Why Ozzie doesn’t think the Web is the be all and end all

I was reading Joe Wilcox’ analysis of Ray Ozzie’s speech and later Ryan Stewart chimed in and the whole time I was reading that I was wondering:

Does Joe or Ryan know that Ray is an investor in Second Life?

If he did, that would have explained why Ray believes that the Web won’t deliver the most interesting experiences online. You go try to build Second Life in AJAX. I’ve seen it done and it’s not pretty.

It’s not lost on me either that the first thing I tried to do with Gmail is hook Outlook up to it. I can’t stand using the Web browser for email. And I have both the beta of the new Hotmail as well as Google’s new corporate Gmail and Maryam uses Yahoo’s email (formerly Oddpost). These are the three leading web-based email systems. I know many of you are OK with reading your email on the Web, but I’m too used to having my email offline. It gives me peace of mind to know I’m in control of my access to my email.

Comments

  1. Why on earth would you use Outlook? If I use a mail client, it’s either Pine for my BSD box, or Mozilla Thunderbird for my Windows machines. But Outlook? Have you lost your mind?

    Oh, and online games have been around for a LONG time, and there’s nothing special about Second Life. I’m a long time player of Counter-Strike and Quake III (both online games) and I could kick those loser’s asses who play “Second Life”. I mean, Second Life looks like a game that guys with no balls play. Seriously.

  2. Why on earth would you use Outlook? If I use a mail client, it’s either Pine for my BSD box, or Mozilla Thunderbird for my Windows machines. But Outlook? Have you lost your mind?

    Oh, and online games have been around for a LONG time, and there’s nothing special about Second Life. I’m a long time player of Counter-Strike and Quake III (both online games) and I could kick those loser’s asses who play “Second Life”. I mean, Second Life looks like a game that guys with no balls play. Seriously.

  3. Cody: I’ve used Outlook for 10 years now. No one in the corporate world uses Pine or Thunderbird. I also like Outlook’s contacts and calendar.

    Nothing special about Second Life? First of all, Second Life isn’t a game. Hope that helps.

    Second of all, Second Life has a business model that +I+ can participate in. Quake, and Counter-Strike don’t.

    Third, Second Life has a distributed architecture that neither of these games have. Second Life can be an infinite world. Neither of those can be.

    Fourth, you can build a game of your own INSIDE Second Life. You can’t do that in Counter-Strike or Quake.

    Fifth, Second Life is an operating system of its own. It has its own programming language, file storage, and, even soon, the ability to paint RSS feeds onto objects. None of those things are possible in the games you play.

    Are you really a geek or just a wannabe? :-)

  4. Cody: I’ve used Outlook for 10 years now. No one in the corporate world uses Pine or Thunderbird. I also like Outlook’s contacts and calendar.

    Nothing special about Second Life? First of all, Second Life isn’t a game. Hope that helps.

    Second of all, Second Life has a business model that +I+ can participate in. Quake, and Counter-Strike don’t.

    Third, Second Life has a distributed architecture that neither of these games have. Second Life can be an infinite world. Neither of those can be.

    Fourth, you can build a game of your own INSIDE Second Life. You can’t do that in Counter-Strike or Quake.

    Fifth, Second Life is an operating system of its own. It has its own programming language, file storage, and, even soon, the ability to paint RSS feeds onto objects. None of those things are possible in the games you play.

    Are you really a geek or just a wannabe? :-)

  5. I play my games to blow the shit out of something with a big ass rail gun or sub-machine gun. I don’t want to play a pansy “OMG, look, I can program and display RSS feeds in my video game!” kind of game. Who the hell displays an RSS feed in a video game? WTF?

    Oh, I’m a geek, I thought we covered this already. You can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. RSS this, program that, install this, configure that. Fine. You can talk all day about that.

    But I can actually do it. ;)

  6. I play my games to blow the shit out of something with a big ass rail gun or sub-machine gun. I don’t want to play a pansy “OMG, look, I can program and display RSS feeds in my video game!” kind of game. Who the hell displays an RSS feed in a video game? WTF?

    Oh, I’m a geek, I thought we covered this already. You can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. RSS this, program that, install this, configure that. Fine. You can talk all day about that.

    But I can actually do it. ;)

  7. Regarding: You go try to build Second Life in AJAX.

    Runescape is a browser based MMOG done in Java. No, it’s not pretty but it does however have one of the higher subscription bases among all on-line games. Check out http://www.mmogchart.com for the ballpark numbers.

    World of Warcraft it is not, but it’s nice to know that decent game play and ease of access (browser based) can compete with “real” mmogs.

  8. Regarding: You go try to build Second Life in AJAX.

    Runescape is a browser based MMOG done in Java. No, it’s not pretty but it does however have one of the higher subscription bases among all on-line games. Check out http://www.mmogchart.com for the ballpark numbers.

    World of Warcraft it is not, but it’s nice to know that decent game play and ease of access (browser based) can compete with “real” mmogs.

  9. I am beginning to wonder if the “web” or the internet itself is “the anything all”. I am wondering if perhaps it has reached the end of its useful life.

    With 95% of email being spam (if you judge by my inboxes that figure is still not high enough), spam trackbacks and comments in blogs being pandemic, newsgroups being unindated with crap, spam sites filling much of the first page of many search results, spam blogs everywhere, trick domains filled with spammy advertising one wonders whether the spammers, scammers and slammers have taken over online, leaving no useful purpose left for the web or the internet.

    Perhaps it will just collapse under its own weight of useless data being moved from place to place?

    Is there any hope even that new usage paradigms (Second Life?) will redeem it?

  10. I am beginning to wonder if the “web” or the internet itself is “the anything all”. I am wondering if perhaps it has reached the end of its useful life.

    With 95% of email being spam (if you judge by my inboxes that figure is still not high enough), spam trackbacks and comments in blogs being pandemic, newsgroups being unindated with crap, spam sites filling much of the first page of many search results, spam blogs everywhere, trick domains filled with spammy advertising one wonders whether the spammers, scammers and slammers have taken over online, leaving no useful purpose left for the web or the internet.

    Perhaps it will just collapse under its own weight of useless data being moved from place to place?

    Is there any hope even that new usage paradigms (Second Life?) will redeem it?

