Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

First Windows, Then Outlook

I’ve been a long-time Mac user. However, about a year ago, I started to explore using Windows 10 as my main computer. A few months later, I made the switch, carrying around and using a Windows 10 laptop for work, home, and everything else.

In the last year or so, a good number of long-time Mac users have talked about similarly switching over to Windows 10. I’m certainly not among the few, unusual, people who made this switch; it’s a growing trend. I’ve used Apple computers in the 1980s, some Mac computers also in the 1990s, and started using a Mac laptop on a daily basis since before the Mac moved to Intel processors. Some people would be startled to hear that I switched to Windows.

Apple started to lose its grip on my choice of platform when they obsoleted Aperture. Instead of moving to Photos like what Apple wants everyone to do, I chose to switch to Adobe Lightroom.

These days, my needs are mostly better served by a Windows 10 laptop than macOS can do on a Mac computer. My adventures settling down with Windows 10 will be a story to be told another day.

Despite having moved to Windows 10, I haven’t adopted any of the Microsoft mail applications. I didn’t use Windows Mail, and I didn’t use Microsoft Outlook, at least not until this month.

After having moved from Mac to Windows, my next move is about email. Again a little surprising for someone who has been using G-Suite for a really long time, I’ve decided to migrate to Microsoft Outlook.

Just as Windows 10 hasn’t been as horrible as whatever Windows predecessor had been 15 years ago, it turns out Microsoft Outlook has also improved significantly. It is actually not just quite usable, but even quite productive to use.

I’m not abandoning Gmail and G-Suite for my personal use. However, at work, where our email is hosted on Office 365, and most colleagues use lots of Outlook features, not using Outlook has become somewhat inconvenient.

A few weeks ago, I gave Outlook a try, and I felt like I’ve been living under a rock. Outlook is actually quite good, and I’ve begun to embrace the many enterprise features that the rest (or most) of my colleagues have enjoyed all this time. I even found that the Microsoft Oulook app on Android is quite usable.

Windows XP had many problems in its time. Windows Vista and Windows 8 were disasters. Those were very bad times. Microsoft, however, has actually managed to turn things around with Windows 10. I’m surprised at myself having not just moved to Windows 10, but even embracing Microsoft Outlook. The very reasons that the Mac was just better 15 years ago, is now entirely different.

This is reminder that no platform, no operating environment, is forever. Technology is ever changing. Sometimes we change because our needs change, or our needs can now be met differently. Other times, like the demise of Symbian and Blackberry, the change is forced on you.

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