MozillaZine

NewsForge's Robin Miller on Converting Outlook Users to Mozilla

Monday June 23rd, 2003

marcoos writes: "'Friends don't let friends use Outlook Express,' writes Robin Miller on NewsForge. So, what's the solution? Yes, Mozilla Mail&News."


#1 I don't think Mozilla MailNews is quite good

by youying <youying@gcn.net.tw>

Monday June 23rd, 2003 9:16 PM

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Lots of bugs! Draft/Template forgets HTML message. Addressbook contains lots of bugs. Forward as Inline losts image in HTML style message. It seems that Mozilla.org is more interested in browser than in MailNews.

#13 Re: I don't think Mozilla MailNews is quite good

by pepejeria

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 8:25 AM

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I actually decided to give Mozilla Mail a chance the ohter day and I really really like it, but unfortunally, its not to publish enough, and its feel unfinished. So, no, I wouldnt recommend it to anybody using Outlook Express to switch.

#27 Re: Re: I don't think Mozilla MailNews is quite go

by zookqvalem

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 8:06 PM

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Amen to that! I tried it out and tried to stick to it as the best as I could, yet the Mozilla Mail/News fall short. I got fed up with it's incompatibility with MS-Exchange for Mails, so I dumped it and went back to MS-Outlook. As for the newsgroup, it was better but still need some work. From the look of this software, reality had sinked in that this Mozilla Mail/News won't be ready for prime time for another 5 years or so. That's the way it is with Mozilla developer's slow pace and the continous swepting under the rug full of bugs.

#16 it has bugs... but it doesnt spread viruses

by joschi

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 9:45 AM

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outlook has more than its fair share of bugs too, but mozilla mail doest send viruses to all my closest friends and family and bosses, which is a reather large bonus to me.

#26 Re: it has bugs... but it doesnt spread viruses

by zookqvalem

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 7:54 PM

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This point is a moot because anti-virus software and firewall exist to filter this out.

#28 no. it is not moot.

by joschi

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 10:20 PM

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the fact remains that outlook viruses are the most common in the wild still. microsoft has shown for years that it doesnt value security, this is one of hte best selling points of mozilla.

#2 Please, save us from this drivel

by augustz

Monday June 23rd, 2003 10:16 PM

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I enjoy reading mozillazine for accurate interesting news about my favorite brower (phoenix). But I've gone back to Outlook as my primary client for a bunch of reasons, despite having run mailnews for half a year. There are a fair number of very real reasons not to make the switch yet, the issues is not as black and white as Robin Miller would make it appear.

#7 Re: Please, save us from this drivel

by peterlairo <Peter@Lairo.com>

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 3:20 AM

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I've used Mozilla MailNews since 1999 and find it a very reliable and full-featured e-mail client.

Could you be a bit more specific about what your "real reasons" are for using the horrible OE?

#14 Re: but does not this cause hangs?

by FattMattP

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 8:27 AM

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He didn't say Outlook Express. He said Outlook which is a different program entirely. Mozilla doesn't even do some of the things that Outlook can. Outlook does a lot more than just email.

#21 Re: Re: but does not this cause hangs?

by STED

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 3:51 PM

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> Mozilla doesn't even do some of the things that Outlook can. Outlook does a lot more than just email.

Yes, we already know that outlook has virusspreading features not available in Mozilla. Mozilla already plugins for calendar and spellchecking.

What other are all those features of outlook missing? And while we are at it, when will outlook get intelligent spamfiltering?

#32 Outlook features

by FattMattP

Wednesday June 25th, 2003 5:46 PM

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> Yes, we already know that outlook has virusspreading > features not available in Mozilla.

Only if you don't install the security patches. You do install the security patches on your system, don't you?

> Mozilla already plugins for calendar and spellchecking. > What other are all those features of outlook missing?

