Microsoft: Why oh why?

e-mail-example.pngContinuing the occasional series of ‘why oh why’ here is a Microsoft edition.

Way back in 1997 Microsoft put out Outlook 97 which was a pretty natty program. It wasn’t an act of genius but it was a good program that integrated a calendar and an email client in a useful package. I find this integration an advantage over Microsoft’s free e-mail client Outlook Express.

One of the nice features in Outlook 97 was that you could set it to record all the email addresses of all the people you responded to in its contacts file. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I liked the feature.

I couldn’t activate this feature on my new Outlook 2007 and having despaired of Microsoft Help several times I decided to spend the ten or more minutes trying to find out how to do it. It’s not so surprising that one occasionally runs into this kind of problem. As programs get more complex things like this occasionally become hard to find – but you can usually find them with a bit of patience.

Help proved worthy of my despair, turning up nothing of assistance in the aloted period of time but a minute or so with Google enabled me to find this software. It’s main selling point?

Do you miss the “Automatically put people I reply to” feature? Are you tired of having to manually add email addresses into your Outlook contacts? Now you can automatically add email addresses to any contacts folder.

I doubt very much Microsoft owns Sperry Software which will sell this software to you for $24.95.

So oh Troppodillians, prithee, why oh why did Microsoft remove this feature from its software?

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Richard Green
Richard Green
16 years ago

Perhaps it was because of the bad publicity they got whenever a new worm exploded through the networks through Outlook contact lists. Rather than make their program more secure, they just limited the amount of contacts in each list by making it harder to build them up.

Francis Xavier Holden
16 years ago

nic – presumably you paid good money for MS products and are bound, by threat of extradition to USA, not to install it on more than one machine, so I’m wondering why you didn’t ring the free Microsoft help number to get help to sort this out.

There is a free Microsoft help and support number isn’t there?

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
16 years ago

Nicholas Gruen:
Isn’t it funny? Some of the most convenient programs turn up as freeware and as shareware ….. while some of the unnecessarily-complex and user-unfriendly ones are the more expensive.

16 years ago

Not realy what your asking but you should really consider ditching the local email applications and go the webmail route, they’ve come a very long way.

I finally made the leap when gmail was released and haven’t looked back.