behind it is based on the fact that the new age of web applications doesn’t really play nicely with your desktop, so instead of living up and playing nicely with the rest of your desktop application, web application tend to stack up in your tabbed browser (if you have one of those, if not, get one here).

There is also a review on Yaniv’s blog.

What Bubbles does is to encapsulate your web application in a manner that will make it appear as if this is a standard desktop application.
It does that by hosting the Internet Explorer and operating it externally. A very nice trick.

There is has support for a Gecko (the rendering engine behind FireFox and Mozilla) but it is based on the Gecko ActiveX (no cross platform support).

I think there is an interesting opportunity for this type of application specifically due to the whole Google portfolio related rumors about having Writely as Word, Gmail and CL2 (Google’s Web Based Calendar) as Outlook, Google Base as Access (though I think this stretches it a bit more than what Google Base is actually is) and the mysterious GDrive to store all of the data up in one place.

If Google adds something like Bubbles to its Google Desktop product (or even in a different product), it can integrate seamlessly with Windows on the desktop making the whole Google Office suite (even though it lacks a few things like Excel and PowerPoint) almost native to Windows as Microsoft Office is.

Plus, if it can encapsulate some kind of an API that can be exposed through JavaScript hooks (I think I remember that there are a few, at least in Internet Explorer) that will enable the application to talk with the desktop, that would allow an even better integration with the desktop, for example, allow the application to make the window flicker in the taskbar, allow it to show the bubble help tips, flicker the tray icon and so on.

Anyhow, try it out, send feedback and I’m sure this will eventually become a great addition to the desktop!