Irony: Outlook Web Access more usable than Outlook

I’m serious. After upgrading to Outlook 2007, and being frustrated by its poor performance, I’ve taken to using Outlook Web Access instead. It is far more responsive than Outlook 2007 on my system. Furthermore, by keeping Outlook closed instead of hogging the CPU, everything else seems to run faster as well. Fortunately Outlook Web Access, or OWA as it is affectionately known, is excellent. It was after all one of the earliest AJAX applications, before the term had been invented. It has a familiar three-pane user interface, and features right-click menus and pop-up reminders; it has much of the look and feel of Outlook but mostly running on the server. The one thing that is not so good is search. Oh yes, and the fact that is has zero offline functionality, but on a desktop attached to an intranet, that’s not an issue.

The irony is that Microsoft is the company which insists (for obvious reasons) that we still need rich desktop applications. I agree, especially when it comes to apps like Word and Excel. But Outlook 2007 has made me shift in the other direction.

Incidentally, I don’t think the problems with Outlook are simply because of an underpowered machine. This desktop isn’t brand new, but it has a decent 2.75 GB of RAM and a 3.00 Ghz processor. I’ve been testing Vista on the same machine, and Outlook 2007 under a clean Vista install is somewhat improved but still not great. It also seems even more prone to those annoying messages saying a data file did not close properly; performance might be affected. Indeed.

I realise that I could likely solve the performance issues by having a much smaller mailbox. So it’s my choice: Outlook Web Access, or a small mailbox. I’m choosing OWA, though it means persevering with slow Outlook on a laptop when out and about.

34 thoughts on “Irony: Outlook Web Access more usable than Outlook”

  1. Solved on my system. These was two files names outlook1.pst and outlook.pst in my outlook folder. I moved the older smaller one to another directory. Now outlook 2007 opens without any message. Was in c:usernamelocalmicrosoftoutlookoutlook.pst I got the idea after reading response number 10.

  2. Here is the fix:

    Go to your Send and Receive options and choose the button that says; “Perform an automatic send and receive upon exiting”.

    That’s it

  3. My Problem is that Outlook.exe NEVER dsapears from the Task manager after teh window is closed. I have left if over he weekend and it is still here (on Visat and Outlook 2007).

    What is even worse for me is that my Outlook 2007 freezes as well. I type an email, and somethings characters stop apearing while I am typeing, and then some 20 of them popup at the same time.

    I also get a lot of Outlook not responding, and simmilar messages. It is all on the Intel Dual Core 2 2.16 Ghz, 2 GB ram, etc – high spec machine with the CLEAN vista Ultimate and Office 2007 with all Updates.

    Doe it freeze for anyone else while you are typing? Lnike computers did 15 years ago?

  4. My Problem is that Outlook.exe NEVER dsapears from the Task manager after teh window is closed. I have left if over he weekend and it is still here (on Visat and Outlook 2007).

    Main tips:

    1. Indexing service. See here (read the comments):

    If Outlook is still being indexed, that slows things down considerably. Try leaving it on overnight.

    2. Mailbox size. Smaller is faster.

    3. Add-ins. Disable any Outlook add-ins you don’t need.


  5. 27 was indeed the fix. Works beautifully. MS should have made this the default setting for cached mode.

  6. What can cause the OWA not to pull up on the internet? All of my websites in general are fine. My e-mails that are in my Outlook are okay as well. However, I was trying to access one of my e-mails from OWA and I cannot get the page/domain for my OWA to display on the worldwideweb??? Any ideas??

  7. I had enough of PC and Window B.S. all these years. I switched to Apple, all problems solved. Once Apple, NO PC again. Trust me!

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