65 Reasons Why Outlook 2007 Will Suck

It started with a small list of Outlook look-outs. But the closer I look at Outlook 2007’s second beta, the more I’m starting to worry. It’s worse than I thought. I know many people disagreed with my assessment of Outlook 2003 (what, with it sucking – though not sucking as much as Outlook XP). However, I’ve been partially vindicated.

The major shortcoming of Outlook XP/2003 was in combining the Exchange and Internet code into a single experience. The good news is: the team has rectified the situation in Outlook 2007 by enabling separate Exchange / Internet environments. Still, they’re not even close to being out of the “Approved by Pirillo” forest. Many of the items on the following list may seem superficial, but it’s obvious that nobody is paying attention to these details that (when added up) make for a disappointing ride that isn’t as good as one would come to expect from the second-most profitable area of Microsoft. I hold the entire Outlook team responsible for these usability nightmares and interface inconsistencies.

Remember, this list is an extended addendum to my original assessment of Outlook 2007 (and initial bug reports). I stopped at 65 this time because that’s how old I turned after compiling this list.

  1. Doesn’t render certain types of mail messages properly (like those sent from my blog). Seems to be Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8″ that’s throwing it off. However, when I select the Options for that message, change nothing, then close the dialog, it tells me the message has changed and updates the window accordingly – showing proper hyperlinks.