The task list where I can create tasks, assign them to other people or myself and make notes about what needs to be done/status/etc. The journal where you can track items related to a contact. I use it to track tasks, phone calls placed, emails, meetings, and documents related to one or more client. I couldn't live without the journal. I use it every day to track how I interact with clients and coworkers. I also feel that the presentation of contacts in my address book is much better than how Mozilla handles it.

#3 You've hot mail!

by tepples <tepples@spamcop.net>

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 12:06 AM

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Mozilla MailNews is not an Outlook Express replacement for those (such as myself) who use Outlook Express to retrieve Hotmail. Most people who use Outlook Express do not have Perl or Python installed to run things such as Gotmail.

#10 Re: You've hot mail!

by Cameleon

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 5:10 AM

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You can use Hotmail Popper (<http://www.boolean.ca/hotpop/>), then you can get hotmail from any email client. It's free.

#12 Gotmail and Mozilla?

by eiseli

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 6:54 AM

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I've just installed gotmail and it's working fine. I've been using to set it up using this <http://dot.kde.org/1056385111/> . (not that I'm using hotmail, nor kmail, but it was an interesting setup).

While I'm completely satisfied with Mozilla mail, I'm wondering if there's an easy way to set up Mozilla to look into local mailboxes as does KMail.

What I did: created the .hotmail and .gotmail directories, installed the perl modules, run gotmail, noticed that curl was missing on my system and installed it. Then everything was really working well. I symlinked ~/.hotmail/Inbox to my mozilla Mail/server/hotmail and created a cronjob so that it checks every hour for new mail (anyways, that's overkill for the 1 legitimate message I get every month... and the remaining is spam anyways).

Ok, so working, but I think it's not as professional a solution like one can do in KMail (set up a folder, tell to look in a mailbox folder located there, tell to use that program located there in order to fetch new mail etc...

Anyone got a suggestion how to do that better in Mozilla mail, and point me to bug numbers if there are any? Thanks so much in advance.

#20 Re: Gotmail and Mozilla?

by mozzmike <mikeweezer@interair.com.br>

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 12:00 PM

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I'm not sure if this answers your problem, but you can specify the directory where an Account's mail is stored in MozMail (Account Settings > Server Settings > Local Directory)

#31 Re: Re: Gotmail and Mozilla?

by eiseli

Wednesday June 25th, 2003 10:26 AM

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Well no, not really. I want to have my mail all at the same place. So I would have to symlink that directory the other way round into the place where I have my mail accounts. And creating a new _account_ just for having one folder at a different place looks like overkill to me. I've looked at Evolution too, in the mean time, and notice they also have the ability to have the account type Mbox, which Mozilla doesn't have (yet). So I feel this is really a thing (feature or extension) that is missing in Mozilla.

#34 Re: Re: Gotmail and Mozilla?

by luke_kendall

Tuesday October 12th, 2004 11:13 PM

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Many years ago I shifted from Nextstep to Linux, and kept my NS Mail.app mailboxes in the move. Since then I've been using Postilion.

I'm currently evaluating Thunderbird. This means I want to test it out on (some of) my exiisting mbox files.

So I made 3 discoveries with Thunderbird 0.5:

1) The Account Settings Local directory option appears not to be implemented. You can browse to a ~/mail directory, but it doesn't change the ~/.thunderbird/s1k....default/ directory.

2) You can make a hard link from an mbox file in a directory into the ~/.thunderbird/s1k....default/ directory, but when you compact folders, instead of writing to a temporary file and then copying that over the existing file (which would preserve hard links), thunderbird removes and renames the new file, so the hard link is broken. I.e., don't use hard links.

3) You can make a symlink into your existing mail directory structure. This seems to work okay, even after compaction. Interestingly, a .msf file is created in both the ~/.thunderbird/s1k....default/ directory and the actual directory that the symlink points to. Perfect!.

I couldn't find any information about this in the FAQ. Also, I'm kind of assuming that Thunderbird uses locking, so if I do slip up and open the same mailbox from different MUAs at the same time, it will back off or open it in read-only mode.

