Thoughts about Outlook.com

Outlook.com-logoOutlook.com (previously, Hotmail) is my choice and I love it a lot. You won’t go wrong using it for sure. However, when it comes to managing contacts, I’m facing a lot of troubles that I haven’t faced on Gmail.

Those are some thoughts about People / Contact section of Outlook.com:

Import and Export

Yet they can be imported from many services, exporting contacts is only in CSV format. This isn’t a big problem. Exchange compatible applications can help here. Other emails service providers usually offer the option to import from Outlook. Gmail, on the other hand, is smart enough to organize those imported from CSV files.

Pictures

I do add pictures through Windows 10 People app or Exchange Server service on my Android’s. It’s strange that Outlook desktop application (MS Office) won’t do it. I also don’t know the reason why not all pictures are being synchronized to Outlook.com. However, they are all there on Outlook desktop app. Please note that, until now, Outlook official app on Android won’t display contacts’ pictures.

Synchronizing to Mobile

Things are perfect on Windows Phones. To synchronize Outlook.com contacts to Android’s, there are two options:

First, using Outlook official application on Android.

  • It doesn’t allow editing contacts from mobile.
  • Pictures if any won’t be synchronized to phone.
  • It doesn’t list the second phone numbers. That’s, if there is Mobile 1, Mobile 2, and Home for a contacts, the app will show Mobile 1 and Home only.

Second, Exchange Server service. Unfortunately, exchange connection doesn’t show all fields of a contact; for example, Phone-Other!

Other limitations and problems

  • A contact has 3 email fields only: Personal, Other, and Work. It also has 2 phone numbers per each. That’s, Mobile 1, Mobile 2, Home 1, Home 2, … Relatively, creating multiple contacts for one person and linking them is a real mess in term of synchronizing or editing.
  • Note field often doesn’t save data on the first trial. You have to refresh page first to make sure it was saved!
  • Deleting contacts and recreating them is a real mess. The system will keep a cached copy…
  • Some fields aren’t searchable on Outlook.com such as Suffix name.
  • The number of contacts per list is limited. Grouping is very important in organizing…
  • Skype and LinkedIn is a plus but merging/linking with existing contacts should have better options such as choosing the main one in the merging process.

It’s confusing that there are too many applications and services to manage the same contacts. That’s, we have Outlook.com in two versions, Window 10 People app, and Exchange Server in MS Office desktop app and other apps that support it! I think this could be the reason behind the mess I suffered from lately in my contacts.

A hard reset might clean the mess if any (often):

  1. Remove the account from all devices and email clients.
  2. Restart the devices.
  3. Delete the devices on Outlook.com account > Options > General > Mobile devices.
  4. Restore the account to the devices.

If I were Microsoft, I’d pay more attention to Contacts/People service. Moving contacts to a different company (e.g., Google) could affect my use of Outlook mail service itself and, by necessity, OneDrive storage service!

Do you use Outlook.com for storing/managing your contacts? Have you come across issues?

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20 thoughts on “Thoughts about Outlook.com

  1. Roland Millward

    I’m sorry to say that I have to use Outlook for work. I find that it is the most useless piece of technology for email and online storage. Google knocks it out of the park! It never fails to amaze me how Microsoft can mess things up so badly!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Mohamad Al Karbi Post author

      I have to use MS Office Outlook for work too. I never liked this desktop application at all. While, I’m big fan and lover of MS Office (Excel and Word), Office Outlook wasn’t for me at all… However, on Outlook.com, I can see a lot of beauty and organizing that I don’t see on Google mail. Storage (OneDrive) isn’t that bad but still needs some work for cloud auto updating on Office 365 if working offline. I still find some hiccups… Thank you Roland

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Mohamad Al Karbi Post author

