The "Why Outlook 2003 Sucks" Challenge

I'm tired of people telling me that Outlook 2003 doesn't suck. The fact of the matter is: it DOES suck, and I can prove it by running Outlook 2000 on a slower machine next to Outlook 2003 on a newer machine. They made UI design choices that were just plain wrong. There was virtually no QA done on this product – and I can point out how and where. Let me just sum up my argument by making just a *FEW* blanket statements that cannot be proven incorrect:

  1. In Outlook 2003, I can watch a new message window redraw itself on my screen. WTF?! It snaps up in Outlook 2000. And if you're telling me that you can't notice the difference, you've automatically disqualified yourself as someone who understands what's going on.
  2. In Outlook XP and 2003, Microsoft made a BONEHEADED decision to merge the client's POP3 and Exchange functionality. This was a mistake – a tremendous mistake – and people who don't use Exchange have suffered because of it. The Outlook team knows it – they KNOW it. THEY KNOW IT!!!
  3. In Outlook 2003, the margins of a new message window are padded unevenly (even in plain text mode). WTF?! If the UI is sloppy, just think about what's sitting underneath it.
  4. In Outlook 2003, the new Folder list is confusing as hell – period. I don't know what folder I'm in, mode I'm in, etc. That, and the padding / dividing lines are uneven and imbalanced.
  5. Outlook XP and 2003, as clients, are slower. They're just slower, period. Sure, you might be able to access Exchange quicker – but at what cost? And what about those of us who don't give a damn about Exchange? Outlook Express isn't a friggin' PIM, and the new Windows Mail client isn't likely to be a viable replacement, either.
  6. Outlook 2000 was the last version to support Net Folders. I told you a thousand times: I don't want an Exchange server because I simply don't need it. Yet another hassle in my friggin' life, yet another service to depend on, yet another monthly bill. NO.
  7. Outlook is still NOT a multithreaded application! In Outlook 2000, this is excusable. In Outlook 2003, this is unforgivable.
  8. Outlook 2003 suffers from the “I'm gonna freeze right now for a few seconds – but I'm not going to tell you why” problem. I've seen it happen on more than one machine, folks. This isn't my imagination.

If you want to use Outlook XP / 2003, be my guest – I'm not going to stop you. If you wanna see what the hell I'm talking about RE: performance, I'll challenge your laptop to a duel. Watch me (with my Outlook 2000) run circles around your newer client(s).