  11. Interesting enough, at one of my clients, the regular mail ports are blocked. Their choice, they use Ozzies Notes. The only way to communicate with those outside is with gmail. I’m also thinking that saving emails after they have been read may be the 21st century equivalent of saving old magizines without the posiblily of selling them as a “complete” set on ebay

  12. Interesting enough, at one of my clients, the regular mail ports are blocked. Their choice, they use Ozzies Notes. The only way to communicate with those outside is with gmail. I’m also thinking that saving emails after they have been read may be the 21st century equivalent of saving old magizines without the posiblily of selling them as a “complete” set on ebay

  13. Robert: I loved and hated Outlook.

    I loved it for its integrated feature with mail, appointments, post-it, etc.

    I hated it for it’s awkward dialogs, especially for options… you know… go in options, advanced options, advanced options options, parameters tab….

    I hated it…for having integrated that virus called Visual Basic For Applications…

    That was a good enough reason for me to NOT use Outlook outside of the corporate world.

  14. Robert: I loved and hated Outlook.

    I loved it for its integrated feature with mail, appointments, post-it, etc.

    I hated it for it’s awkward dialogs, especially for options… you know… go in options, advanced options, advanced options options, parameters tab….

    I hated it…for having integrated that virus called Visual Basic For Applications…

    That was a good enough reason for me to NOT use Outlook outside of the corporate world.

  15. Pine? Why don’t you go back to a Teletype KSR-33 while you’re at it. Get rid of all that distracting lower case.

  16. Cody seems like your typical teenaged gamer/geek who hasn’t had a taste of real life yet. But it’s OK, it’s part of growing up.

    Comparing games like Quake 3 and Counter-Strike is comparing apples with oranges. They were meant to have different functions and their target audience is obviously very different as well. Robert has already pointed out some main differences.

    As far as Outlook goes, I’d like to see when Cody gets a real office job and complain to his manager that they should be using Pine or Thunderbird. ;)

    Regarding useless information on the web, they exist in real life just as well. I just checked my mail (snail mail) and out of the 15 pieces I received today, 12 were spam for my business, 2 were spam for my personal life, and 1 was actually something I needed.

  17. Robert-

    Get your Yahoo mail into a POP client with YahooPOPs from sourceforge.

    Thunderbird also purports to access all of these Webmails (haven’t tried).

  18. Robert-

    Get your Yahoo mail into a POP client with YahooPOPs from sourceforge.

    Thunderbird also purports to access all of these Webmails (haven’t tried).

  19. Pine? Why don’t you go back to a Teletype KSR-33 while you’re at it. Get rid of all that distracting lower case.

  20. Cody seems like your typical teenaged gamer/geek who hasn’t had a taste of real life yet. But it’s OK, it’s part of growing up.

    Comparing games like Quake 3 and Counter-Strike is comparing apples with oranges. They were meant to have different functions and their target audience is obviously very different as well. Robert has already pointed out some main differences.

    As far as Outlook goes, I’d like to see when Cody gets a real office job and complain to his manager that they should be using Pine or Thunderbird. ;)

    Regarding useless information on the web, they exist in real life just as well. I just checked my mail (snail mail) and out of the 15 pieces I received today, 12 were spam for my business, 2 were spam for my personal life, and 1 was actually something I needed.

  21. I use Outlook with GMail at home, why can’t you do the same. I basically set up the POP access. Sure Calendars can’t be (shared) used (unless there is an iCal Plugin for outlook) I use Gmail as a gateway, I have Outlook Harvest 4 pop email accounts. I think you may miss Exchange…

  22. I use Outlook with GMail at home, why can’t you do the same. I basically set up the POP access. Sure Calendars can’t be (shared) used (unless there is an iCal Plugin for outlook) I use Gmail as a gateway, I have Outlook Harvest 4 pop email accounts. I think you may miss Exchange…

  23. Your position on email is like mine on RSS. I HAVE to have my feeds available offline. The beauty of RSS is that I can read it when I want, and when I want may include times when I don’t have internet access (e.g., I’ll download my feeds right before getting on a flight to have something to read on the plane) and an online reader doesn’t allow for that.

    In the process of starting to use multiple machines (at home and at my internship), I’ve been looking for ways to have everything available and sync’ed wherever I am. I’m currently using FeedDemon/NetNewsWire to sync my RSS via NewsGator. I began using GMail online because POP isn’t synchronous and I’ve grown to like the interface quite a bit. My school email still comes in to Mail.app since Outlook Web Access is terrible on non-IE browsers and we only get 50 MB of storage on the server. Exchange does an okay job of synchronizing my email between my desktop client, my Treo and OWA (for the few times I’ve used it).

    I’ve posted more of my thoughts on my blog about two months ago when I was faced with the problem:
    http://www.martingordon.org/blog/2006/06/06/becoming-os-agnostic/

  24. Your position on email is like mine on RSS. I HAVE to have my feeds available offline. The beauty of RSS is that I can read it when I want, and when I want may include times when I don’t have internet access (e.g., I’ll download my feeds right before getting on a flight to have something to read on the plane) and an online reader doesn’t allow for that.

    In the process of starting to use multiple machines (at home and at my internship), I’ve been looking for ways to have everything available and sync’ed wherever I am. I’m currently using FeedDemon/NetNewsWire to sync my RSS via NewsGator. I began using GMail online because POP isn’t synchronous and I’ve grown to like the interface quite a bit. My school email still comes in to Mail.app since Outlook Web Access is terrible on non-IE browsers and we only get 50 MB of storage on the server. Exchange does an okay job of synchronizing my email between my desktop client, my Treo and OWA (for the few times I’ve used it).

    I’ve posted more of my thoughts on my blog about two months ago when I was faced with the problem:
    http://www.martingordon.org/blog/2006/06/06/becoming-os-agnostic/

  25. On The Ray Ozzie Speech To Analysts

    Scoble points to a recent Ray Ozzie speech, highlighting that Ozzie doesn’t think the Web is the be all and end all of software applications. Ozzie says,
    Given the assumption of low bandwidth, it seemed very natural that the limited desktop term…

  26. I fully agree. I can’t imagine a business life without the internet anymore. It really changed the way I work. But I also don’t want to move everything to the web. Some time ago I was forced to use a completely web-based groupware solution and my overall productivity extremely dropped. It wasn’t fun to work with that web interface and so many tasks took so much more time than they did in Outlook or a similar PIM application (= fat client). I’ve also found myself using Groove for stuff rather than using SharePoint more often, just because it is easier to access and work with – still like SharePoint, though. :-) I think Ray Ozzie’s Live strategy isn’t that bad – combining the “old” with the “new” world to benefit from its synergies. It will take some time, but probably pays out in the end.

