Frank Rogala

Outlook 2007 – “What was I thinking….???!!”

I don' t like to admit it but if it wasn't for Microsoft I wouldn't know which end was up.  I tried other organizers and "Outlook type" programs but nothing could handle the sheer scale of my 5,000 + addresses and my in-box that gets hit with over 1200 emails a day (not to mention, syncing with a pocket PC that I can carry around like a the missing part of my brain).
If it wasn't for Outlook 2003  I'd be running Ubuntu and my Power book and never look back at Windows.
Outlook 2003 was a HUGE improvement from Outlook 2000.  It handled my ungainly, messy database without bogging down.  It rarely hung up and has consistently been there for me for a couple of years now.  So, after waiting a few seconds longer than I thought it should take for my contacts to open a few days ago I thought, "hey, my time is too valuable to be wasted like this!  If 2003 was so great, just think of the improvements in 2007!"
Now, I am not a fool, I know better than to just run after new/better/shiny product releases.  Like a smart geek I checked the blogosphere and ... we the results weren't very encouraging.  A lot of people said that it wasn't worth the upgrade and that most of the big improvements had been made by 2003.  Then... I started seeing the raves about how 'the patch." "The patch" (KB 933493) sounded like it universally completely cleaned up tons of messy Outlook 2007 issues.  Amazed downloaders of "the patch" claimed that the entire program was not only smoother and faster it had also cleaned up all of their other issues.
Confident that the initial Microsoft release mess had been cleaned up and wanting to benefit from everything $124.95 (or whatever it was I paid), could do for me I took the plunge.
Here I am on day 3.  I had immediately downloaded all the patches and subsequently left my computer on for the past three days so that the ballyhooed desktop search function could have a chance to index,  The verdict...I was such an idiot to upgrade.
I have never seen so many weird error messages, and scary things like "an operation failed object could not be found," and something like "there was an error in your reminder list, all items may not appear,"  then there is the freezing and lockups which are followed by length "reports" to Microsoft of the nature of the problem.  The amount of time (7 to 10 minutes!!! ) it takes to upload whatever the hell it is that is being transmitted (we are talking at DSL broadband speed) is mind boggling.  For all I know the error reports could be uploading the contents of my entire hard drive.  What could take that long?  Its an error log - isn't that a plain text?
So far all I get from the "desktop search" feature is an error message saying that the indexing has not yet finished (its been 3 days !!!).  I thought that it must be something great so I downloaded and installed it separately as I was prompted to do.  However, after my experience so far I can tell you that I have an old version of Yahoo desktop search (Free Download!)  that kicks ass and finds EVERYTHING in or out of Outlook as fast as I can type keywords.
I am not sure what "reminders" I am missing so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I don't miss anything important.
The continuing error messages and lockups make me very nervous about the condition of my Outlook database.
SUMMARY If you are going to be an ass like me and upgrade from Outlook 2003 to 2007 - back up your .pst files before you do anything.  I am not sure what would happen if I tried to wipe out 2007 and go back to 2003 as Outlook seems to print itself all over the place and is a like worm the way it pollutes the registry.  If you ask my advice and you are thinking of upgrading from Outlook 2003, DON'T DO IT!  If you need desktop search - get the yahoo desktop (do a custom install so Yahoo doesn't assimilate your entire computer), if you need to speed up Outlook's performance, it might be time better spent if you put some effort into rooting out some old contacts, tasks, emails, etc.

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