  2. I appreciate the tooltips when you hover over a hyperlink, but why did you get rid of the status bar notification as well – that’s the way a browser works, ya know (with the hover’ed URL in the status bar).
  3. Why is there a 1px orange border surrounding the preview pane?
  4. Why is the distance between the Navigational Pane / Message List & Preview Pane, and the Message List / Preview Pane… completely different than the distance between the left-edge of the Navigational Pane and the edge of the window, the edge between the status bar and the lower part of the Navigational Pane / Preview Pane, etc.? If you’re going to pad stuff, at least pad consistently.
  5. “Type a contact to find” – shouldn’t that be “Enter a contact to find?”
  6. The drop-down arrow for the “Search Inbox” field is completely different from the drop-down arrow in the Views selection box and the Contact find selection box. Why? Fix it.
  7. Why is the border above the “Search Inbox” field thinner than the area below it? Fix it.
  8. Even with a blue background, the blue magnifying glass (with a plus next to it) has a crappy white border around it – like someone’s using a 256-color GIF with lousy transparency.
  9. I like the way the “Search Inbox” area drop-down fields work and look. Truly. You hover over an area that isn’t really marked, then it shows you that you can do something with it by changing the color of the button area to orange. Why not do this throughout the rest of Outlook – and if not, why not? And if you can’t do it anywhere else, for goodness sake – don’t do it here. The selection fields in other areas of Outlook are in sore need of updating – and you could do yourself a lot of UI cleaning-up if you applied this style throughout the entire client (including the New item windows).
  10. To-Do Bar should not have an X. I’ve hit it too many times on accident.
  11. To-Do Bar calendar isn’t middle-aligned.
  12. No easy way to recover from spam bin when using IMAP.
  13. Will there be a TweakOL available?
  14. Something in the engine is re-rendering my plain text, even though I’ve turned that “feature” off. Kill that feature entirely!
  15. Please make those orange bubbles less obtrusive. You have all this wasted space everywhere else, why must you waste that space, too? Can’t you just make it one of those side fadey tool tip things like what happens when you select text and then hover over it?
  16. Can you please make a setting that allows me to view the preview pane header like the message pane header?!
  17. Do I have to tell you every single time I receive an email that it’s okay to let the graphics load? Can I turn off that annoying feature?
  18. There’s already massive border padding in Windows, why are you adding even more padding in both the primary Outlook window as well as the individual message window?
  19. Sometimes I see the orange bubble, then it disappears quickly – but not so quick that I didn’t notice it!
  20. Oh man, the Quick Access toolbar customization is dumb. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. I like the feature, but the implementation of customization is completely half-assed. You’re telling me that (a) I can only separate the items with an ugly separator instead of having the option for a clean space break, (b) I can’t drag & drop components from one side to the other, nor can I click and drag them up or down!? Come on, people – USE YOUR PRODUCT INSTEAD OF JUST CODING IT.
  21. You can hide some of the header information, but not all (the subject still stays, and there’s no place to tweak that font used). I like how the line disappears – there shouldn’t be a line there in the first place. However, the line reappears with other system messages (“Report Rendering Problem”). Is it on or is it off? What are you doing here, people?
  22. Any chance you could hire someone talented and give us a new set of icons to choose from? Not talking about most of the visible interface – those icons look fine. I’m talking in the customize icon area. And while I’m at it, why don’t you freakin’ hook into my default ICO application on the system for editing?! Pixel by pixel is fine – IF YOU’RE LIVING IN 1988!
  23. Why don’t the Junk mail options work well in an IMAP folder? You deleted a message, but I can’t unmark it as “not junk.”
  24. The translation plugin is freakin’ amazing. Why doesn’t a dictionary/thesaurus setting for US English?
  25. Clicking on help produces a browser window with the inspid IE information bar.
  26. The new configuration windows / options panel isn’t as smart as the rest of Office/Outlook. I can’t hover over every option to get an idea as to what it’ll do if I toggle it. It’s annoying to see it on some, and not on others – especially when I don’t know what the hell one thing does over the other.
  27. Why can I only choose black or blue for my interface – where’s a color/saturation/hue slider?! Don’t tell me you don’t have one. FWIW, the blue skin makes the interface much more tolerable. The black reaaaaaaally needs some work. Still, why aren’t either colors translucent like the rest of Windows. Oh, I remember – because Outlook thinks their UI rocks. :P
  28. Sometimes, a vertical scrollbar appears in a message / preview pane, when there’s no ability to scroll up or down.
  29. If Firefox is my default browser, I can’t use the updates feature. :(
  30. Why can’t I mark more than one message as spam – at one time? Why do you assume that it’s just a domain or specific email address that I’m trying to block? There’s obviously more telling information in a message – and some messages won’t allow me to add them as safe because they don’t have what Outlook believes they need. Again, Outlook is showing its ineffectiveness in regards to spam blocking. You want a good program to base yours on? Take a look at SpamBayes – it’s open source, don’t worry.
  31. When replying to a message, why must you insist on placing more padding on top of the HR dividing the response area with the message being responded to? If you really, truly have graphic designers on this team – they need to go back to school. This is just inexcusable. If you don’t have true graphic designers on this team, hire them stat.
  32. Can you please “Favicon” the RSS feed folders for usability reasons!?
  33. When selecting a range of items, one should be able to see the most recently selected item in the preview pane – not stick on the first one’s preview.
  34. Love the vertical fade in HTML messages (between emails). Again, why isn’t this color configurable? That, and why doesn’t it include the —-Original Message—- part, too? :P If you’re going to do it, do it – don’t just do part of it.
  35. If you want to talk about great reformatting features, take a look at OE-QuoteFix – and make it happen in this version of Outlook. Color code text, man – but for heaven’s sake, don’t base it on your lametastic text word-wrap feature. http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
  36. When sending messages in text, is it possible for you not to break a line that contains a lengthy URL past the minimum word wrap length? Sure would save the world some frustration when trying to click on broken hyperlinks.
  37. I’m experiencing the same weird random lockups as I experienced in Outlook 2003. This should never happen again. Ever. EVER. The entire Outlook client will freeze – stop working – and I have to wait at least a few seconds before gaining control again. If you don’t FIX this PROBLEM, there is no way in HELL I’m going to upgrade or recommend anybody else upgrade. This is absolutely inexcusable window behavior – especially when I’m not doing anything when it locks up!
  38. I really hate to say it, but the more I dig into this version of Outlook, the more I see the same old crap that I’ve been complaining about for years. Outlook 2000 may not be as pretty as Outlook 2007, but it’s also not smothered with all of these inconsistencies and fundamental flaws. I’m tired of talking to a brick wall here. And don’t feel bad – the Windows Mail team has made more leaps backwards than you have.
  39. Any chance of detecting text-based messages and JUST wrapping the broken URLs without wrapping (poorly) the entire message?
  40. Sometimes dialogs with toggles allow me to turn off the feature permanently – yet others don’t. Why? Why are you doing it in some instances and not for others? Do you have something against uniformity? For example, the first time I use CTRL+Enter to send a message, you ask me if I want to do that from now on (duh), and let me toggle that setting without having to dig for it. Yet, when I keep deleting items in a folder, you ask me to confirm that I want to delete everything without also giving me the option to never see that dialog again. Consistency, people – consistency. And don’t tell me that you just don’t have time for it – how long has it been since the last version, and who the hell is doing QA with this?
  41. Why is Outlook still not threaded to the point where I can be deleting a folder over there, and still typing a message over here. Uh… can’t we do that? And if not, why not. I’m not expecting a miracle, I’m just expecting for this to happen in this version.
  42. Where’s the “find and replace” icon in the ribbon? I can’t find it, ironically enough. :P [15 minutes later] There it is, on the Format ribbon. Because that’s what I think of when I’m thinking I want to find something – that I want to format it. Yeah, it makes sense – IN MY VERSION OF BIZZARO OUTLOOK.
  43. If I correct a misspelling by right-clicking on the misspelled word and correcting it, why doesn’t it add that correction to the autocorrect database? Wouldn’t that make sense, huh? I know you have the AutoCorrect menu, but that’s not as convenient as the first correction area.
  44. Enough with the warnings about switching between HTML, Text, and Rich – I get it already. Let me turn that damn prompt off. And while I’m at it, why does that warning dialog look different from all the rest?
  45. Using the phrase “Payload Sharing” in Outlook is a bad idea. Viruses and worms have “Payloads.”
  46. Okay, you’re separating each section of the Nav pane with a collapsible header – not bad. So, why aren’t you allowing the bottom section to be collapsible as well? Get rid of the DAMN horizontal rule, man – especially when you’re handling sections differently elsewhere in the same freakin’ space!
  47. Subject / Location / Start Time / End Time labels are not vertically aligned properly in respect to the corresponding fields. This is in a new Calendar Event window.
  48. Why, in the Calendar Event window, are the drop-down arrows in the buttons (for location, for example) somehow larger than the down arrow in the scroll-bar. Why are they different sizes? Who thought of that?!
  49. For some odd reason, the Note still looks like it did in Outlook 2000 – even the icon is from Outlook 2000. LOL!
  50. Why don’t you have my Internet FAX vendor available in your list? I’ve been using them for years. “Webley” works just fine as an Internet FAX, yet… they’re not meeting some invisible set of criteria? If this is a pay-to-be-listed service, then please remove it from the version of Outlook I’ve already paid for. I’ve got my vendor, and either you don’t want to work with them, they don’t want to work with you, you don’t know about them and I can’t add them, or there’s something else happening here.
  51. Why are the To / CC / BCC buttons center-aligned, when no other button in Outlook’s new item window is? If you feel you’re wasting space, then make the buttons shorter – but be consistent, please.
  52. Why do you place more padding before the right edge of a button in a new item window than you do on the left – the left padding is non-existent, which looks sloppy.
  53. The “Subject” label in a new email message window isn’t properly (vertically) aligned with its respective field.
  54. Is that an old stopwatch icon in the new Journal Entry window?
  55. Changing the Status in a new Task to “Waiting on som…” I don’t know what comes next, as it’s completely truncated – with no earthly way of discovering what it is you’re waiting on. “Waiting on som… place to call my own?” Perhaps it’s “Waiting on som…. ebody else to fix this problem.”
  56. Why are the divisions between areas in a new Contact window different from the divisions in a new Task window? Tasks use blue in between, and Contacts use gray on the same line as the section name. Uh, consistency.
  57. Why do inner-window elements flash when I resize a window? It’s happening all over Outlook, in just about any window that can be resized. “What’s that flashing?”
  58. In the primary window’s title bar, you call it “Microsoft Outlook.” That’s fine, but then when I try to close a window, the title bar for that dialog claims it’s “Microsoft Office Outlook.” Which is it, folks? What am I using here – Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Office Outlook or Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Edition Pro Plus Bonus Inconsistency Edition?
  59. Why does one dialog tie up the rest of Outlook? Seriously, sometimes those confirmation dialogs get hidden / lost / buried – causing me frustration in trying to surface the damn thing before I can move on with my routine. Can’t tell you how many times Ponzi’s called me over to her computer to fix this PROBLEM. So, are you going to FIX this problem?
  60. Shouldn’t the thumbnail in the tooltip for the Office clipboard be true to what’s on the clipboard?
  61. Why is the Search button in the Research panel still XPish and green? Shouldn’t that be a blue boob of sorts?
  62. Are you considering issuing a usability / UI service pack along with your security service pack? If not, why not – do you think this is just good enough, or is nobody else expecting you to be better than you think you already are? Sorry for being so crass, but I’ve been complaining about these things for over half a decade now. I’m not even asking for that many new features – just fix the ones you already have!
  63. In a Contact window, Asking for an “IM address” is rather shortsighted. Don’t you know I’m on MSN, Skype, Yahoo!, Google Talk, Gizmo, Jabber, and AIM? Where are the other fields?
  64. In a Contact window, why is it okay to intercap “Business Card,” but not “Web page address” or “Phone numbers.” If you’re going to do it for one, do it for all others.
  65. In searching for contact information, the window that pops up (with no information in it) contains both a vertical and horizontal (!) scroll bar, though there’s nothing to scroll to – and resizing the window retains the scroll bars.

