In an interesting article about having ‘too many choices for turning the computer off’, Joel Spolsky opened up a big can of worms on Vista. While the OFF buttons are trivial (except for the fact that what LOOKS like an off button is actually a hibernate button), Joel hit upon a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Giving users choices. ‘Wait a sec, aren’t choices a GOOD thing?’ Read the article…
On to my little rant…
How many freakin’ email clients do we need!?! Up through Windows XP, if you wanted a free email client that was almost guaranteed to be installed, you used Outlook Express. Of course, people got the name confused with Outlook… but that’s a *completely* different topic. Outlook Express handled all types of email accounts (correct me if I’m wrong, I rarely used Outlook Express), and was a fairly decent newsgroup reader.
Ok, so for Windows Vista, Outlook Express is gone… Bye, bye! In it’s place is a brand new email client, Windows Mail. Windows Mail’s functionality is ALMOST the same as Outlook Express. One interesting difference is that Windows Mail DOESN’T WORK WITH HOTMAIL… Uh… WHY? Because of Windows Live Mail Desktop (I’m not sure if that’s going to be the final name)
Windows Live Mail Desktop is Windows Mail with support for Windows Live Mail (Hotmail), and RSS feed reading capabilities. And built in Advertisements. Ummm… Ok… What purpose was this built? 2 reasons that I can see. One, to update Outlook Express on XP. Ok, laudable goal. Two, to generate Ad revenue. Sorry, bzzzt, bleech. Watching the Channel 9 interview with the team that built this, someone had sold THEM a bill of goods. When’s the last time you heard a dev team working on a cool new product that their primary mission was that ‘developing this software cost money, so we have to have ads’!?! Ummm, Outlook Express is free. Aren’t you getting paid by the sales of Vista? Isn’t that *enough* money to fund a team writing a piece of client software?
Now, we also have a third Microsoft Option… Outlook. Awesome product. The changes to 2007 are incredible… And I use less than 10% of what’s there. It does everything Windows Live Mail Desktop does, plus LOTS more. Ok, so it’s not free, but it doesn’t contain blatant advertisement (until you use the help system).
Don’t forget to throw Thunderbird into the mix…
Gawd, just thinking about this give me shivers. If I was a Windows Tech, I’d have nightmares about configuring email clients. And having mailbox info moved? Cold sweats, and I’d be thinking about a new career in something simple, like nuclear physics.
Since I’ve installed Vista, I’ve been trying to work like a normal, cost-conscious, home user. I set up an Admin account and am running as a Standard User. I don’t want to spend money on Outlook, and hate adware. I do have a Hotmail account. Looks like Thunderbird is going to be tried out on *this* Vista machine.