  27. I fully agree. I can’t imagine a business life without the internet anymore. It really changed the way I work. But I also don’t want to move everything to the web. Some time ago I was forced to use a completely web-based groupware solution and my overall productivity extremely dropped. It wasn’t fun to work with that web interface and so many tasks took so much more time than they did in Outlook or a similar PIM application (= fat client). I’ve also found myself using Groove for stuff rather than using SharePoint more often, just because it is easier to access and work with – still like SharePoint, though. :-) I think Ray Ozzie’s Live strategy isn’t that bad – combining the “old” with the “new” world to benefit from its synergies. It will take some time, but probably pays out in the end.

  28. Well, we haven’t gotten to the point where online applications can push/manage local assets w/ speed and scalability. Eventually we’ll see Yahoo and Google move toward a large local code base to manage the user side more efficiently. At that point, Ray’s argument will be moot.

  29. Well, we haven’t gotten to the point where online applications can push/manage local assets w/ speed and scalability. Eventually we’ll see Yahoo and Google move toward a large local code base to manage the user side more efficiently. At that point, Ray’s argument will be moot.

  30. The fact that no one in the corporate world uses Pine or Thunderbird (and you have no data points to prove that, only your anecdotal observations) doesn’t mean they all use either Notes or Outlook.

  31. The fact that no one in the corporate world uses Pine or Thunderbird (and you have no data points to prove that, only your anecdotal observations) doesn’t mean they all use either Notes or Outlook.

  32. I’ve recently handed over my domain email duties from my webhost to Google. I’m extremely pleased with it, and use with Tb. Outlook 2007 will be able to open iCal calendars. So as long as you’re publishing your Google Calendar, create a new Internet Calendar account in Outlook 2007 and Bob’s your uncle.

    I wonder if at some point, Google Notebook will be opened up as to allow synching with Outlook notes.

  33. I’ve recently handed over my domain email duties from my webhost to Google. I’m extremely pleased with it, and use with Tb. Outlook 2007 will be able to open iCal calendars. So as long as you’re publishing your Google Calendar, create a new Internet Calendar account in Outlook 2007 and Bob’s your uncle.

    I wonder if at some point, Google Notebook will be opened up as to allow synching with Outlook notes.

  34. If you can’t conduct your email business with Pine or Mozilla Thunderbird, you need to take a long, hard look at what email really is.

    Email at it’s core is so simple that you can send one from a UNIX command line. Email shouldn’t require Outlook.

  35. If you can’t conduct your email business with Pine or Mozilla Thunderbird, you need to take a long, hard look at what email really is.

    Email at it’s core is so simple that you can send one from a UNIX command line. Email shouldn’t require Outlook.

  36. Scoble must have just gotten his Dvorak journalism license. First he tells us the iPod is the sux0rs and now the web is over. He’s just tweaking the readership….

    I know that ray and the rest of MS are still clinging to the smart client (e.g xaml in vista ) fantasy but that way of doing business is going away. the experience of things like Gmail is crippled by poor infrastructure – MS should be building the next infrastructure that makes it so that you can build a web based experience that isnt based on html and ajax/javscript. html is just a better ansi.sys from the BBS days…utnil we get something more widely deployed we are stuck.

  37. Scoble must have just gotten his Dvorak journalism license. First he tells us the iPod is the sux0rs and now the web is over. He’s just tweaking the readership….

    I know that ray and the rest of MS are still clinging to the smart client (e.g xaml in vista ) fantasy but that way of doing business is going away. the experience of things like Gmail is crippled by poor infrastructure – MS should be building the next infrastructure that makes it so that you can build a web based experience that isnt based on html and ajax/javscript. html is just a better ansi.sys from the BBS days…utnil we get something more widely deployed we are stuck.

  38. Not surprised you tried to hookup Outlook to Gmail. It will still suck since you’re used to having Exchange on the backend. Outlook 2007 is really nice and I’d give up Firefox before Outlook. The web-based email options just don’t cut it for me and never will.

  39. Not surprised you tried to hookup Outlook to Gmail. It will still suck since you’re used to having Exchange on the backend. Outlook 2007 is really nice and I’d give up Firefox before Outlook. The web-based email options just don’t cut it for me and never will.

  40. [...] Broswer / Client War part 1 million.  The “browser can do everything” vs “one (old) size wont fit all” argument rumbles on with Robert and Tara (love the picture) on one side and Joe and Ryan on the other. I remember when the PC was first attached to the Mainframe using a 3270 card I took a job working on a project (PC/G) which would allow you to do all the PC things on the mainframe using a “smart” 3270 protocol (TCA). I even demo how to run space invaders on a mainframe via the PC… It was not a great success to say the least. The browser can do everything argument reminds me a lot of that old TCA protocol, it looked at the old model of doing things (mainframe) rather than the new (PC). We are in danger of doing the same thing and thinking of the old model (internet) rather than the new (devices such as Xbox, Zune, VOIP Phone, Mobile phone, Media centers etc). There will of course always be the internet as there still is the mainframe, it just wont be the center of our universe.   This is also why I hate all the hype over Ajax, to me it is the same as the extended 3270 datastreams which allowed me to run mainframe space invaders in the terminal PC. I could do it but it was hardly very sensible. This makes me very dubious of all the “write once, run anywhere”, “one size fits all” and “Ajax can do everything anyone can ever want” arguments.   As I have said before with software you can do anything anywhere, the trick is to do the right thing in the right place.   Why is this so hard for some people to understand? [...]

  41. If you can’t conduct your email business with Pine or Mozilla Thunderbird, you need to take a long, hard look at what email really is.

    So I suppose if we can “conduct our email business” with Pine, that means we should conduct our email business with Pine.

