Outlook 2007 on Vista with RDC is driving me crazy

I have written about Outlook 2007 here before, usually in relation to performance. The hotfix that was released back in April has mostly fixed that problem for me, but I have a new problem.

Outlook 2007 on Windows Vista is a piece of shit when it comes to accessing it through Remote Desktop.

I haven’t been able to take a screenshot of this yet, but essentially it renders the computer (or at least the remote desktop session) unusable. Outlook 2007 works fine for a while, but minimize it one too many times, and the next time you try to bring it up the screen is washed out with windows appearing all over the place and everything is just garbled. You can’t see the start bar either, so figuring out how to close it or get rid of it is problematic. I have to close the session and sometimes restart Outlook on the actual computer before it’ll work again.

I don’t understand what the problem is. I have tried messing with all of the RDC settings, and I am running the latest version. All the updates are installed, on both machines. The only application I have this issue with is Outlook 2007. A search on Google for ‘why does outlook 2007 on vista suck using remote desktop‘ didn’t return anything helpful either. Heh.

It’s driving me crazy. I love Outlook, but the latest version has been a real pain in the ass at times.

Any suggestions on this one? Any softies out there reading this? Help!

Microsoft releases a hotfix for Outlook 2007

Post ImageAll my posting about Outlook 2007 has come in handy! On Saturday, Kevin sent me this link, and today Justice sent me this one. Both point to a hotfix from Microsoft for Outlook 2007:

This update fixes a problem in which a calendar item that is marked as private is opened if it is found by using the Search Desktop feature. The update also fixes performance issues that occur when you work with items in a large .pst file or .ost file.

I have installed it on both my main computers, but haven’t really had a chance to test it yet. This thread at Neowin.net looks positive though. Here is the KB article, and the download page. Enjoy!

Read: Download Hotfix

A simple tip to make Outlook 2007 faster

Post ImageI use Outlook all the time, so the many problems I have found with the newest version drive me nuts. Especially the speed issue. As a result, I have spent far too much time looking for a solution. I think I finally found one though as Tris explains:

One of the big problems folks have been having with Office 2007 is Outlook. Frankly, it can be a serious dog. Sluggish, serious performance lags. All the things you don’t want in your “latest and greatest” e-mail client.

Looks like, thanks to Mack D. Male, there is a solution…I did this last night and I think it’s working.

I appreciate the nod Tris, but I’m just the messenger. Full thanks should go to Monty and Dell. Who’s Monty? Beats me. But he posted the message on the Microsoft discussion groups with the solution he got from Dell. Instructions are in the post, and in Tris’ post too, but basically the tip is to turn off all the addins in Outlook. You need to be running Outlook as an Administrator when you do this, and you should also restart Outlook after you turn them off.

I have tried this tip on two machines – one where Outlook is a POP3 client, and one where Outlook connects to Exchange. The biggest difference appears on the first one, but both seem faster when selecting messages, changing views, etc. Downloading mail doesn’t appear much faster yet. The only addin I left checked is the Windows Search Indexing.

Microsoft still needs to fix Outlook, but hopefully this tip will help you in the meantime. Let me know if it works for you!

Read: Pimp Your Work

Mini-Microsoft on Outlook 2007

Post ImageI have talked about Outlook 2007 a couple of times before, and in neither post was I singing Outlook’s praises. Nope, I love the interface tweaks, but Outlook 2007 is terribly slow. Almost so slow that it is unusable. I wonder if it would be any faster if I had 4 GB of RAM…probably not. Anyway, here’s what Mini-Microsoft had to say about Outlook 2007 recently:

I’ve learned to meditate while Outlook ruminates over ten incoming POP messages of 69K. Perhaps it takes a few seconds over each incoming message or RSS feed to contribute to solving a Grand Challenge. Or it and Desktop Search have to play 333 iterations of rock-paper-scissors everytime a change has to be written. I don’t know.

I have wondered the same thing. It has to be doing something when it’s not doing what I want it to, right? He continues:

For our customers’ sake, I hope that I’m the only one and that there is just something funky about my setup…

Sorry, no. Outlook 2007 sucks when it comes to performance, plain and simple. It can’t be your setup, because there’s thousands of threads on the Internet in which people are complaining. Please Mini, use your power to get someone to fix it!

Read: Mini-Microsoft

Outlook 2007 HTML rendering is crippled

Post ImageThe more I learn about it, the more Outlook 2007 continues to suck. First it was problems with downloading POP email, and now David Greiner tells us that HTML rendering in Outlook 2007 uses the Word engine rather than Internet Explorer:

Imagine for a second that the new version of IE7 killed off the majority of CSS support and only allowed table based layouts. The web design world would be up in arms! Well, that’s exactly what the new version of Outlook does to email designers.

You can see a full list of what is and isn’t supported at MSDN.

David wonders why Microsoft has done this, and suggests security, consistent rendering, and “they hate us” as possible explanations. I suspect security is the main reason, but like David points out, IE7 is a big step foward in security! They should just require use of IE7’s rendering engine.

So what does this mean for the average user?

All it means is that a lot of HTML emails in Outlook will be garbled and difficult to read. Nothing more, nothing less.

That sucks, especially since IE7 is pretty darn good at CSS rendering. And to be clear, it doesn’t matter if you think the world should only use text-based email. HTML email is not going to go away, and if Outlook is going to render it, I’d rather it do so correctly.

Read: Campaign Monitor

Outlook 2007 = Painfully Slow

Post ImageI started running Office 2007 recently, and for the most part I really like it. The new ribbon interface is incredibly intuitive, and the “live” preview of changes is really handy. PowerPoint is the one that impresses me the most thus far – it’s simply amazing what you can do with the new version! You really have to try the new interface to see what I mean, words just don’t do it justice.

I also upgraded from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007. If I had to describe Outlook 2007 in one word, it would be slow. I like the interface tweaks, and the instant search is handy, but the application itself is almost unusable. Downloading POP3 email takes at least ten times as long as Outlook 2003 (it is significantly faster using Exchange). Displaying messages takes longer than it used to. Loading the program takes longer. Outlook 2007 is just painfully slow. It’s amazing that this kind of a problem made it past the betas and into the final release.

I’m not the only one who has noticed the problem either. There’s a huge thread here, and a simple search turned up these posts.

I haven’t decided what I am going to do yet, but I might have to go back to Outlook 2003 until they release a fix.

UPDATE (3/14/2007): If your Outlook 2007 is slow, try this tip to help speed it up. Worked for me!