December 2 2004
It's not really hard to understand the "why" of it if you just take a mathematical moment to think it through. Outlook is a part of Microsoft's Office Suite, but it is something of an odd man out when it comes to the basic architecture of Office applications. It doesn't handle files the same way, it has its own version of editing commands -- in short it just doesn't work the same as other Office applications.Dickinson's arguments seem to fly in the face of every Microsoft proponent I've ever met -- "Outlook works just like Office", "our users know how to use Office" -- so this is a fascinating one.
Outlook doesn't even work much like most Windows applications, and that alone makes desktop Outlook a maintenance and support nightmare. Take that concept and multiply it by the number of users an Exchange administrator might have to support--say 25,000 users--and you get the idea that desktop Outlook might just be a problem.
The thought that OWA could replace Outlook kind of makes sense -- other than offline (including archives), there's little incremental benefit to Outlook as an installed client. This is quite different from Notes, where actual applications run in the client environment. So, interesting thought that Outlook might no longer be a client of utility.
Link: Messaging Pipeline: Why use Outlook Web Access? >