I’m not even going to bother continuing this list until I know the points I’ve made over the past few days have been witnessed, filed, and opened as reports to-be-addressed before RTM. I’m not going to let Microsoft’s Outlook team get away with ruining their own potential. Instead of waiting for competition to bite ’em in the ass, why don’t they just listen to their customers? I may be one of Outlook’s most outspoken supporters, but if I didn’t care – I wouldn’t bother to say anything at all. Remember: just because you think a new version is better than older versions, doesn’t make the product anywhere near great.

107 thoughts on “65 Reasons Why Outlook 2007 Will Suck”

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  8. Caveat: I don’t use Outlook and don’t expect to apart from to provide support to others.

    My one big wish is that Microsoft stop denying the internet and get past 1996 in Outlook. Outlook still wants you to work as an Exchange client with token support for internet email. So:-
    – Proper support for signatures (hyphen hyphen space newline)
    – Proper support for quoting and attribution
    – Better support for threading by folder
    – Built in NNTP client.
    – Explicit support for mailing lists that recognises the difference between reply to and follow up and treats a mailing list like an NNTP newsgroup
    – Accurate email RFC compliance
    – RFC (and de facto standard) compliance for IMAP
    – Make it easier to see the full headers and raw text of the message
    – Export (and import) of messages in standard mbox format
    – Support for email stores of >2Gb
    – Simpler and more obvious setup of Authenticated SMTP, SMTP+STARTTLS, SMTPS and POP3S
    – And a forlorn hope. Direct support for PGP.
    – And of course, biggest of all, make it INHERENTLY BL**DY SECURE. Outlook is right there next to IE as *THE* major source of virus and trojan infections.