    But, as it says on Pine’s home page, Pine was “originally designed for retards^H^H^H^H^H^H inexperienced mail users,” so it’s no shocker you’re such a fan.

    Thunderbird is better, to the extent that it’s an incomplete, lame ripoff of Outlook that requires you to refrain from receiving mail while you manually compact mail folders.

  42. If you can’t conduct your email business with Pine or Mozilla Thunderbird, you need to take a long, hard look at what email really is.

    So I suppose if we can “conduct our email business” with Pine, that means we should conduct our email business with Pine.

    But, as it says on Pine’s home page, Pine was “originally designed for retards^H^H^H^H^H^H inexperienced mail users,” so it’s no shocker you’re such a fan.

    Thunderbird is better, to the extent that it’s an incomplete, lame ripoff of Outlook that requires you to refrain from receiving mail while you manually compact mail folders.

  43. Robert: You mentioned that Maryam uses Yahoo! mail, is she using the new beta? Just curious to know of you’ve tried that as well, since you’ve tried all the other major web based mail clients?

    Personally, I loathed using web based email clients until GMail came along. I love using it.

  44. Robert: You mentioned that Maryam uses Yahoo! mail, is she using the new beta? Just curious to know of you’ve tried that as well, since you’ve tried all the other major web based mail clients?

    Personally, I loathed using web based email clients until GMail came along. I love using it.

  45. I really can’t stand Outlook. I have no use for any email client that traps my messages in a semi-documented, fragile database. Yeccch. I vastly prefer mbox files and their derivatives.

  46. I really can’t stand Outlook. I have no use for any email client that traps my messages in a semi-documented, fragile database. Yeccch. I vastly prefer mbox files and their derivatives.

  47. Brent, I don;t know what having Exchange on the back end has to do with an Outlook experience. There are many service providers that connect Outlook to other email servers. What specific usability does the average user get by connecting Outlook to Exchange? Frequent done time? Exchange is a great free busy server. Beyond that, I’m not sure the back end matters all that much to the user

    Cody is right, if you need Outlook to read and manage your email, you need to assess your use of email. Granted going purely web based does have its limitations. And Gmail frustrates me with its lack of a flexible folder structure. But I can manage may mail just fine with other clients besides OL. But, then again, all I’m managing is text files and folders, so it’s not all that difficult.

  48. Brent, I don;t know what having Exchange on the back end has to do with an Outlook experience. There are many service providers that connect Outlook to other email servers. What specific usability does the average user get by connecting Outlook to Exchange? Frequent done time? Exchange is a great free busy server. Beyond that, I’m not sure the back end matters all that much to the user

    Cody is right, if you need Outlook to read and manage your email, you need to assess your use of email. Granted going purely web based does have its limitations. And Gmail frustrates me with its lack of a flexible folder structure. But I can manage may mail just fine with other clients besides OL. But, then again, all I’m managing is text files and folders, so it’s not all that difficult.

  49. I’m too used to having my email offline. It gives me peace of mind to know I’m in control of my access to my email.

    Using hotmail (which deletes your inbox and deactivates your account if you don’t login every thirty days) will do that to you.

    gmail is safe. 2GB of permanent email. In contrast to hotmail users, I have never heard of anyone losing email to gmail.

  50. I’m too used to having my email offline. It gives me peace of mind to know I’m in control of my access to my email.

    Using hotmail (which deletes your inbox and deactivates your account if you don’t login every thirty days) will do that to you.

    gmail is safe. 2GB of permanent email. In contrast to hotmail users, I have never heard of anyone losing email to gmail.

  51. No one in the corporate world uses Pine or Thunderbird.

    Say what?!

    Personally, I have always refused to use outlook and have never worked with an employer (nor would I work for one) that forced me to use products from Microsoft.

    Eudora and thunderbird are a lot more common in my circle than Outlook.

  52. No one in the corporate world uses Pine or Thunderbird.

    Say what?!

    Personally, I have always refused to use outlook and have never worked with an employer (nor would I work for one) that forced me to use products from Microsoft.

    Eudora and thunderbird are a lot more common in my circle than Outlook.

  53. gmail is safe. 2GB of permanent email. In contrast to hotmail users, I have never heard of anyone losing email to gmail.

    Windows Live Mail (which replaces Hotmail) help says:

    “Free Windows Live Mail accounts become inactive if you don’t sign in for 120 days, or within the first 10 days after signing up for an account. Once an account becomes inactive, all messages, folders, and contacts are deleted, but the account name is still reserved. If the account stays inactive for a further 90 days, the account name is permanently deleted.”

    Gmail Program Policies says:

    “Google will terminate your account in accordance with Section 9 of the Terms of Use if you fail to login to your account for a period of nine months.”

    Nooo. Noooooo. Not Section 9!!!

    Yes, Gmail accounts can be inactive for about five months longer than Windows Live Mail. Which would come in handy if, you know, you get sent to prison for smoking Google Crack (Beta) and can’t check your mail.

    Is 120 days the same as 30 days? No.

    Is nine months the same as permanently? No. Not unless you’re pregnant, in which case it probably only feels that way.

  54. gmail is safe. 2GB of permanent email. In contrast to hotmail users, I have never heard of anyone losing email to gmail.

    Windows Live Mail (which replaces Hotmail) help says:

    “Free Windows Live Mail accounts become inactive if you don’t sign in for 120 days, or within the first 10 days after signing up for an account. Once an account becomes inactive, all messages, folders, and contacts are deleted, but the account name is still reserved. If the account stays inactive for a further 90 days, the account name is permanently deleted.”

    Gmail Program Policies says:

    “Google will terminate your account in accordance with Section 9 of the Terms of Use if you fail to login to your account for a period of nine months.”

    Nooo. Noooooo. Not Section 9!!!

    Yes, Gmail accounts can be inactive for about five months longer than Windows Live Mail. Which would come in handy if, you know, you get sent to prison for smoking Google Crack (Beta) and can’t check your mail.

    Is 120 days the same as 30 days? No.

    Is nine months the same as permanently? No. Not unless you’re pregnant, in which case it probably only feels that way.

  55. Some of the influential people in the tech industry have spent nearly $20 million on that Second Life gimick.. That may not mean anything, but it’s a good sign to me that It may be more than a gimick.

