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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Microsoft Outlook reminds me AGAIN why I love Apple

January10

Background:

I’m looking for a platform-agnostic email, contacts and calendar solution that I can use on the web that is ubiquitous. so, for example, if I wanted to use a Chromebook (I love this concept), I could have just about the same utilization of my business emails, contacts and calendars using Chrome (browser). I was hoping that I could also do that on Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc., using any internet capable computing device I could get my hands-on.

the closest solution is Google’s App environment. while Gmail remains inelegant and can’t cleanly differentiate between email accounts, it’s really the only (only closest, to be fair) solution out there that suits my objectives.

I’m really pulling for Google these days. Larry listened to Steve Jobs and it’s showing as he matures into a heckua leader.

NOTE: the contacts issue alone regarding Outlook is a deal-breaker. If you are accustomed to using vCards (i.e. Apple Address Book or Gmail Contacts) you are hosed because Outlook.com and Outlook 2013 (PC) strip the pictures out of contacts when imported. this is ridiculous in the digital-age.

meanwhile…

outlook messageI feel like I got hood-winked into purchasing Outlook 365. as I’ve mentioned above, I have been looking for an web solution for calendar, contacts and email. I paid $99 to Microsoft for an annual subscription for the Office 365 Home Premium package. information offered throughout Microsoft’s website is very misleading. so is their sales team.

there are mixed reports from a variety of sources that state Outlook.com syncs with Outlook 2013. however, it evidently requires work-arounds to accomplish that objective. straight answers do not abound. I can’t even get Diane Poremsky, a legendary Microsoft evangelist, to help me in any meaningful way.

it took me three hours last night on the phone with escalating levels of expertise and accents (why in Gods name [Tosha Marks, is this blasphemy?] are companies still subjecting their customers to this insanity?) for Microsoft support to FINALLY admit two important things:

  1. 1. Outlook 365 is really just Outlook.com and an option to download Outlook 2013 to a PC or Outlook 2011 to a Mac. If you want to use Word, Excel, etc., you can’t do so via the web. They can only be used from the desktop. that’s stupid. it really is. I’m told that for the same $99 you can get a reach-around and a nickel bag off Peachtree Industrial. all of it’s trouble.
  2. 2. Outlook.com and Outlook 2013 (for example) don’t synchronize, easily simply. in other words, while you could reasonably expect the calendars and contacts to sync, they don’t. you can MANUALLY import calendar events from Apple’s iCal, and Google calendars, for example. but, no syncing. that is ridiculousNOTE: Getting Google calendars and iCal to sync is not perfect, but it works and appears fairly reliable.

[…sigh…]

I’m going to Linkedin this morning and posting a $1000 reward for the first person that can solve this puzzle for me. I am also contacting Microsoft support again this morning and requesting a refund of my $99. As I type this message into existence I’m wondering if someone is going to contact me and say, “oh… all you needed was the Office 365 BUSINESS Premium account. The MSFT elves were just being mischievous while they were insidiously undermining Steve Ballmer and making a mockery of refined software development and quality control.

I wish Microsoft went to the same level of effort and expense to refine their software as they do in putting misleading content on their website and in training their support staff to compound the problem when engaged. the Andy Kauffman inspired Latka lives, I’m telling you, here.

look… all this said… if I’ve missed something; or anything, I’m happy to admit my failings, and am very open to using Microsoft products. however, this morning I am reliving my conviction to be an Apple evangelist (while maintaining very high expectations for all the other platforms).

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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One Comment to

“Microsoft Outlook reminds me AGAIN why I love Apple”

  1. Avatar January 10th, 2014 at 3:30 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Here’s an update for my earlier rant and subsequent blog post: We stumbled upon http://www.kerio.com. This might be the answer. Its a managed service and costs about $450 for a five person license. But, it appears to do what we want it to. Otherwise, the Google eco-system would be the bet. I just don’t like the lack of individual mail boxes. On a bet I go all Google for a work week beginning Monday using a Chromebook, Android device (Moto-X) and Gmail. KERIO will be setup for us by the end of that. Count on a report.


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