    I haven’t looked but I don’t expect any of this has been done. And judging by your issues list, that would be right.

  9. Do I have to tell you every single time I receive an email that it’s okay to let the graphics load? Can I turn off that annoying feature?

    Go into Tools, Trust Center, Automatic Download.

  10. How bout 65 reasons why you should really spend less time hating MS.

    Will your next post be 65 reasons why Ubuntu is going to r0x0r?

  11. This is ridiculous. First of all, it’s beta. Second of all, if the best you can come up with is complaints about borders, colors, and padding, then maybe you should just recommend Microsoft have Queer Eye for the Straight Guy come on out. And hey, if you like Outlook 2000 better, you should totally use it.

    I think this blog can be summed up as “INCOSINTENT COLORS OH NOES111”

    I’ll be looking forward to a post that describes that FUNCTIONALITY of the product that is UNDER DEVELOPMENT.

  12. I think Chris’ point is that this late in the dev/prod cycle these things should have been found by now.

    I also suspect (my own opinion, of course), that Chris thinks it’s too late to fix a lot of these UI problems because 007 is at the point in the prod cycle where these bugs are blown off as “Won’t Fix. Again.”

    007 freezes randomly for no apparent reason? WFA 97/2K/03/07…

  13. Here I was hoping for some constructivi critisism…

    The UI has gone through quite some changes in the past few months, and will surely go through some changes before release.

    Microsoft isn’t alone in experimenting with UI changes in the beta phase ( remember the Apple logo and Spotlight everchanging icons in the Tiger Beta ? )

    If this is the best you can come up with, then this is a lot of drool. Since I gave up reading at #12, if you had any meatier bits at the end, you should come up with better order of importance :)

  14. As for #50: perhaps it just MIGHT have to do with the fact that Webley’s webpage is (currently) down? http://www.webley.com WAS, according to Google, the fax provider’s page. When was the last time you actually used their services may I dare ask?

  15. As for #63: can’t you just type in that field “MSN:myname@hotmail.com, Skype:myname, Yahoo:myname, GTalk:myname, Gizmo:my#, Jabber:whatever, AIM:andever” ? What’s the character length limitation?

  16. How come my IMAP box can’t be my Outlook ‘Personal’ Inbox?

    That’s pretty dumb. And if it is possible, it should be easier to make it so. The other inbox is just useless if I’m only using Outlook to read IMAP.

  17. I installed it yesterday, it’s a total dog. For many years I’ve downloaded Exchange email to a local PST – this basic operation is NOT SUPPORTED IN O2K7! None of my outgoing email looked right (my signature, which is pretty basic, looked awful), and email in my folders looked terrible (what’s up w/ this new font anyway?) –

    I can’t believe MS would release this dog as a ‘beta 2’ – it’s a year away for being usable. I’ve already uninstalled it on my way back to Outlook 2003.


  18. How do you create new Stationary?
    You can’t access the Stationary source codes throught the Mail Format > Stationary tab.
    To get to these codes you have to go to the Stationary Folder via the M/S Applications folder.

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  20. How can i view the source of my email, I have a marque that i need to add but cant get in the html source code!!

  21. You are really hammering it to Microsoft aren’t you?

    I understand that there are some serious design flaws in Outlook, but saying that said border is 1 pixel wide and orange is going to make Outlook suck is a bit pretentious don’t you think? I mean, you are complaining that the calendar is not centered, more accurately it is probably 4 pixels off center. I didn’t even notice until it was pointed out! Just because a drop down arrow is not the same size as a scroll bar arrow is not justifiable reason to say that a certain product sucks. If this was “65 complaints about funcionality in outlook that may make it suck” it would be an interesting read, but reading an immature juvinile rant about pixel placement and objects not being aligned properly (especially on a beta(!)) is making my migraine have a migraine. BTW Chris, I do like you and all but you are not one to be complaining about design flaws. This very text box I am typing in is giving me a case of the galucoma trying to figure out your color scheme.

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  23. Two MAJOR problems were missed. The search function in Outlook 2007 is useless. It doesn’t update often enough and even then often simply won’t find emails even when in advanced mode.

    I’ve had to uninstall it due to the bug with reading PST files. After x amount of time it suddenly decides the PST file is no longer writable and you are unable to perform any functions on emails – such as moving them to a different folder or even deleting them.

    Inbox repair tool does NOT cure the problem and the only resolution is to return to a previous version of Outllok (2000 in my case). Outlook 2000 has no problems with the PST file.

    And for what it’s worth not all the original complaints were ‘trivial’. The threading issue is really something that should be fixed.

  24. Hey Chris,

    I had some huge laughters while reading your brilliant resumé !!
    I agree with these points and hope, that M$ will wake up.

    Thanks and keep it on!