#35 Re: Re: Gotmail and Mozilla?

by luke_kendall

Wednesday October 13th, 2004 7:16 PM

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Many years ago I shifted from Nextstep to Linux, and kept my NS Mail.app mailboxes in the move. Since then I've been using Postilion.

I'm currently evaluating Thunderbird. This means I want to test it out on (some of) my exiisting mbox files.

So I made 3 discoveries with Thunderbird 0.5:

1) The Account Settings Local directory option appears not to be implemented. You can browse to a ~/mail directory, but it doesn't change the ~/.thunderbird/s1k....default/ directory.

2) You can make a hard link from an mbox file in a directory into the ~/.thunderbird/s1k....default/ directory, but when you compact folders, instead of writing to a temporary file and then copying that over the existing file (which would preserve hard links), thunderbird removes and renames the new file, so the hard link is broken. I.e., don't use hard links.

3) You can make a symlink into your existing mail directory structure. This seems to work okay, even after compaction. Interestingly, a .msf file is created in both the ~/.thunderbird/s1k....default/ directory and the actual directory that the symlink points to. Perfect!.

I couldn't find any information about this in the FAQ. Also, I'm kind of assuming that Thunderbird uses locking, so if I do slip up and open the same mailbox from different MUAs at the same time, it will back off or open it in read-only mode.

#4 Crappy review

by vfwlkr

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 12:16 AM

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Looks like a CNET fanboy review, i'm quite unimpressed.

Call it nitpicking, but looks like the author did not even have enough to say. - Won't download or pass on most viruses or worms is mentioned as reason #1 and #5 for switching.

#5 Re: Crappy review

by vfwlkr

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 12:17 AM

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and reason #8 too! wow....

#22 outlook is the #1 virusspreader

by STED

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 3:56 PM

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Are you unfamilear that outlook is the #1 virusspreader of all times?

If you where not as ignorant that you would understand WHY exactly that point was listed 3 times...

#6 bad arguments

by jilles

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 1:36 AM

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This presents all the wrong arguments. If you properly configure outlook, you won't be affected by viruses, worms etc. Most problems arise from people using older, improperly configured outlook express versions. Viruses were not the reason I migrated to thunderbird a few weeks back.

Reasons were: - I wanted to try something different - Outlook performs poorly on large amounts of mail - Thunderbird looks cool and has the potential to become even cooler shortly (yay extensions) - The builtin junk mail filtering of thunderbird compares favorably to the many free and non free alternatives for outlook.

However, what I've noticed is that - The thunderbird UI already addresses quite a few issues with mozilla mail (I never liked it) - The thunderbird UI still needs a lot of work - Many usability issues remain to be addressed in the UI.

Putting it all together, I would recommend newby users not to bother with mozilla mail (since it will soon be abandoned by its developers) or thunderbird (not even alpha quality) yet. The advantages are not very compelling and you'll need a virusscanner regardless of whether your mail client opens viruses automatically or not.

Wait for thunderbird to mature and then migrate.

#8 Re: bad arguments

by mlefevre

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 4:25 AM

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Poor performance is another one that's not currently a good argument... Mozilla Mail's performance with lots of email, both with local folders and IMAP, is nothing like as good as Outlook Express, IME.

Security, as you say, is a poor argument. After a long history of being crap, Microsoft's email clients are actually quite paranoid about what they will run these days. Jumping around going "look, look, our product is 110% secure" is not wise - one big security flaw and you're dead.

Rob gives 8 items in his list - 3 are the security thing, pop-up blocking and full screen windows are browser things, not email things (neither Outlook client or Mozilla mail news will run script in email), multiple email accounts - again, that feature is in both. Which leaves turning off GIF animation (not the most impressive feature ever) and the junk email filters.

The two points which are probably behind this thinking aren't stated: a) it's not Microsoft b) it's open source. Of course, your average Windows user probably wouldn't see those as compelling arguments.

#23 Security a bad argment?

by STED

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 4:07 PM

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> Most problems arise from people using older, improperly configured outlook express versions.