        Sorry for delay, Roland. I meant OneDrive! Personally, I like how it’s merged with Outlook.com and my Desktop. As I use Windows computers, I find it more consistent than Google Drive or Dropbox. Though, it’s not a big deal. Microsoft should consider changing the storage limit they recently applied to new (free) users. On the other side, Outlook.com has unlimited storage in comparing Gmail. But for emails themselves I don’t find this a big problem as size is still under control

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Mohamad Al Karbi Post author

      I’m a user of Outlook.com (previously, Hotmail) since its beginning… I tried Gmail for one year. I liked its simplicity and fast processing… But, I don’t know, I love Outlook more. After all, it’s difficult to change the email address when It’s known for every one… Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. intenttowin

        I have often said that it doesn’t matter which product is the best. Usually the first one you use is the one you will stick with until something grand comes along to force you to change.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. updownflight

    I regularly use Outlook for e-mail (a verizon.net account), the calendar and contacts features, but it can be a pain in the butt sometimes. It seems like it often has problems. The calendar and contact features are the best, though.

    I also have a second e-mail account that is an outlook.com account. I hate it! It is so user unfriendly and it is a struggle to even open e-mails sometimes. Actually, it is such a struggle that I have the outlook.com e-mails forwarded to my gmail account. G-mail is great in many many ways. I use g-mail for things that load up my inbox everyday (like WordPress notifications, etc). I use the verizon through MS Outlook just for very personal e-mails from family, friends, and any organizations I contact.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Mohamad Al Karbi Post author

      Thank you, Cindy, for your notes. I agree, sometimes, I find Gmail is faster than Outlook.com. When I used Gmail for one year, I used to forward email from Outlook to it. Now, I’m doing the opposite! I usually like to have every thing in one place – emails, contacts, calendar, and tasks. I find Outlook.com is more beautiful and organized. I never find problems in terms of speed except for their contacts synchronizing as mentioned above in the post.

      As for desktop Outlook (MS Office Outlook), most of my colleagues love it except for me 🙂
      Windows 10 mail app, that is connected by default to our Microsoft (Outlook) account, is the worst for sure. At least for me. It’s not Outlook.com nor the desktop Outlook…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. mainepaperpusher

    I haven’t used Outlook since my corporate days. I loved it there because everything connected nicely. Microsoft ticked me off when they went to Office 365. I don’t want to subscribe. I want to own and be able to upgrade. Google is free and so much easier to deal with in a non-work setting. Sitll, I like OneNote, now that Evernote went the subscription route. Have I mentioned that I hate subscriptions?

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Mohamad Al Karbi Post author

      Thank you, Linda. I totally agree. I hate subscriptions too. Unfortunately, it seems to be the trend nowadays. Adobe, Evernote, and lot of famous companies are doing the same. I usually buy the normal Office application (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint). Last period, I had to change my laptop 3 times. So, I found Office 365 is cheaper then. But I won’t renew it as the reason behind changing the laptops is gone. The laptop in normal situations stay for 3 years; so buying the full application is cheaper. But we’ll loose the upgrades if any. Honestly, I don’t find real adding in the upgrades. That’s, Excel 2016 is very similar to Excel 2010… Thanks God, OneNote is still free and is doing great. I still prefer Evernote though.

      One more note, yet we don’t have to subscribe in Office 365 to use Outlook.com, Outlook.com is connected with OneDrive. The space provided in OneDrive is very limited when it’s used for free. So, I guess Microsoft should review its policy here!

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  4. -Eugenia

    I have Outlook but I don’t use it because I find it cumbersome. I like Gmail and also use Yahoo email, which I don’t care for. In fact, I have moved most of my Yahoo email to Gmail. Gmail is a piece of cake to use. IMO.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Mohamad Al Karbi Post author

      I agree too. The simplicity in Gmail is noticeable. Anyway, all are doing the same job; one won’t go wrong with using Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo. Personally, I have a Yahoo mail that is mainly used for my Flickr account; as you, I’m forwarding its emails… Thank you, Franci.

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