  25. HI, Well first you have a great sense of humor, I guess with outlook one has too. I have been debating just staying with office 2003 and calling it a day, instead of doing the 2007 version.
    Thanks again for your comments.

  26. Item 37. Window locks up.

    This is there in Office XP, and Office 2003 and I have NO idea how QA let this thru even the first time in the XP version, LET ALONE the last 3 versions of outlook.

    I can, however tell you what causes it. If you have a network/server pause or packet loss (usually a server not getting back to you right away) Outlook will hard-freeze with no repainting of anything inside the main window borders. If you have the patience to live with an all-white outlook window for 60-90 seconds then the error routine will finally kick in and let the window start repainting itself…but usually the quickest fix is end task on outlook in task manager and re-launch outlook (it’s faster).

    I’m also fairly certain this problem only occurs with IMAP accounts, and not POP….which just makes this problem one of outlooks MANY IMAP problems.

    The dev priority on outlook has always seem to been: #1 Exchange, #2 POP…….

    ……oh, and do we really have to build in the IMAP protocol?? Fine, look in the mail accounts area. IMAP is listed there so of course we fully support it, honest boss. No….don’t go in to the Rules wizard…..stop that……don’t do that!!! And don’t even think of adding categories or coloring to any messages based on a filter of your choosing….that barely works with exchange and POP.

  27. 49. Notes look the same.

    Duh, of course they still look like they’re from Win 3.x. You want to pay another $200 for OneNote and have much nicer notes that don’t easily sync with your PIM, right????

  28. Hello any and all,

    I first downloaded Office 2007 Beta 2 about a month ago. It really freaked me out comming from Office97. But I got thru it and around ok. Since I am needing to update our outdated Office suite quickly I unloaded it and installed the Office 2003 Trial version. That seem a bit more of a nicer transittion. I am liking it well. However now that both seem to be out now and at the same price which one should I recomend?
    At work we are still working with Office 97-Pro. Need to at least upgrade our Outlook. Should I go with 2003 or 2007? I wish our OL97 would work properly with our new XP-Pro but it doesn’t and also need the junk feature. Any suggenstion please contact me direct.

    Anthony Jasso – I.T. – MKCU

  29. You seem like a little bitch complaining about stupid shit. So shut the fuck up! They obviously did most of these things for a reason. And yes shit happens and they will look past something because they are only human.

  30. Look at fanboi Matt’s post. Does it remind you of anything? It reminds me of religion.

    Why are people so quick to get upset when someone expects the high and mighty to be actually, you know, high and mighty?

    If these bugs were in a 15$ peice of shareware, well, that would be one thing. But they’re not. They’re coming from the premiere software development company in the world, the one who sets the standards that all other companies must compete with, the one who can foist its products off on people by pure market-share irrespective of quality.

    Why shouldn’t M$ be expected to develop software correctly? Why shouldn’t they be expected to get it right?

    Kind of like how people get all ticked off when you point out that God didn’t do such a great job…

  31. I have a new copy of Office 2007… not the beta and i find the Outlook Express I am using has a french dictionary?? Surprise surprise 24. says it all. Is there a way around this??

  32. Another problem with Excel 2007 is the Save-As feature for Formatted Text.
    I have used an older version to build databases for years. I save them as Formatted Text in Excel. I then Insert that file in FrontPage2003 using FP 2003 Insert file command. It used to automatically insert the file with tags, but now it does not.
    I now have to open the file in WordPad, copy it, then paste it into FP Code view after adding the tags manually. This is a pain in the ass. What did they do to make Excel Formattted Text files no longer compatable with FrontPage2003 ????????

  33. Warning – OL 2007 will not sync with many pda’s, unlike OL 2003. The real problem, however, is that OL 2007 “upgrades” OL 2003 so that when you wish to go back to OL 2003 – it’s gone!

  34. I have a so called final version of Outlook 2007 that regularly (say every half hour) suddenly shuts down causing problems with PST files etc linked to it…I have also SBE Contact Manager running with it that doesnt allow me to delete all the entries in one go…In the 2003 version I could see where the SQL database was, or choose to lcate it but in this version that has been taken away…I also get lots of errors by Outlook trying to find the said database when I start up…Ludicrous they would release something before effectively testing it…! On the positive side the migration from 2003 – 2007 Outlook was simple and this new version has potential if everything worked…

  35. I must say that I totally agree with your assesment of Outlook 2007. The fact that it freezes several times a day on it’s own even drives me nuts. I am in the process of setting up a Windows AD environment for the University of Maryland, which will be using Share Point 2007, and possibly even exchange. How will I convince the University to spend money on an inferior product to Thunderbird, which is free??? I feel like Microsoft just isn’t listening… Please keep up the great work.

  36. My absolute least favorite Outlook 2007 feature/bug so far:

    1). Start a new email message. Spend a lot of time writing it.
    2). When you’re finished writing it, decide to send it from a different account.
    3). Choose the account you’d like to send it from.
    4). VOILA! Your entire message text disappears!

    Thanks, Microsoft. Thanks a helluva lot.

