Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

More Vista and Microsoft Outlook 2007 problems

Posted by shannonclark on August 4, 2007

I am beginning to think that Vista and Microsoft in general is going backwards. My current Vista Tablet (a Lenovo Thinkpad X60), which is a dual core intel laptop with 1GB ram, 1GM “memoryboost SD Card”, a 1400×1050 resolution tablet screen, and lots of other bells and whistles (fast, large hd, wifi, bluetooth etc) is by far the slowest and worst laptop I have owned in at least a decade or more – and from a lost productivity standpoint probably ever.

And I have owned a lot of laptops, almost all of which were for their time close to the top of the line. My first being a great Compaq laptop in 1993.

I spent most of the last two weeks getting various hardware faults fixed on my laptop – a broken screen, bad daughter cards and then this week an entirely new systemboard.

At the moment, however, all the hardware faults should have been solved.

However here are my symptoms so you can see what I mean when I say this is the worst OS/laptop combination I have ever used.

1. Startup takes 4-5 minutes. From turning the computer on to having everything booted and working, it routinely takes as long as 5 minutes or more (and not infrequently something about the process fails – not always with notifications either)

2. “sleep” mode is totally and utterly useless and also takes 4-5 minutes to engage IF it works at all.  In theory closing my laptop’s screen or selecting the sleep option on the windows menu should engage “sleep” mode. However more than 1/2 the time this totally fails – and most of the time it takes 4-5 minutes from when I close the screen to when the sleep light is on and everything is in powered down mode. Just this afternoon it utterly failed to engage sleep mode at all – instead leaving me in a mode from which my only option was to power down and reboot.

3. waking from sleep mode takes 3-4 minutes or more – and more often than not upon waking up devices such as my wifi stop functioning.

4. Shutdown more often than not causes faults – I’ve crashed windows explorer while shutting down. Not uncommonly it takes a good 4-5 minutes to shutdown the laptop.

And not this afternoon here are my problems with Outlook 2007. In theory this version of Outlook can handle large mail archives and should be smooth and richly functional.

I have about 2GB of mail in my main mailbox in Outlook (much more in archives but don’t have those even on this machine). In my main contacts addressbook I have about 1100 contacts at the moment (I have about 6000 in total in other contacts folders).

This afternoon I have been entering in contacts from business cards I collected at recent events.

I am running the Plaxo plug-in for Outlook (and a few others)

When I open up a new contact the window is initially unfilled in and takes a good 30 seconds or so to be editable.

While I am entering text, more often than not the cursor starts to spin and my text may or may not ever get entered and it never shows up as I type, it usually is a few seconds delayed (this as I am entering notes into the notes field – when I met someone, their bio from their websites etc)

When I go to enter a phone number I am unable usually to even select the phone number field, but instead have to wait for the cursor to again spin and only then am I able to enter a phone number.

What’s more, when I go to the main outlook window and try to search for a contact I JUST ENTERED – I get back a result that there is no contact with that name!

This type of response as well as user experience is totally unacceptable from a modern piece of software. Indexes should be updated as I entered a new contact – but even if they are not, the time a modern dual core system should take to search a mere 1100 contacts (or in my case if they have to search all my contacts folders about 6000) really should be microseconds. In no case should I get a response that there is no contact with that name when I have just entered one!


I do like Outlook’s contact forms generally speaking – I can finally easily include photos, long form bios etc -though I’d like a lot of changes to the overall fields (for one “IM” is a useless field – I need to be able to note WHICH IM SYSTEM someone has) and today I really should be able to track multiple related websites for most people (blogs and company websites for example)

But if this level of non-performance keeps up I am going to utterly give up on Microsoft (and if you want to buy a really nice tablet – to say run Ubuntu on – contact me, I probably will sell this and get a Mac)

4 Responses to “More Vista and Microsoft Outlook 2007 problems”

  1. Pat Moore said

    So did you sell the Tablet? Curios because I am looking to replace my current computer and am wondering the same thing… should I ditch for a Mac. The major reason I say no … is that I can’t easily get the latest versions of java on the Mac. ( search the Apple web site for java some time!)

  2. TJude said

    You really can’t run all that in a meg. I wouldn’t even begin to waste time troubleshooting any issues until you had enough memory to hold Vista. All of your issues seem to be memory-realted.

    FWIW, I have a 2 gig Vaio and have some small issues with Outlook 2007, but generally, this machine performs much much better than the Fujitsu N3510 with XP (and 2 GB) that I finally threw in the garbage and got a real computer.

  3. julia said

    My Outlook 2007 on vista won’t launch — it has worked fine for the past year and now it won’t launch — please advise.

  4. Hugo said

    Good day

    I cannot open any links send to me as the message reads” due to restrictions on this computer the link cannot be accessed.

    please help!

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