  56. Some of the influential people in the tech industry have spent nearly $20 million on that Second Life gimick.. That may not mean anything, but it’s a good sign to me that It may be more than a gimick.

  57. [...] I’m skeptical of the new-media, private-network-pretending-to-be-public, advertising-based, LIFE 2.0. So naturally I take everything Scoble says with a grain of salt. I’ve come around, blogging is here, its useful in its own way. So this was kind of a suprise… Scoble mentioning that he’s still attached to the outside the browser apps. As I work on Exchange (Email is our b&b), I’m more than familiar with the difference between OWA (the team that practically invented AJAX) and Outlook. [...]

  58. LazyZ: Sounds like you’ve worked for companies with people who don’t know how to manage Exchange. I’ve lived with and without Exchange and in a corporate environment, I’ll take with everytime. Exchange gives me Outlook web access, global address book and free/busy scheduling to name a few. Maybe not a big deal for personal email. Outlook 2007 has some pretty nice features as well.

  59. LazyZ: Sounds like you’ve worked for companies with people who don’t know how to manage Exchange. I’ve lived with and without Exchange and in a corporate environment, I’ll take with everytime. Exchange gives me Outlook web access, global address book and free/busy scheduling to name a few. Maybe not a big deal for personal email. Outlook 2007 has some pretty nice features as well.

  60. Cody, I don’t know what you are using e-mail for. Granted, e-mail isn’t the right file transfer tool and maybe not the best tool for long discussions, but for every other purpose – why not? Ask questions, request stuff, getting hotel/flight/whatever confirmations, delegate tasks, etc. I know a lot of UNIX guys you force themselves to use Pine or similar command-line based tools, just because they think it’s cooler and that all the “mouse” tools are just crap. But if you’re using e-mail to do your everyday business, not just to delete NDRs ;-), than you need a good e-mail application, that helps you creating rules, tracking and categorizing your e-mails, etc. This tool can be Outlook, but could also be Entourage, Evolution, whatever. But I really think you won’t be as productive with Pine. Some years ago, when I needed to use Pine, it was good for send/reply/forward, but managing a lot of folders, storing e-mail for later reference, tracking e-mails, etc. was just really bad and not very productive with Pine.

  61. Cody, I don’t know what you are using e-mail for. Granted, e-mail isn’t the right file transfer tool and maybe not the best tool for long discussions, but for every other purpose – why not? Ask questions, request stuff, getting hotel/flight/whatever confirmations, delegate tasks, etc. I know a lot of UNIX guys you force themselves to use Pine or similar command-line based tools, just because they think it’s cooler and that all the “mouse” tools are just crap. But if you’re using e-mail to do your everyday business, not just to delete NDRs ;-), than you need a good e-mail application, that helps you creating rules, tracking and categorizing your e-mails, etc. This tool can be Outlook, but could also be Entourage, Evolution, whatever. But I really think you won’t be as productive with Pine. Some years ago, when I needed to use Pine, it was good for send/reply/forward, but managing a lot of folders, storing e-mail for later reference, tracking e-mails, etc. was just really bad and not very productive with Pine.

  62. That said, one can’t deny that the web is definitely front and center of most applications. Yes games are not going to be played on the web per se, but without the web there would be no Everquest or World of Warcraft. S

    I definitely think that the integration between online and offline tools needs to improve. Alternately, we need to be in a situation where we are always online, but that isn’t happening anytime soon. Personally, since I am almost always online, I am fine with gmail, since its ideal for my workflow, but your point on being able to access email offline is very valid. In theory though, shouldn’t the blackberries and treos of the world take care of being ona plane and needing to catch up on email?

    To those who hate Outlook/Exchange, I hope you never have to use Lotus Notes/Domino. Enough to test the most magnanimous amongst us.

  63. That said, one can’t deny that the web is definitely front and center of most applications. Yes games are not going to be played on the web per se, but without the web there would be no Everquest or World of Warcraft. S

    I definitely think that the integration between online and offline tools needs to improve. Alternately, we need to be in a situation where we are always online, but that isn’t happening anytime soon. Personally, since I am almost always online, I am fine with gmail, since its ideal for my workflow, but your point on being able to access email offline is very valid. In theory though, shouldn’t the blackberries and treos of the world take care of being ona plane and needing to catch up on email?

    To those who hate Outlook/Exchange, I hope you never have to use Lotus Notes/Domino. Enough to test the most magnanimous amongst us.

  64. Brent, you still didnt’ answer my question. You told me what Exchange give me. I acknowledged that it is a great free/busy server. What I want to know is what SPECIFIC advantages I get by having Outlook connecting to Exchange. A plethora of mail server options provide web access and global address lists. I’ve not seen anything in your list that is all that innovative or unique. I love the: “don’t know how to manage Exchange” defense every time its stability issues are brought up.

  65. Brent, you still didnt’ answer my question. You told me what Exchange give me. I acknowledged that it is a great free/busy server. What I want to know is what SPECIFIC advantages I get by having Outlook connecting to Exchange. A plethora of mail server options provide web access and global address lists. I’ve not seen anything in your list that is all that innovative or unique. I love the: “don’t know how to manage Exchange” defense every time its stability issues are brought up.

  66. Cody seems like he is our of his mind!

    You implied that if you use Outlook you are out of your mind, but did not give any evidence to support it. Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses. Btw, can your Pine read RSS feeds? Outlook 2007 can do so!

    Second, you said that Robert talks the talk, but you walk the walk. Using MediaWiki is not walking the walk IMHO. If you wrote your own wiki software, your own OS, your own email client, your own word processor, your own browser… now THAT would be walking the walk! If you use a software that someone else wrote, where is “walking the walk” in that?

  67. Cody seems like he is our of his mind!

    You implied that if you use Outlook you are out of your mind, but did not give any evidence to support it. Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses. Btw, can your Pine read RSS feeds? Outlook 2007 can do so!

    Second, you said that Robert talks the talk, but you walk the walk. Using MediaWiki is not walking the walk IMHO. If you wrote your own wiki software, your own OS, your own email client, your own word processor, your own browser… now THAT would be walking the walk! If you use a software that someone else wrote, where is “walking the walk” in that?