  37. I find Outlooks notification of email frustrating. Not all of the time do I get Exchange notifications of new mail. And then after reading from Exchange and going back to IMAP, I have to scroll all the way down (I put old mail at the top) to my new mail each time I go out and come back in to my IMAP mail folder. ANNOYING!!!!

    Anyone else have this feature?

  38. I made a change from office 2003 to office 2007 now that I dislike so much 2007 I wanted to change it back it wont let me keep my contact or calendar….
    I have crashe3d my computer now I am in a bind, I ahve outlook 2007 backed up to a pst file but it wont let me reverse it to 2003 why?

  39. Just got a brand new Dell Latitude with Vista and Outlook 2007. Outlook keeps throwing up dialogue boxes which tells me something about the IMAP connection being closed because it’s been left idle for some time. I can’t use Outlook because the dialogue box pops up so often. It’s driving me nuts.

    I have seen from other forums that this prob has been around a long time but I still can’t seem to find a fix.

  40. You missed the fact that Word is by default the editor and this setting can no longer be changed. As a result of this all images are now imbedded, in fact you can no longer make them linked. The result many spam blockers block emails with embedded images. Which is why you should make them linked whenever possible like when using a corporate auto-signature with a logo.

  41. “Why is there a 1px orange border surrounding the preview pane?”

    You have some trivial gripes. I thought that this was going to be worth my time to read.

  42. 1 reason why Chris Pirillo sucks:

    1. coming up with 65 insignificant things about Office.

  43. Dude – get a life! Your list of complaints are ridiculous, why not spend your time looking for REAL bugs. Listing YOUR individual “problems” with an application serves no one but you!

  44. Hi,

    I see a problem with OutLook 2007, the counter on the Inbox folder increases but the message do not appear on the list unless I click on some other folder and click back on Inbox folder.

    This is crazy!!!

  45. The fundamental issue I see with Office 2007 is that it’s just too slow. I installed it on my laptop and it’s unuseable: a progress bar when I delete one email! Come on, surely you can write more efficient code than that Microsoft. Instead of adding ever more layers of graphical niceness on top of a slow and poorly threaded core engine, why don’t you give us what we want – go fix the core engine and make it fast.

    Microsoft thinks that because computers are getting faster and RAM cheaper they can carry on bloating their software. What they don’t understand is that bandwidth from memory to disk and disk latency just isn’t improving at the same rate.

    I booted up and old WinME computer the other day and was stunned at how fast it booted and how responsive it was!

    Is this progress?

  46. You forgot all about viewing source/headers for inbound messages (IMAP).
    I have the option when I open the email but that kind of defeats the purpose… I use/used that feature for checking a suspicious email for spam. aaarrrggghhh!!!

    This new version is really unfriendly for IMAP users. If only Mozilla would get it straight and add the Calendar, Tasks and Contact features of Outlook the world would be a perfect place.

  47. I am being crazy, every time when I open outlook 2007 my RAM usage will become 2G while nothing seems taking that much, meanwhile when send a message it may stay still at outbox with sending date ‘none’ and never send it!! crazy crazy…….

  48. is it my machine or version but after typing a message and hit the ‘account’ button, the text is replaced by my default signature. sometimes works by saving before i select account. just had one where the saved version is ok in preview pane but text gone (but with default signature) in main window.
    it does seem to work by CLOSING that message and then recalling it from drafts before sending it

    any fix for it…its driving me bonkers

    i would feel better if i could tell ms about it

  49. Has no one pointed out that the reason Outlook ’07 renders so badly is it renders in Word instead of IE? People were complaining about how what they typed in Outlook 03 (which uses Word for composition) didn’t look the same as what they got (which rendered in IE). So, rather than fix the inconsistencies between the basic HTML options available in Word and what IE displays, Microsoft decided to render all mail in Word ’07. That’s why HTML created outside of Outlook or Word looks like crap (even from Frontpage or Sharepoint Designer).

  50. 65 Reasons? I thought there were 197 reasons! Just kidding!

    I think Mr. Pirillo has a great list of things that should be fixed, but how about concentrating in the important bugs and forget about the ridiculous nitpicking? I think that’s childish. If one box is just one pixel misaligned, do I really care? Do I really care if it says “Microsoft Outlook” in one window and then “Microsoft Office Outlook” in another? Geez! that’s some serious nitpicking! Most of these are things that only Mr. Pirillo will notice and nobody else.

    How about some REAL bugs, like every time I open Outlook 2007 the Inbox message window will always default to the middle of the list? Why doesn’t it remain where I left it the last time I closed it? I always have to scroll to the end of the list to see the newest messages. There’s really no point in this.

    Also, in the calendar, if I have received and accepted an appointment from someone else, the alarm will still go off for that appointment even if I already deleted the appointment from the calendar! That’s what I call a bug!

    Let’s get serious, Mr Pirillo!

