33 insightful thoughts

  1. hmm, yeah but if anyone can mantain that much software and services its microsoft.
    im using outlook 2007 atm but tbh i dont need any of the features in it. when i move over to vista i will probably just use windows mail. im sure it can do what i need it to do (send and receive emails) lol :)
    oh and shouldn’t outlook 2003 be in that list. i mean its still being supported by microsoft just like outlook express 6

  2. It’s not that many really.

    OE6 -> Windows Mail -> Windows Live Mail Desktop
    Just the newest versions of each. Yes LMd is a bit of a tangent, but still the same codebase as Windows Mail.

    …and Outlook is more than an application, it’s a platform.

  3. While Mail.app is BY FAR my favorite application to use in the bunch, I imagine MS actually has less to maintain per-user than the Mac apps. So they are probably more cost effective.

  4. I got tired of trying to find the right email client and juggling settings and downloaded mail between multiple systems as well as a stable, fast and feature-rich web client. Instead I hooked up my domains’ email to Gmail and have used their web client ever since. Not perfect, not the worst, but stable and fast. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a fat email client.

  5. Considering that not every one of those Microsoft apps is targeted at the home user, one requires Exchange, another requires you own a domain, I say its no comparison, Microsoft provides more clients with more better support and more features then Apple does.

    There’s just no comparison.

  6. Although i am a Microsoft fan i hate hotmail and the ads(i dont like using adblockers)
    Gmail the only one .. simple, elegant, and relatively adfree(only text ads)

  7. I love Gmail and I use Mail.app to interface with it, I almost never go to the gmail webiste unless I’m away from my mac. It’s also fast, easily searchable, and great at managing my other mail accounts that I created from my own site. I’ve only used outlook a few times, and that person’s machine was slow, but still… it looked ugly and was hard to find things.

    I used the .mac on my 60 day trial and I loved that it looks just like the mail app, but gmail is good enough for me. (also it’s pop integration is great… no spam of already read messages for me)

  8. Outlook Web Access is just the lookaline Outlook Exchange client. By the way it is awesome, if you run your own mail server. OWA started the Web 2.0 trend with heavy use of AJAX and a rich web client. GMail doesn’t compare at all.

  9. That’s called giving consumers choice – something Microsoft is always accused of not doing.

    And within a year, those projects will start to group together more…

  10. What I’m trying to say is, why can’t all of those people who work on desktop clients and web clients work on one platform that can scale from consumer to enterprise?

    Build one foundation for spam filtering, accounts management and etc so when you update your spam filters, you only update 1 central platform and everyone benefits.

  11. Redundency has the advantage of reduciny dependency.

    Let’s say all Web Mail clients are under one team. They’re trying to work with the Outlook Web Access client, but can’t figure out X feature. X feature just happens to underly the entire spam filter for all clients (or something). So they delay the entire product range.

    Until Office 2007, large portions of the codebase were redundent. For example, the graph mechanism was different in Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc. Having them seperate allowed each team to implement only the features they needed, and not get bogged down in complexity, bloat, or an “elegant” solution.

    Also, I believe you can simplify what you’ve got. Windows Mail is the revision of Outlook Express (we aren’t counting Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007); Windows Live Mail Desktop is a clone of Windows Mail that runs on Windows XP and has some internet-specific features; Office Live Mail runs off of Windows Live Hotmail.

    So we’d have Windows Mail (et al), Windows Live Hotmail, Outlook, Entourage, and Outlook Web Access.

    Personally, I prefer Outlook 2007. Mainly for the rich search (Search folders!), and the great (if still limited) category, flag, and follow up features.

  12. @Michael: Yes, different markets needs different features, but at least they can all start off with the same base. They could build for example a “Windows Mail” base, and then spin off feature packs and SKUs like “Windows Mail Lite”, “Windows Mail Professional”, “Windows Mail Enterprise”, “Windows Mail Anywhere”.

  13. Reading the “guess which is easier to maintain” quote without looking at the right side I immediately thought Gmail. Like some others here I tie Gmail with my mail.app which is brilliant. I use Entourage to manage my other accounts be it hotmail, yahoo mail and optusnet mail. Apple wont deny Outlook is preferred to enterprises and businesses though (I konw my work place was lazy and just used Outlook express 6.)

  14. @Long Zheng: Microsoft is going to this. Windows Live Mail Desktop is coming to replace Windows Outlook Express in XP and Windows Mail in Vista. So it will be One desktop client for standered users.

    For business, Office Outlook is a platform, so it have it’s own desktop client and web client.

    Microsoft is much bigger the Apple, plus don’t forget that MSN is a different “Company” under Microsoft’s entity. needless to add that Windows Live is awhole different thing.

  15. There’s only 1 thing I see wrong with the industry. Mail filtering and handling is always proprietary, so it is extremely difficult to write anti-spam or anti-phishing products that work for a wide audience.

    Webmail products need to settle on a standard mail handling mechanism – whether that be some AJAX API or plain old WebDAV. I should be able to write a filter that talks the GMail, Live Mail, and Yahoo Mail all using the same code.

    Desktop clients need to share common mail handling interfaces, or at least make their interfaces extremely simple. MAPI is not simple. OE’s hidden API’s are not simple. Hacking XUL Javascript is not simple. The interfaces need to call code and say, “Here’s a new message. Tell me what to do with it.”

  16. I have always said that it was too much …. here’s my opinion about these programs :

    Outlook Express –> not a good program.. I have always hated it !
    Office Outlook (X –> 2003) –> just a redesign of OE, if you don’t have OE you CAN’T use Office Outlook.. it’s a shame !
    Windows Mail –> A nice improvement over OE, but it’s still OE and It still need MORE than redesign !
    Entourage:Mac –> Every Mac application is a disaster :/
    Office Outlook Web Access –> never heard about it !
    Windows Live Hotmail –> The best web mail I have ever seen … it just needs to use more tabs and to steal the mail regrouping as GMAIL does.. but this web mail is really perfect !
    Office Live Mail –> never heard about it . I supposed that it is like Office Outlook Web Access.. isn’t it ?

    Windows Live Mail Desktop –> the PERFECT light mail application ! Quick, beautiful, simple, easy … the only thing missing in WLMD is the use of list of addresses .. we have a list of address in our university .. but we can’t use it in WLMD .. but we can in OE and OOutlook.

    And the mac application ? Never seen .. never use .. and I hope I will never have to use it !

    Gmail –> a really big improvement as web mail … but everything new since 2 years in this web mail .. is simply UNUSEFUL, SAD and HEAVY… like firefox and eclipse … good applications become bad with time ..

  17. You have found the key problem at Microsoft: they develop every thing at least three times. Just take a look at the blue “back” buttons in Windows Vista. You can find three different buttons. They only seem to be the same!

  18. mate your post is lame.

    i dont care much for this childish pc vs mac war.. but apple and its misguided fans are starting to really piss people off.

    this mentality is wrong and useless. anything in those mac vs pc ads is virtually wrong!

    nowi see this here. cripes!

    you have taken a screenshot from several diffrent programs some are the same only newer versions.. then taken other models.. and propose to assume they are 1 confused package?.. why? i used macs for 4 years as a graphic designer and they are the same crap if not worse then pcs… there now i joined the battle.

  19. @luis: For your information, I’m a Microsoft fanboy.

    I have taken screenshots of newer versions of some programs because they’ve been rebranded and forked from the development branch, which means they are updated separately, documented separately and developed separately.

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