  68. First, I can read RSS feeds via the command line if I wanted to. Second, WTF does an RSS feed have to do with email? Nothing. NEXT.

    Robert talks about wikis…can’t install one himself.
    I don’t talk about wikis often…but I can install one.

    There was nothing about programming your own wiki. A true computer geek can install a wiki, no big deal. I was proving my point, to which I succeeded.

  69. First, I can read RSS feeds via the command line if I wanted to. Second, WTF does an RSS feed have to do with email? Nothing. NEXT.

    Robert talks about wikis…can’t install one himself.
    I don’t talk about wikis often…but I can install one.

    There was nothing about programming your own wiki. A true computer geek can install a wiki, no big deal. I was proving my point, to which I succeeded.

  70. Pine is fantastic for reading email. Lack of calendaring, RSS feeds, tagging – that’s a feature, not a bug. Seriously. You have to use the right tool for the job. If I want to deal purely with written expression in an email, pine is great.

    That said, I tend to use webmail, and view offline mail readers as archiving tools. (As mbox readers, basically.)

    I have yet to find an RSS reader that I enjoy using enough to be bothered to tweak. An integrated one shows some promise as a concept, but I’d rather be able to pick which RSS display engine is used by Outlook than be tied to only one.

    Oh, and calendaring? Not helpful if my coorespondents cannot read/write to my calendar database. The universality of email is what is wanted – not vendor lock in. [apple, I'm looking at you] I haven’t found one yet that is good enough at approximating solutions (to known hard problems) of complex scheduling conflicts. I’d even settle for one that could correctly manage appointments/events across time zones. Does Office 2007 do these things?

    -r.

  71. Pine is fantastic for reading email. Lack of calendaring, RSS feeds, tagging – that’s a feature, not a bug. Seriously. You have to use the right tool for the job. If I want to deal purely with written expression in an email, pine is great.

    That said, I tend to use webmail, and view offline mail readers as archiving tools. (As mbox readers, basically.)

    I have yet to find an RSS reader that I enjoy using enough to be bothered to tweak. An integrated one shows some promise as a concept, but I’d rather be able to pick which RSS display engine is used by Outlook than be tied to only one.

    Oh, and calendaring? Not helpful if my coorespondents cannot read/write to my calendar database. The universality of email is what is wanted – not vendor lock in. [apple, I'm looking at you] I haven’t found one yet that is good enough at approximating solutions (to known hard problems) of complex scheduling conflicts. I’d even settle for one that could correctly manage appointments/events across time zones. Does Office 2007 do these things?

    -r.

  72. “Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses.”

    Er… able run on something other than Windows? That’s the first thing that comes to mind.

    Uh… Thunderbird is free?

  73. “Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses.”

    Er… able run on something other than Windows? That’s the first thing that comes to mind.

    Uh… Thunderbird is free?

  74. Pine deals with email. I’m not sure what kind of email YOU send.

    What, is Plain Text too hard for you to grasp? ;)

  75. Pine deals with email. I’m not sure what kind of email YOU send.

    What, is Plain Text too hard for you to grasp? ;)

  76. Things I like about GMail:

    1. Instant access to all my mail on the three machines I use almost every day: two Macs and one Windows XP PC.

    2. Wicked fast search of the nine thousand email messages I have received and sent over the last two years. For example, GMail found my 190 email messages that include the word “Robert” in less than three seconds. The oldest received in 7/04, the newest received yesterday.

    3. Very reliable, seamless spam filtering.

    4. Automatic harvesting of every email address I ever received or sent mail to into my contact list, currently over 550 contacts.

    5. Conversations. This was the hardest feature to get used to but now I find it difficult to follow email threads in Yahoo! or Hotmail without this UI feature.

    6. Ability group emails using tags or Labels. Emails can be associated with more than one label.

    7. Really nice Ajax-based spell checker.

    8. Awesome email access on my Nokia 6625 mobile phone.

    9. Automatic parsing of email for events to be included in the integrated Calendar.

    10. Automatic SMS alerts for calendar reminders.

    11. Optional forwarding to another account. I do this to my free Yahoo! account for redundency.

    12. Over 2.7GB of available storage and growing every day

  77. Things I like about GMail:

    1. Instant access to all my mail on the three machines I use almost every day: two Macs and one Windows XP PC.

    2. Wicked fast search of the nine thousand email messages I have received and sent over the last two years. For example, GMail found my 190 email messages that include the word “Robert” in less than three seconds. The oldest received in 7/04, the newest received yesterday.

    3. Very reliable, seamless spam filtering.

    4. Automatic harvesting of every email address I ever received or sent mail to into my contact list, currently over 550 contacts.

    5. Conversations. This was the hardest feature to get used to but now I find it difficult to follow email threads in Yahoo! or Hotmail without this UI feature.

    6. Ability group emails using tags or Labels. Emails can be associated with more than one label.

    7. Really nice Ajax-based spell checker.

    8. Awesome email access on my Nokia 6625 mobile phone.

    9. Automatic parsing of email for events to be included in the integrated Calendar.

    10. Automatic SMS alerts for calendar reminders.

    11. Optional forwarding to another account. I do this to my free Yahoo! account for redundency.

    12. Over 2.7GB of available storage and growing every day

  78. Outlook is now more than an email client. What has RSS to do with email??? I like how RSS feeds integrate so well with Outlook 2007. Why have different clients for everything when you can roll your email, RSS, calender, everything in one!

    Text emails? I honestly think it has been AGES since I have received a text-only email. Most of my emails are HTML or Richtext!

    Yes Outlook runs on windows only – that is a valid argument. I still do not think pine is the best – thunderbird is alright – I would give it a try if I were moving to a non-windows environment.

    Gmail and live-mail are great, but I still do not like web-based email. I prefer to get them on Outlook (or another good email client capable of reading html and richtext emails), preferably using IMAP or Exchange protocol. The AJAX interface may be good, but I prefer my thick client to the AJAXed thin-client.

    The other good thing I like about Outlook is the spam filters – they are updated almost every month, and they really catch 90% of my spam, of not more.

    That said, there is one thing I *really* want to see in Outlook – ability to send personalized emails (without using the crappy mail-merge feature in MSWord).