  51. Let add one more to your list.
    Excel 2007 rebuilds your VBA code to the point it’s no longer usable.
    I now have a ton of work because of it. Every Excel user that was using my Excel workbooks with menu driver VBA are encountering VBA code errors and crashes thanks to me converting to Office 2007.
    It has turn once usefull code into junk. Thanks MS for the pain.
    MS has turned office 2007 into bloatware just like Vista.
    Jeez you would think by now MS would have figured out how to get things right by now. Same mistakes every year with a new OS or new Office they never seem to learn by their mistakes.

  52. i just downloaded Outlook 2007 from my ISP and noticed the thesaurus is non-functioning. I looked up and down the menus hopin to find a box that needs to be checked. No such luck. Any suggestions?

  53. I love it and have never had a problem, I find it provides more information, faster than 2003. But hey if its so crap nobody will buy it so don’t worry, Microsoft will never make a new outlook again. *rolls eyes*

  54. Here is an open letter I was easily able to send to google. Your site will not even let me ask a ? about my 2007 without proof of purchase.

    I own a few companies. Some are online stores other are sales and marketing companies. All are of different sizes and scales, but my heart is in the 10 person and under small business companies.

    I decided to upgrade my main desktop computer to Office 2007 on a trial basis. At the same time I stared using Google Apps this summer. I was FLOORED to find our after purchasing OFFICE 2007 that I cannot activate it on my laptop as well. Office 2003 I had running on my three computers, desk, laptop, and tablet. Now they want over $800 for me to run that same software on my three personal machines. I have gone toe to toe with the highest people I can get on the phone with nothing more then a too bad pal!

    I control the purchase decisions for about 1000 computers and cannot wait to tell MSFT to stick it. Please focus on developing a contact management software that works with gmail and calendar. That seems to be the biggest hole I see so far.

    Give me the opportunity to upload all my outlook contacts, calendars and past emails to gmail. For a premium use fee of course, and I will never look back. If you can allow me to share my contacts live with collegues as well, and be able to read and write emails while offline then we are really talking!

  55. 65 Reasons why your wrong was just posted by Bill Gates. How wait he doesn’t have to he created Microsoft. Well anyways I love it and so do everyone of my clients after 2 weeks they wont give it back.

    I’ll give you a few of my own reasons why your wrong. Outlook Anywhere, SharePoint 2007 Connect, Autodiscover… Outlook 2007 plus Exchange 2007 finally give us many of the features we’ve been asking for for years.

  56. Pirillo, get your life together. Anyone who actually has the time to count the pixels in padding needs to get out a little more, maybe a few social interactions if you can manage it. I accidentally stumbled across this when Googling “pgp outlook 2007” as I was looking for a plug-in. Unfortunately this page was the first link and now I’m dumber for having read this article. The first 9 things you listed aren’t even true, not to mention 2/3 of the rest of the material. Keep in mind it’s an email client. Looking pretty isn’t exactly the top priority. Pirillo, what sweet and totally perfect UIs have you made?

  57. Ha! You sit there an complain about how Outlook’s UI sucks so bad. Look at your own website. I just posted a comment, and unlike every other website in the world, it got dropped at the BOTTOM of the list. Doesn’t everyone know that the most recent post goes to the top? Sweet credibility, Pirillo. Get a freaking clue. Even Outlook’s “sucky UI” team got that right, they put the most recent email at the top in a RE…

  58. I haven’t read all of those 65 reasons. Anyway, I want to add one. When I start Outlook 2007 I can write mails mormally. After I write the first message (I think so) and go on to write the second mail, the letters C V H T disappear. I mean I type them on my keyboard but Outlook 2007 – dammit – just ignores them! What impudence! They just don’t show up when I type them anywhere in the write message window.
    I have to type my mail in some other editor and paste it in Outlook to send it.
    Anyone got a solution?

  59. Hmm… Chris. I don’t know you at all, so please don’t take this as a slight in any way, because I am right there beside you on the fact that Outlook sucks, BUT… and some awful big BUTs here…

    Make it so that people can consume 65 reasons. I am not hung up on look as much as I am about other things. Maybe categorize your annoyances, and prioritize them? I won’t read your list as it really missed the mark for me. If you want Microsoft to take these things seriously, make it more palatable? I don’t know, you might be a MS MVP for Office, or just someone with lots of time on their hands. If you have a bit more time, please make a new list and email me, and maybe the MS Outlook development team?


  60. Another reason it sucks is that I am unable to turn OFF my damn out of office RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So everyone thinks I’m an idiot because it’s still on even though I’ve talked to them on the phone and they know I’m in the office.

  61. The true power of software is not in the number of features but how powerful it makes the end user. While the methodology Microsoft used to decide these interface changes seems driven by empowering the most inept group of users, it in my view fails the 5% of power users who produce 95% of the work for industry worldwide. At the very least, the dolts at Microsoft could have created a button to restore the original file and menu system; instead too many power users are wasting time Googling how to do even the most basic things like print, undo, save as, or select a print area. I imagine that within Microsoft there is a group of Office power users who despise this new 2007 interface as much as the rest of us. When a company purchases software, there is an expectation that the vendor will not do anything to seriously jeopardize security or productivity. Perhaps if there were a class action aganist Microsoft by businesses who have had their employee performance impaired by these unsolicited changes, Microsoft would be less likely to make such changes without greater end-user participation, especially by power users, the most productive employees in any organization. It’s as though Microsoft takes its design queues from the old communist Politiburo model where mediocrity is rewarded and planning comes top-down from the Central Committee.

