The world’s worst-performing application

A few weeks ago I got a PC upgrade at work. My new PC is pretty much top of the line: nVidia 8800 GTX, 3GB of RAM, and 8 CPU cores. It’s pretty nifty.

Which makes it all the more incredible that Outlook 2007 is literally the slowest, poorest-performing application I’ve ever had the misfortune to have to use. I am fully up to date with all the service packs which claim to improve its performance, but they don’t help. I’ve disabled all superfluous add-ons, and RSS feed functionality. The bottom line seems to be that if I want it to run anywhere approaching acceptably, I need to make my mailbox (pst file) smaller.

Is it just me, or is this ridiculous? It beggars belief that I even have to be aware of how my mail is stored in files, let alone manually have to manage them and reduce them. It is simply astounding that, disregarding years of computer and web trends teaching us “put everything in a heap and use good search & management tools to deal with it”, someone at MS deliberately made working with large files slower:

To accommodate new features, Outlook 2007 introduced a new data structure for .pst files and for .ost files. In this new data structure, the frequency of writing data to the hard disk increases as the number of items in the .pst files or in the .ost files increases.

Note You cannot create a .pst file or an .ost file without this new data structure.

What? I mean, what?! Google can search over 8 billion web pages in a small fraction of a second, but because of this boneheaded decision, my spiffy PC takes literally over 5 seconds to change folders in a mail store on my local hard drive? Did everyone at MS somehow think that mail stores were not going to get any bigger?

So because of this, I have manually split my pst files. I’ve taken my files that were organised by subject matter and have been more or less forced to break them down further by time period, which amounts to almost a completely arbitrary form of division.

Well, at least I’ve still managed to get Lookout to work. I suppose that’s something, anyway. No thanks to MS.

One Response to “The world’s worst-performing application”

  1. greatbiggary says:

    This is normal. Everything is normal. Please don’t be alarmed, everyone. Everything is functioning exactly to specifications. There’s no reason to panic. If everyone will please simply relax, and go home, and await further instructions, I’m sure everything will be just fine. We did experience a minor ‘fluctuation,’ but I want to stress that everyone is completely safe, and that we have everything under control, and at no time was there any chance of a catastrophic event. The system works.

    -Dr. Spindoctor

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