Which is better? Native email or Microsoft Outlook?

I have been helping a company move to Office 365 and one of the questions was which is better? Native email or Microsoft Outlook? I think the answer is Microsoft Outlook.

Why? For many reasons. Outlook is better integrated and you don’t have to shift between several applications to see your data. Yes it doesn’t allow you to add a contact like the native app does, but it also offers many features the native app doesn’t. What is even better is Microsoft seems to sincerely want to improve the app and even solicits feedback and feature requests. I believe this is a change in Microsoft finally listening to its customers.

Which is better? Native email or Microsoft Outlook?Another strong reason to use Outlook is the fact that is supports the most common things people want to do in email. It allows people to view PDFs inline, and also share information with other programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. This is a great help to those on the go. While I don’t use these programs myself, many business people do and find them to be useful. So for a business, it makes sense to go with Office 365 on an iPad.

If you didn’t use the office applications, you could certainly buy third-party stuff that would do many of the same things. The problem is that third-party companies sometimes drop support, go out of business, and many other problems with long-term support. So it becomes kind of dangerous game to not use the vendor supplied apps for compatibility and troubleshooting reasons.

There are many fine third-party apps that are in some ways better than Office 365. However, given that most companies don’t have experienced iOS IT staff, using the Microsoft apps makes more sense. I think Microsoft became and stays popular due to more people not wanting to be retrained or learn anything new, than it being the best option.

However in this case, Office 365 is a great choice for small and mid-sized companies.

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Save your company money by switching to Macs

This isn’t just my idea, but what IBM is doing now to save money. They are saving a lot of money.

Apparently IBM has gotten tired of the high windows costs to support. It is about time. Now the 1984 Ad will have to feature a mac finder screen instead of big brother.

Isn’t it funny that over time, the enemy of Apple has changed from IBM to Microsoft, and now it is most likely Google or Facebook? Apple is still weak in network services and both of those have a huge market. Apple doesn’t seem to be able to create the same kinds of services that they do, even with all the time they have had to do so. I can understand that coming from a PC centric way of thinking to more of a distributed way of thinking takes some time.

Save your company money by switching to MacsApple has said in the past it is a consumer company, and many of its corporate ideas haven’t worked out. I was sad to see the Xserve go. I used them and thought they were great. I also am disappointed that Apple didn’t have better Active Directory support. It wasn’t easy and still has some issues. If they made this integration better, it would be easier for companies to adopt.

Of course you see this talk coming from a third-party who profits from this kind of integration. It is their best interests to push this. However I think it also shows the change that Windows isn’t meeting the needs of businesses anymore. That with the large amount of cloud based applications and services, the arguments for compatibility and needing Windows are largely gone.

Right now today, there isn’t any reason why a business can’t run on Macs. It’s a clear winner compared to Windows. The argument is that there aren’t enough Mac people to support it. I promise you that if you offer higher salaries, people will educate themselves and do what they will think gets the money.

Support always goes to the people who will pay the most. I promise you that from everyone I have worked with in IT.

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