Oh, so you really assume that most people that use outlook both has downloaded and installed the latest version as well as are knowledgable enough to know how to properly configure it...

Interestingly I had just the opposite idea about the _average_ outlook user. Namely it's the totaly security ignorant user that just uses outlook becuse it came installed on his/her computer.

A default mailapp preinstalled (for the conveniance of the newbie) should never ever have been made as unsecure as it was (and in some aspects still is).

If the medias wasn't so chicken and properly called all the "MS outlook exploits" for what the really are instead of "mail virus" a lot more people would have changed to basicly ANY other mailclient by now.

#24 Re: Security a bad argment?

by mlefevre

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 5:32 PM

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Outlook does not come with Windows - Outlook users are generally in organisations, and generally do upgrade, or otherwise protect their systems.

Outlook Express is what there are a lot of home users out there that haven't upgraded, but the proportion is dropping.

The big viruses of the past few months are not just Outlook/Outlook Express exploits, they rely on the user opening them (which is actually easier in Mozilla than in recent Microsoft clients), and then pick up email addresses from various places on the hard drive, including Mozilla/Netscape address books.

Yes, the security sucked, but it doesn't any more. No, it should have been preinstalled in that crappy config, but it isn't any more. If we're trying to get people to move _now_, and they haven't bothered to upgrade their existing client, then the security argument isn't going to do it.

#33 You are correct

by bheerssen

Thursday June 26th, 2003 9:04 AM

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Security arguments will not wash with people who use the default Outlook Express installation. These people either do not care, are ignorant of the alternatives, or do not have the confidence/ability to install the alternatives.

The way I see it, the only way that Mozilla Mail/News will make any headway in the mainstream markets is to convince OEMs to bundle their product with Mozilla Mail/News by default. Unfortuanately, MS is still engageing in the types of anti-competive practices that discourage such default installations. This is where, IMO, we should be directing our efforts.

If HP, Dell, or Gateway were to install Mozilla Mail/News as the default email client instead of Outlook Express, we would definitely see this situation improve. So, if anyone has any insights on how to accomplish that, speak up - we sure could use some ideas in that dept.

Of course, the problem with that is that MS insists that Outlook Express and Internet Explorer are set up as the default email client / web browser. I can't presume to know the details of these arrangements, but I suspect that if OEMs we to install something else to act as the default, they would risk losing their contracts with MS, thereby forcing them to buy OEM versions of Windows at the going market rate, or even be prohibited from installing Windows in the first place. That is significant pressure - exceedingly few people are willing to buy a PC without Windows pre-installed on it.

#9 Uh, multiple accounts 'no problem'? I think not

by leafdigital

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 4:47 AM

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Multiple accounts are no problem... in *Outlook Express*. It works fine, although you do have to make a few kludges during setup.

Reading mail: you can have as many accounts as you want, and they all place mail in the same inbox so you can read it conveniently. (If you really want to separate mail, it's easy to filter it to other folders.)

Can you do that in Mozilla mail?

Sending mail from multiple accounts: you can have as many accounts as you want, including different names for the same 'real' account (e.g. <sam@myaddress.com>, <webmaster@myaddress.com>). It's easy to configure it so that, every time you send a message, a dropdown right there on the message lets you select the 'from' account.

Can you do that in Mozilla mail?

With these two missing features (last time I looked anyway, and the relevant bugs aren't marked fixed) Mozilla's support for multiple accounts is very much poorer than Outlook Express - and, as a multiple account user, I don't consider Mozilla an alternative worth switching to until these features are added. (Sure, I *could* live without them - but why should I when I'm using a perfectly decent mail client already? I have no security problems with Outlook Express, it's all locked down.)

Mozilla Mail's support for multiple accounts is great when you compare it with the old Netscape 4 version, yes. But it's poor when compared to Outlook Express.

(I'm not arguing the other features, obviously security is much better, also spam filtering. Bear in mind though that many of the listed advantages don't apply if your OE is set up correctly and kept updated with patches.)

