** Warning: Functional rant! **
I’ve spent a significant part of the past few years swearing at Lotus Notes. So much in fact that this post may be slightly bias as I struggle on a daily basis with the absence of my old adversary. Oh how I would prefer to face my old foe each morning…
Instead I face the miserable and shallow facade of functionality that is Microsoft Outlook and Lync. Yuck!
Meetings are regular missed as the pathetic reminder slides into view in the bottom right corner – cunningly; and silently, disguising itself behind another window (must have been designed for the NSA!). Scheduling a meeting is nigh on an impossibility; if you don’t get the time correct first time, start all over again. Viewing participants in a meeting? Clearly why would anyone want to…. Delegations are poorly communicated, attachments are obscured next to the subject… And so on…
I admit I don’t know Outlook very well and am a long term Notes user. Hands up! However, it seems none of my new colleagues who have been suffering this barbyesque piece of plastic crap for some time enjoy it either. Many of them have abandoned the thick (dumb) client in favour of the less abrasive web-based version and next to no-one uses Lync – it’s like shouting into the void! There’s nobody here…. Partly because it spends most of the time trying to connect, partly because it’s just shit! So shit I can feel the pulse in my neck swelling at the mere thought of it. Sametime on the other hand was the backbone of instant communication and critical to daily life. Now I have to walk across the office floor… damn it, it’s not humane, it’s barbaric, it’s just so 1995!
I was looking forward to not facing Notes in the morning, I now realise the alternative is worse. That is except for teamrooms; no teamrooms in Outlook, yeay! For that we’ve moved to wikis which are much, much better (and no, it’s not Sharepoint thankfully, it’s Confluence).
You’d have thought the dominance that Outlook and Lync have would be justified to some degree, it’s not. At the end of the day they’re just another email and instant messaging client, and not particularly good ones at that. You can pick which ever one you’re familiar with but that’s about it as a differentiator. Personally I think I’ll switch to Mutt and IRC.