CIO has run two articles in a pro versus con formula about using Microsoft Outlook for e-mail.  While it's nice to see point/counter-point, both articles start from the premise that Outlook is the only corporate e-mail client.  Um, I -- and 40% of the market -- beg to differ.  Considering that CIO has recently run several interesting articles on Lotus Notes, it's quite surprising to see this blind spot manifest.

From the pro:

Say what you will about it (nicely--this is a professional forum), but you'll have to admit that Outlook has improved with each version. It gets easier to use, smarter and plays better with other software. To me, Outlook 2007 is the jewel of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite.... I, on the other hand, am rather fond of the current iteration, so here are a few reasons why Outlook is the best choice for your corporate e-mail client.

1. Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Play Well Together

If your e-mail server runs Microsoft Exchange, Outlook is a no-brainer. They go together like bacon and eggs, toast and coffee, peaches and cream.
That's a reason?  Really?  In fact, several of the reasons boil down to "it works with other Microsoft products".  I am really, really surprised that a publication targeted at CIOs would suggest that companies embark on a vendor-led product strategy, rather than a business requirements-driven one.

The anti-Outlook article has some key points, but they are mostly at the deep, technical level:
The reality: letting this software behemoth slip into your desktop PCs is like inviting a vampire into your house. Before you know it, everyone and everything's bled dry.  ...

Really, there's only one thing to do if you're considering handing Outlook to your users. Get some counseling, for starters. Then arrange some for your users base, and especially your help desk or poor Joe over there in the corner who helps people with their desktop PC problems while doing his four other jobs.

If you don't get some therapy now and you insist on moving forward with Outlook, then I suggest buying stock in antacids. You're gonna need them.
While that certainly feels good for those on the IBM Lotus side of the fight, it doesn't sound like an article I'd bring to a CIO.  Hope the next one steps it up a level.

Link: 10 Reasons to Use Microsoft Outlook for Your Company's E-mail >
Link: 7 Reasons Not to Use Microsoft Outlook for Your Company's E-mail >  (Thanks, Antony/David/Darren)
Updated: Link: Darren Adams takes this one head on >

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