  62. OMG, Office 2007 sucks A$$!! Hey, open an email in Outlook 2007, now try to find how to search through that email with the Find function….Hmmm… where is the find function? hey wait where are all of the things you could find via a menu in 2003? Looks like classic Mac designs, ah you can find the special icon that no one knows or you can press the secret 4 key sequence to get what you want, OR you can hire MS to give you 6 months of user interface training…ugh.. that will be only good until the next version of Office.

    OMG, the Microsoft Designers are morons!!!

    Oh, and you have to love how they have no clue about colors and highlighting in Vista too. Open a dialog box, ok, you see the text area is highlighted, so being a human you think “I can type now, because the focus is where the highlight is”…then you find wait a minute the highlight has nothing to do with where the focus is. OMG, someone should take the MS designers out back and shot them. I guess they have so much money up at MS that they are too busy smoking crack to think about user interface designs.

  63. Time to update this, Chris.
    “6500 Reasons why Outlook 2007 DOES suck”

    * Add the ability to rename calendar tabs.
    * Add the ability to remove the appointment handles.
    * Make the arrow indicating an appointment further down the list a little more visible instead of hiding it next to a scroll bar arrow.
    * Fix the printing to allow more flexibility in printing items.
    * Fix the problem with printing tracking info on a separate sheet.
    * 6495 More…

  64. I have the same issue as CHVT!!! When I start outlook 2007, after a while, letter C H V T dissapear… the only way to get them back is restarting outlook…
    Anyone found a solution?

  65. Wow, Word Is Completely F****!!!!!!!! I Saved My Work And It Comes Up Saying That I Cannot Save And It Cannot Find The Temporary Files Either! What A Waste Of 24 Hours Working My A.S.S. Off :D

  66. Woah. I didn’t know THAT many people have such a problem with MS… I’m 12 now, and I seem to be getting along just fine. I use all the latest versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Outlook, and I for one, love it. Its easy to use and understand (to me) and its not slow at all. I use a pretty fast computer, and I’m kinda computer savvy -_- but still. I might be pretty young, but any moron would see that anyone complaining is a WHINER. God, you’d think adults could be SMARTER and maybe less whiny, but most of you remind me of the little 5 year olds on my bus. Loads of these points aren’t *valid* and some are just so MINOR compared to the big changes we really need, or that have already been provided.

  67. The program is a disaster in terms of reliability.
    Microsoft makes it virtually impossible to find solution to problem without paying fees.
    My latest disaster is that I am locked out of my delete file and I cannot delete records unless i open the individual record and delete while open.

    Error Message: Cannot display the folder. Microsoft Office Outlook cannot access the specified folder location. The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook. Outlook cannot open this item. The item may be damaged.

    Microsoft has a monopoly, it is developing dysfunctional software, it is taking an arrogant approach to resolving the problems.

  68. I have not been able to send mail only receive it. This has been a big pain in the — because I love the functionality of saving and categorizing emails. But if I need to send an email, I have to go to Gmail.

  69. Outlook 07 is the worst I’ve ever seen. It is shocking how bad it is. Can’t reschedule a meeting from one time to another without MeetingPlace blowing up. What a piece.

  70. Chris,

    Many of the flaws that you point out combined show endemic design, development and quality control issues within MS and an overall show of apathy towards end users. MS made it’s way by working from the bottom up. In the beginning, no head of IT would suggest implementing Windows and Office. It was the overwhelming demand of the users that ultimately forced IT to implement Windows and office. What we are seeing now is an opening for the next MS like company to rise up and it’s probably time.

  71. I have been using 2007 for over two years now and haven’t had a single complaint. Everything has been very smooth and seem-less for me… The change of rendering engines didn’t sit well with me, but other than than, it’s been worth the 8hours at the trade show to get it for free… lol :)

  72. My problem now is how to Prioritise the categories with outlook 2003 I had it set up so an item on my calendar would have the colour of the category highest on my list of categories.
    I numbered my important categories 1 to 10 so they would be on top of the list and also items would display the colour assigned to these categories first.
    With 2007 an Item displays the colour of the last category assigned. Which sometimes makes appointments with the same important category display in different colours. This sucks and I find myself assigning and un-assigning item categories so they end up the right colour. Very frustrating

  73. You forgot to mention the impossibility of editing contact fields in the useless business manager.

    Again MS products too full of useless stuff that take pc resources and bloated as hell.

    As the IT guy at my company, I’ve convinced about 90% of the staff to run Thunderbird. Great piece of software I’ve used for more than 5 years.

    Unfortunately, there’s always the old farts that don’t like change and still stuck using MS Office crap. They are usually the ones who call me to sort out their mistakes and their outlook in-capabilities.

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