Get off of Outlook
Outlook Express --- All Aboard!
Internet and Technology
Microsoft has done a very good job of bringing computers to everyone. Along the way they have taken some side journeys that have led to nowhere. One of them is the train called Outlook Express.
Does it work fine? Yes, it does, but for the people that the Saugeen Times deal with on a day to day basis, it has a gigantic flaw. Does Microsoft know this? Yes, they do, but they cannot do much about it. They can't kill it, but they'd like to do so.
Here is the problem:
People get used to their mail service and they don't like to change at all. They know how to do attachments and organize folders, save drafts etc. They have business cards printed with their email address on it. If you try to get them to change, they resist.
If you use Outlook, you download every message and these are stored on your computer. They don't have a permanent existence on the net. They are 'drained' from the server at BMTS or whatever provider you use, when you download them and you don't deal with them on the net. You have them and you save and delete them as you see fit. You have a sent message folder, a draft folder and all sorts of folders buried on your C-drive. That's dangerous.
If you go outside of the local range of your provider, you cannot get your mail in the normal Outlook way and you have to log on to the BMTS, for instance and manage your mail with a rather primitive email facility. Your address book is not there, nor are your past responses and messages. Lots of snowbirds run into this problem. They are puzzled by it.
What's the solution?
The Saugeen times suggests you shift everything to either Hotmail or Gmail. Both of these allow you to manage your mail online. You never have to worry about your address book and message backups. They take care of that. They scan your mail with the very latest virus protection and look out for spam. Don't worry, you are not being disloyal to your local provider. They get the traffic without the hassle, anyway. They don't want to be the email provider for the world.
22/02/2009 11:12 AM
Also, storage is not a problem. Google tells its Gmail users never to delete a message, just archive it.
So why not get off Outlook? Well, it's hard to update all your friends and business associates to your new address. It's so painful, that you probably won't do it. Your kids and grandkids will think you're just old and stuffy.
You can broadcast an email to all your friends, but maybe they will ignore it. It's possible to keep both for a while and wean both you and your friends over a month or so.
You see the entire Internet made a giant mistake with email names. At the beginning, we should have registered our email address so it is unique, just like we do with www.saugeentimes.com for Internet sites. That would allow us to to change providers and programs at will.
If your interested in our preference, we suggest you go to www.gmail.com and just sign up for the service. You can export your email address book from Outlook express and import it into Gmail. It's easy to do.
Under the File tab in Outlook Express, there is an Export facility. Use the csv, separated by commas option and then import the file into either Hotmail or Gmail. You can go to Help on those sites and they will walk you through the import process.
No matter what you do, you should learn to export and import your address book, because someday your hard drive will crash or you'll get a new computer or both and you will not have your address book. Outlook Express is going nowhere. Microsoft is investing in the net and Google is all net.
If you have any questions, feel free to send them to the email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org We use both Hotmail and Gmail and would never think of using Outlook Express. It's a train to nowhere in a time zone that's been eliminated.
Since Hotmail is owned by Microsoft, they put a ton of money into development of it to keep up with Google's Gmail. It's all about the net and has been for years.