--sam

#11 Re: Uh, multiple accounts 'no problem'? I think no

by Cameleon

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 5:16 AM

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Receiving on multiple accounts: Mozilla does this exactly the other way around: mail from different accounts is seperated by default, and an easy filter can put them all in one folder if you want.

Sending on multiple accounts: works exactly the same as with Outlook. It defaults to the email address of the folder you're in, and in the 'compose' screen, there's a dropdown box to select other account addresses.

#15 Re: I'm with you on this one

by antroy

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 8:58 AM

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I definitely prefer Moz Mail/News over OE, but the latter point is an issue. I have as many email addresses as I want i.e. <anything@domain.com>, and like to use different ones for different tasks for filtering purposes - Mozilla only gives you the choice of one address per account. I'd like to have a single account set up, with the option of sending mail from <moz@domain.com>, <java@domain.com>, <news@domain.com> etc etc.

#18 Re: Re: I'm with you on this one

by flacco

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 11:01 AM

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I'd like to have a single account set up, with the option of sending mail from <moz@domain.com>, <java@domain.com>, <news@domain.com> etc etc.

Add me to the "me too" list on this (lack of) feature. sure you can work around it by creating a bunch of useless, bogus accounts just to get the addresses in the dropdown, but then you end up with a hugely cluttered account/folder tree.

here's my ideal implementation:

- addresses are associated with accounts - multiple addresses per account - an account has a default address - an account can be set up to have NO default address - addresses (not accounts) are associated with SMTP servers - for new messages, mailer defaults to default address - for replies, mailer defaults to the To address of the message

notes:

1) the ability to have NO default From: address for an account forces you to consciously specify a From: address before sending. This is crucial to avoid accidentally sending a message with the wrong From address.

2) likewise, with replies, defaulting the From address to the To address helps avoid sending from the wrong account.

#30 Yeah, the problem is cluttered folder tree

by leafdigital

Wednesday June 25th, 2003 7:25 AM

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Exactly. It's *possible* to do both these things in a hacky workaroundy type way, but when I tried this requires you to hugely clutter the folder tree. Even if your accounts filter to the same inbox, you can't get rid of those other unnecessary sets of folders. I want to see one set of folders, not two, never mind five.

The obvious way to handle this would be, when adding an account, to select whether it uses an existing folder tree or a new one. I think this is described in the relevant bug.

Maybe for some people the Mozilla system is better than the OE system, I don't dispute that (we could argue which should be default), but there's room for both and it doesn't need to add much in the way of preference clutter (certainly less than the UI clutter currently forced on people with multiple accounts).

--sam

#29 Re: Uh, multiple accounts 'no problem'? I think no

by Tar

Wednesday June 25th, 2003 2:50 AM

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<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=157372> enhancement: multiple smtp/pop3 accs per set of folders maybe dupe of <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=30057> <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46041> <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=58380> <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=126341>

And also some other bugs that stick out:

Really annoying <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=75866> Viewing message for very short time shouldn't mark it as read

<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=187578> From-field when replying to message in "local folders" should be "To"-field of original

#17 It's time that Mozilla.org face the music

by youying <youying@gcn.net.tw>

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 10:26 AM

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It's abvious that Mozilla MailNews is not as good as browser. Hope this make the Mozilla.org face the music and fix lots of bugs in MailNews. Please do not release 1.4 final with full of bugs in MailNews.

#19 Re: It's time that Mozilla.org face the music

by bzbarsky

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 11:59 AM

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1.4final is basically done and has been for weeks.

In any case, this is one benefit of moving to standalone applications -- independent release dates for the various components. So that mail is not tied to the browser releases or vice versa.

#25 I don't think Mozilla MailNews is quite good

by youying <youying@gcn.net.tw>

Tuesday June 24th, 2003 7:10 PM

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Alas...So that means lots of regressions about MailNews still exists and will be released. Bad news...