Why You Should Stop Using Outlook
If you are over the age of 30, chances are that you have had to use Outlook before. Depending on how long you have used Outlook, or what your company uses, you may actually think that it is the best mail client out there. If you are reading this article then there is some hope for you, because Outlook is not the best mail client out there. Far from it.
First of all, how did Outlook ever become so prevalent as a mail client? If you don’t know the terminology, a mail client is simply a piece of software used to view and organize email. The younger folks might not realize this because they are used to using modern browser-based email. Outlook gained its famous market share because at the time it was introduced, it was one of the only solutions out there for most personal and business users.
Outlook competed with things like Lotus Notes and Novell Groupwise, which you also probably haven’t heard of unless you are older or have had the misfortune of having to manage one of these legacy systems. In its defense, at the time Outlook was introduced it was innovative. The sad thing is that the Outlook client hasn’t changed a whole lot since 1997, and Microsoft has fallen woefully behind cloud superstars like Google and Apple.
The world of technology has changed a lot since 1997, and Microsoft is no longer the biggest, nor only option on the block. In fact, since Google released Gmail, it has become the go-to email service for not only free personal users but enterprise as well. Currently roughly half a billion people use free Gmail for their personal and business emails, and Google is gaining ground fast in the enterprise space.
The reason for this is simple: Google was built from the ground up as a cloud solution. Microsoft was not. In fact even today most of Microsoft’s products, regardless if they’re pitched as ‘cloud’, still require an installed software component. In fact most of the brightest people of the younger generations use Gmail, because most schools and universities in the US depend on Google as their backbone.
So, What Are the Big Reasons for Why You Should Stop Using Outlook?
#1: Software to Purchase
If you are using anything else but Microsoft as your email platform, then Outlook is one more piece of software that you have to purchase. Most cloud solutions like Google Apps make this unnecessary. If it’s the ‘look’ that keeps you with Outlook, you should know that most webmail including Google allow you to have split panes and make their services look much like Outlook.
Click the link below for a how-to on getting your Gmail to look like Outlook. Moving from Outlook to Gmail
#2: Outlook Is Not Truly Cloud
Most versions of Outlook run on the little hard drive on your computer. This makes it less secure, less stable, and more prone to failure. Why run anything on your personal or work machine when you could be using a far more powerful infrastructure like Google’s? Running something like Outlook on your personal machine also means that you are tethered there. A true cloud solution means anywhere, anytime, on any device.
#3: Mobile Functionality
Microsoft products were built pre-smartphones, while cloud solutions such as Google Apps were built with these sorts of devices in mind. Google has dedicated apps made specifically for Apple and Android devices.
#4: Google Apps Ecosystem
The most important reason why you should stop using Outlook is that you will lose the Google Apps ecosystem. Outlook was made before there were apps. Also, Microsoft is notoriously unfriendly to play with if you are another competing software. Google, on the other hand, was built to encourage and integrate with most of the best software in the marketplace.
The Google ecosystem has been so successful that many developers around the world create apps specifically for Google users. If you need a particular functionality, chances are that you can find it at the Google Apps Marketplace. Even better, once you find it you can read reviews and ‘rent’ the software for very affordable prices every month without having to make a big investment up front. Many even offer free trials. Also, chances are that your legacy systems like accounting, marketing, or CRM have made integrations with Google Apps.
Make the Switch
Hopefully you have learned enough to finally make the switch away from Outlook. The main reasons for leaving Outlook like price, functionality, and reliability are compelling, but one reason should sway you above all others. Saying goodbye to Outlook and hello to Google Apps will open a whole new world to your business. Now is the time to embrace the cloud and all of the wonderful features, benefits, and integrations that you can have at your disposal and a very low monthly cost.