  79. Outlook is now more than an email client. What has RSS to do with email??? I like how RSS feeds integrate so well with Outlook 2007. Why have different clients for everything when you can roll your email, RSS, calender, everything in one!

    Text emails? I honestly think it has been AGES since I have received a text-only email. Most of my emails are HTML or Richtext!

    Yes Outlook runs on windows only – that is a valid argument. I still do not think pine is the best – thunderbird is alright – I would give it a try if I were moving to a non-windows environment.

    Gmail and live-mail are great, but I still do not like web-based email. I prefer to get them on Outlook (or another good email client capable of reading html and richtext emails), preferably using IMAP or Exchange protocol. The AJAX interface may be good, but I prefer my thick client to the AJAXed thin-client.

    The other good thing I like about Outlook is the spam filters – they are updated almost every month, and they really catch 90% of my spam, of not more.

    That said, there is one thing I *really* want to see in Outlook – ability to send personalized emails (without using the crappy mail-merge feature in MSWord).

  80. Outlook is not free, but I pay anyway for the MS Office suite (yes, I know as soon as I type this someone is going to talk about OpenOffice and how its better than MS Office, etc; but my company policies do not allow me to use that on any business machines), so I am really paying nothing extra. I will give thunderbird a try on my personal machine, from the screenshots and features described it looks good.

  81. Outlook is not free, but I pay anyway for the MS Office suite (yes, I know as soon as I type this someone is going to talk about OpenOffice and how its better than MS Office, etc; but my company policies do not allow me to use that on any business machines), so I am really paying nothing extra. I will give thunderbird a try on my personal machine, from the screenshots and features described it looks good.

  82. “Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses.”

    How about natively storing their mail in an accessible, nonproprietary format that literally thousands of tools on every platform can easily read from, write to, search, and archive?

    Ever had a PST file take a crap on you? It’s not a place you want to be.

  83. “Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses.”

    How about natively storing their mail in an accessible, nonproprietary format that literally thousands of tools on every platform can easily read from, write to, search, and archive?

    Ever had a PST file take a crap on you? It’s not a place you want to be.

  84. “Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses.”

    Storing email as searchable, accessible, archivable text, accessible on every platform.

  85. “Tell us some feature that Pine or Thunderbird has that Outlook misses.”

    Storing email as searchable, accessible, archivable text, accessible on every platform.

  86. It’s $400 dolllars for the Microsoft Office 2003 Standard Edition.

    OpenOffice, AbiWord, Pine, Thunderbird, etc…FREE

    That’s $400 I don’t have to spend. So that’s one big reason why I hate Outlook, because of that fact.

  87. It’s $400 dolllars for the Microsoft Office 2003 Standard Edition.

    OpenOffice, AbiWord, Pine, Thunderbird, etc…FREE

    That’s $400 I don’t have to spend. So that’s one big reason why I hate Outlook, because of that fact.

  88. There’s a lot of FUD in this thread and, if forced to, I could write a long article refuting all the cluelessness, but for now I’ll refute two things:

    1. Pine does support tagging and has since version 4.60, which was released more than 2 years ago (2004 May 10). AFAIK, Pine is the only IMAP client that supports unlimited user-defined tags (aka labels or keywords).

    2. Someone in the corporate world *does* use Pine, namely Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products and User Experience at Google. I blogged about this here:
    http://deflexion.com/2006/03/pine-in-fortune-magazine-and-on-tv

    If all these email clients and servers supported a standard access protocol, e.g. IMAP, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation. IMHO, the #1 thing people can do to move email, and Internet messaging in general, forward is to just say no to clients and servers that don’t support open standard protocols.

  89. There’s a lot of FUD in this thread and, if forced to, I could write a long article refuting all the cluelessness, but for now I’ll refute two things:

    1. Pine does support tagging and has since version 4.60, which was released more than 2 years ago (2004 May 10). AFAIK, Pine is the only IMAP client that supports unlimited user-defined tags (aka labels or keywords).

    2. Someone in the corporate world *does* use Pine, namely Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products and User Experience at Google. I blogged about this here:
    http://deflexion.com/2006/03/pine-in-fortune-magazine-and-on-tv

    If all these email clients and servers supported a standard access protocol, e.g. IMAP, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation. IMHO, the #1 thing people can do to move email, and Internet messaging in general, forward is to just say no to clients and servers that don’t support open standard protocols.

  90. [...] Richer user experiences are inevitable: Scoble makes the case that Second Life cannot be built in AJAX. Perhaps not yet, but predictions for the future cannot be made on existing technology. When Windows was first released, no serious game developer would write games for it because it was, uhm, retarded. But game developers were pretty much the only people who stuck with writing for DOS, but even they came around because it was so much easier to develop for Windows. [...]

  91. If all these email clients and servers supported a standard access protocol, e.g. IMAP, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation. IMHO, the #1 thing people can do to move email, and Internet messaging in general, forward is to just say no to clients and servers that don’t support open standard protocols.
    Amen!

  92. If all these email clients and servers supported a standard access protocol, e.g. IMAP, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation. IMHO, the #1 thing people can do to move email, and Internet messaging in general, forward is to just say no to clients and servers that don’t support open standard protocols.
    Amen!

  93. Hahahaha. I knew someone would mention Marissa Mayer. And who else but the chief evangelist and high priestess of Pine, Nancy McGough…

    I loved how you blogged about it, with all those juicy screencaps from 24. No doubt the reason why the chick in the picture has such a look of anxiety on her face is that she can’t figure out how to get Pine to filter all the spam she’s getting. ;-)

    But maybe she doesn’t share your philosophy on spam, which is apparently to NOT filter spam, don’t fight spam, just let it happen.

    The Marissa Mayer quotes are great too. She said she gets as many as 700 to 800 emails a day, so she needs something “fast.” (She didn’t say how many of the 800 emails were spam.)

    Of course even with the blazing speed of Pine, she still can’t keep on top of her 800 emails a day, so what does she do? Quote: “I do marathon e-mail catch-up sessions, sometimes on a Saturday or Sunday. I’ll just sit down and do e-mail for ten to 14 hours straight.”

    I suppose it’s a great email client if you’re like Marissa and you love killing 14 hours on a Saturday plowing through Viagra ads.

