Saturday, February 24, 2007

Exploring Outlook 2007

So far, Outlook has been the easiest of the applications to learn how to use; it appears to be very much like earlier versions of Outlook, with some convenience security features like adding a sender to your “safe list.” This lets you download graphics automatically from email that you’ve put on that list. I easily exchanged meeting requests and acceptances between Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003 systems.

There were some quirks and disappointments however. First, my Palm Pilot no longer synchs with Outlook (Palm is said to be working on a Hot Synch upgrade for Office 2007). My Acrobat 8 plug-ins to convert email or email folders to PDF are no longer available. Adobe is working on that.

Although the new office.x file formats are compressed and thus about half the size of the earlier versions like .doc, Outlook's "PST" mail file remains its old bloated self. Not only that, but MS has added a feature to make "search" of email at least marginally useful (it never has been useful IMHO before), but that requires indexing the whole mail box. OK; I'm good with that. But how big is this index file and can you perform periodic maintenance on it to keep it trim (e.g., remove the big gaps in the index from deleting email). I see no information about index maintenance anywhere -- and, for that matter, as of a day later (after admittedly putting the laptop in snooze mode) Outlook hadn't yet finished indexing my email. (My PST file is about 100 MB). If/when it does finish indexing , I'll try to figure out where they hide the index to see how big it is and whether indexing makes email usefully searchable. Not that I now (or ever) have had a choice. Click "search" and you can do nothing until you index the email. The older search by sender/date etc. isn't apparently available anymore.

If you highlight a PDF email attachment, Outlook says it cannot preview the file because there is no previewer installed for it. There is a link to browse for previewers on the Microsoft site, but there wasn’t one for Acrobat. Earlier I’d installed (via a separate download) the PDF export tool for Office, but I have no idea what plug-in is missing here.

So far I am disappointed not to find some truly useful new features or bug fixes:

1) It would be nice if you delete junk mail entries that Outlook would put them onto its junk mail list automatically.

2) I still can't assign tasks to another Outlook user. This never worked for me in Outlook 2003. When I tried assigning a task from an Outlook 2003 user (myself on another system) to myself on the Outlook 2007 system, the assigned task arrived only as email in the assignee’s inbox. This is the same and not-very-useful way it was handled in Office 2003.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend the well-priced Endpoint Security system for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use Kaseya.com or GFI.com? How do they compare to these guys I found recently: N-able N-central remote support manager
? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!

Content Curmudgeon / Green Hornet said...

Anonymous,
Can you explain what on earth your post has to do with Office 2007?