Top 10 reasons to ditch gMail for Microsoft

[photopress:BringItOn.jpg,full,alignright]OK, you knew I had to respond to this. I brought my flame proof suit. I used to work on Exchange, Outlook and Outlook Web Access when I was a ‘softie. Galen’s last post was very Roeper, and I’m going go Ebert on him. I have 3 sets of 3 words and 10 reasons for my buddy Galen.

The 3 set of 3 words
Windows Live Mail
Outlook Web Access
Bring It On

The 10 reasons

  1. So your cheap and use Firefox. Well I agree Hotmail sucks, but Windows Live Mail is damn near OWA good, does very well against gMail thank you very much.
  2. Try using gMail w/o internet access. Where’s the offline functionality? I’m sorry folks but Verizon EVDO and those T-Mobile hot spots aren’t everywhere yet. Have you tried using an AJAX app w/ a slow cellular net connection? (talk about a fate worse than water torture). Wanna gMail on a plane? Sorry, no can do. Until ClearWire takes over the world, a desktop / offline e-mail is a requirement for me.
  3. If you use POP/SMTP w/ Outlook and store your mail client side, your limited only by your computer’s hard drive space. (didn’t Google’s CEO say 2GB ought to be enough for anyone) 🙂
  4. That said, web e-mail is also a requirement for me. Which is why I use Outlook Web Access 2003. OWA still kicks the living snot out of Gmail (on IE anyway). Remember kids, the OWA team practically invented AJAX (they called it Remote Scripting back in 90s). They were the team that convinced the IE team to include an XMLHTTP object with the browser! Without them, there would be no gMail. That said, the FireFox version of OWA 2003 sucks. In partial defense of MS, the last version of OWA shipped before Firefox 1.0 was released. I’ve heard OWA 2007 will have much better FireFox support. But if you use Firefox only (I use IE & Firefox), then I admit OWA 2003 won’t do it for you.
  5. Hosted Exchange servers aren’t that expensive. I currently use Intermedia and have the ability to add/remove mail boxes, change storage quota, etc. I’ve heard 1AND1 is even cheaper.
  6. Privacy. What if the US government decided to Subpoena Google and read your e-mail? Don’t think it doesn’t happen. Granted, Live Mail would also be a target of govt. snooping, but my Exchange server probably would not be.
  7. Calendaring. Can you type “2 weeks from Friday” into a gmail appointment form and have it resolve to “Fri 9/15/2006”? You can with Outlook! Get a real date parser!
  8. Contacts. Where the heck is the mapping integration w/ address info in gMail? OWA & Outlook have had this since the Web 1.0 days. I know cause I wrote that feature for OWA for Exchange 5.5 (way back in 1998)!
  9. Looking for Tasks & Notes? Sorry Google doesn’t have that either.
  10. API support – Google may offer an API in the future, but Microsoft offers that today

Galen can keep his gMail. But, you can pry Live Mail, OWA, Exchange and Outlook away from my cold dead hands! Offline scenarios still have value to people. Feature rich Windows/Mac/Linux apps (Outlook, Entourage, Evolution, etc) can still clobber web only apps (no matter how much AJAX & Flash you try to put into them). I’ll freely admit the Redmond evil empire’s shortcomings (see the above “Hotmail sucks” & “OWA’s 2003 firefox support is weak” remarks), but Google is going have to do much better than have better Firefox support than OWA 2003 to convince me it’s better than Microsoft’s e-mail technology. E-mail mindshare, well that is another debate…

Let the e-mail Jihad begin! Who & what do you use for your e-mail and why? Would you pay for e-mail service or is free ad supported e-mail the only way to go? How important is your domain name to you? Does your e-mail server use SMTP/POP, IMAP, or HTTP? How important is offline to you? What do you look for in a web e-mail client? What about them Blackberry’s, Q’s and cell phone sized devices that do e-mail? Is Galen the one on crack or am I? (or are we both right)?

Five reasons to ditch Outlook for Google Apps

If I had a 5-30 person office, I would jump on Google Apps in an instant, particularly if I didn’t already have an imap server and all the other hardware and software jazz Microsoft likes to sell you so Outlook will actually work.

Here’s why:

  1. You will never run out of space on your email account: Every email account comes with 2+ gigs of storage.
  2. You can easily add and remove email addresses from a web-based panel (no more calling the tech guy for basic tasks).
  3. Your employees can access their email from anywhere and on any operating system (the Mac guy can keep his Mac!).
  4. You get my new favorite Calendar system – it’s really easy to add events, invite others, and manage multiple calendars including group calendars (we use group Calendars for the very infrequent events that we must all attend at ShackPrices). Also, you can access your calendars from other people’s computers.
  5. Your employees get all the nice little touches that are quickly being added to Gmail – the ability to preview word documents, excel spreadsheets, and pdfs without opening up a new program, in-browser chatting with other gmail users, and the ability to send voice mails (to anyone!) from Google Talk.

You can already download all your email from gmail to any email program and Google will be offering an API, so you can hire a programmer (or download plug-ins) to access all the rest of your information should you ever decide to quit.

Via John Battelle’s Search Blog (a great blog if you haven’t checked it out)