    Call me when they figure out that Ctrl-C means Copy and Ctrl-V means Paste….

  94. Hahahaha. I knew someone would mention Marissa Mayer. And who else but the chief evangelist and high priestess of Pine, Nancy McGough…

    I loved how you blogged about it, with all those juicy screencaps from 24. No doubt the reason why the chick in the picture has such a look of anxiety on her face is that she can’t figure out how to get Pine to filter all the spam she’s getting. ;-)

    But maybe she doesn’t share your philosophy on spam, which is apparently to NOT filter spam, don’t fight spam, just let it happen.

    The Marissa Mayer quotes are great too. She said she gets as many as 700 to 800 emails a day, so she needs something “fast.” (She didn’t say how many of the 800 emails were spam.)

    Of course even with the blazing speed of Pine, she still can’t keep on top of her 800 emails a day, so what does she do? Quote: “I do marathon e-mail catch-up sessions, sometimes on a Saturday or Sunday. I’ll just sit down and do e-mail for ten to 14 hours straight.”

    I suppose it’s a great email client if you’re like Marissa and you love killing 14 hours on a Saturday plowing through Viagra ads.

    Call me when they figure out that Ctrl-C means Copy and Ctrl-V means Paste….

  95. [...] With Web 2.0 we’ve seen the good that can come when individual minds are allowed to flourish. There has been so much innovation recently, and so many good ideas that it feels a little overwhelming. I think the "platform model" will do quite well with that kind of innovation, which is why I like companies like Adobe so much. Adobe does a great job of empowering users to create world class experiences. Their goals are to make sure their users can create experiences that will run everywhere, and the Flash Player does just that. It is that ability to run everywhere that makes Flash such a good solution, and if you were to take Flash and build things on top of Google’s platform, you would have a very, very good business model – one that transcends the lock in required by Microsoft. Scoble said that he’d seen Second Life tried in Ajax and it wasn’t pretty, but what about Flash Robert? It won’t be as good as the PC version, but if you want to pop in to Second Life while you’re on your PSP in a park, wouldn’t Flash be a good alternative? [...]

  96. I sort of agree with Cody on this one.

    “It gives me peace of mind to know I’m in control of my access to my email.”

    I honestly have no clue what you’re talking about. Zero. As far as I know, if I fire up Outlook, I have to wait for my mail to be delivered to me. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but I think that means Outlook actually has to make a network connection to some box that has my mail on it. Who cares if that box is an exchange server or Google? You’re still in the same amount of control.

    Ok, so lets move away from the enterprise. What are my options now? Outlook magically giving me full control to my mail? Chances are my ISP is running an email server for me or I’m using a web-email with Outlook.

    If you want to argue that you have more control to access to your email over a local network connection as opposed to the Internet fine. But that’s a pretty lame argument if you ask me.

    Also, Robert it’s painfully obvious you don’t play video games. In Starcraft & Warcraft we could create our own games inside it. And in case you missed it, some one ported the original doom into doom 3: http://battleteam.net/tech/fis/

    And obviously Robert’s never heard of the Quake console, which has been there since v1.0: http://console.planetquake.gamespy.com/commands/quake.html#h-3

    Second Life is definitely interesting. But don’t act as if the gaming world hasn’t toyed with such ideas before it came along.

    And most importantly, what’s the coolest thing you wrote for second life (before you were banned)? Or were just praising it with minimal interaction?

  97. I sort of agree with Cody on this one.

    “It gives me peace of mind to know I’m in control of my access to my email.”

    I honestly have no clue what you’re talking about. Zero. As far as I know, if I fire up Outlook, I have to wait for my mail to be delivered to me. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but I think that means Outlook actually has to make a network connection to some box that has my mail on it. Who cares if that box is an exchange server or Google? You’re still in the same amount of control.

    Ok, so lets move away from the enterprise. What are my options now? Outlook magically giving me full control to my mail? Chances are my ISP is running an email server for me or I’m using a web-email with Outlook.

    If you want to argue that you have more control to access to your email over a local network connection as opposed to the Internet fine. But that’s a pretty lame argument if you ask me.

    Also, Robert it’s painfully obvious you don’t play video games. In Starcraft & Warcraft we could create our own games inside it. And in case you missed it, some one ported the original doom into doom 3: http://battleteam.net/tech/fis/

    And obviously Robert’s never heard of the Quake console, which has been there since v1.0: http://console.planetquake.gamespy.com/commands/quake.html#h-3

    Second Life is definitely interesting. But don’t act as if the gaming world hasn’t toyed with such ideas before it came along.

    And most importantly, what’s the coolest thing you wrote for second life (before you were banned)? Or were just praising it with minimal interaction?

  98. [...] Other companies have emerged with the sole purpose of selling digital goods in those worlds. SLexchange is a virtual market where people can buy and sell such goods. Similarly, the Electric Sheep company has created SLBoutique as a competitor to SLexchange. What is interesting here is that there is a whole ecosystem building around Second Life, allowing other companies to prosper based on this new platform. This is similar to what has happened with Ebay and allows us to better understand SecondLife as a platform for e-commerce rather than just a game, a fact that Philip Rosedale, CEO of LindenLab and the power behind Second Life, likes to emphasize. This explains why the company has received investments from people like amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, Lotus founder Mitch Kapor, Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar, and Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie. Those people understand that this a new emerging platform and could see potentially high return on their investment. [...]

  99. [...] Miss Rogue has started an interesting and provocative discussion (starting here ) on the purported death of the browser. The argument being that (connected) desktop apps are making a comeback on the strength of being more network aware but not dependent on network availability (you don’t need to be online to check your outlook calendar etc.) as well as the traditional strengths of desktop apps: better access to local filesytem, other apps and peripherals; less memory/cpu overhead and so forth. And this argument has some weight, webapps can’t solve every problem yet (though they’re getting closer, at democamp last week, I was amazed to watch a browser/flash app capturing, processing and vlog posting live from a plugged in webcam). [...]

  100. I can’t agree with you enough.
    *MY* email should be on *MY* system. I will never have it any other way.

  101. I can’t agree with you enough.
    *MY* email should be on *MY* system. I will never have it any other way.