I’ve used MS Outlook for more than 25 years. It has been the “nerve-centre” of my business for 20 of those years, coordinating emails, calendar, contacts, notes, and to do lists in a centralized and very efficient program. I have about 10,000 emails stored in Outlook, that represent a large part of my intellectual property and business “goodwill”. I am often surprised by how often I need to find an email from 5 years ago or more as a reference to a current project. In a nutshell, Outlook has been the dominant email “client” for most of the world, both business and private, for decades.
I’ve been so “hooked” on Outlook that I even waited to convert to a Mac four years ago because Outlook for Mac wasn’t fully functional. But once it was, I was on board and became a convert to the Apple philosophy of simplicity and user experience. And now, Outlook has been killed…at least for me.
Last week, I finally had to bite the bullet and convert my nerve centre to the resident Mac systems…separate email, calendar, contacts, and notes programs. I’ve kept Outlook off-line simply as a repository for my heritage emails. How did this sorry state come about? Who is at fault? Apple blames Microsoft and Microsoft blames Apple. But the answer is simple: Greed.
You may have noticed that in almost every product category, manufacturers have discovered the Holy Grail of sustained revenue and growth: The perpetually expiring product that needs to be constantly updated in order to function, i.e. The Cloud in all its variations. We no longer buy products, we buy services and outcomes. Pretty soon, we will all be renting cars and refrigerators instead of owning them…for an automatically renewing subscription fee. After all, who wants a happy guy with something he replaces only every 10 years because it meets his needs?
Microsoft says that Apple killed Outlook because it no longer supports SyncServices, i.e. you can’t synchronize your calendar, contacts and notes between your desktop and iPhone, iPad, etc. Apple says it was Microsoft’s fault because they really want to shift users to their cloud-based system, Office 360. And of course, they are both right.
Looking back at my thousands of legacy emails and more importantly, thousands of proposals and project reports, it makes me REALLY nervous to have all that intellectual property on a cloud server that I don’t control. I prefer to have a hard backup of all that wealth on a drive that I own and can touch (although I also use a remote service as double back-up in the event of a fire).