Microsoft’s ios app Outlook goes crazy

It is unfortunate but Microsoft’s iOSĀ app Outlook goes crazy. I had been using it for about a year with almost no issues, and a few days ago I woke up and my two email accounts didn’t work. They hadn’t changed, but the exchange and imap account I had both wouldn’t get email. It said there was “no connection” in the app. So I started to troubleshoot this problem.

Microsoft's ios app Outlook goes crazyThe app hadn’t recently updated, and my email information had not changed. I was not locked out of my account, and it had a strong wireless signal. In short, there was no reason why it should have acted as it did. So I did the only thing I could do. I deleted my accounts and tried to set them up again. They would not authenticate, even though the email accounts are valid. So I switched back to the iOS native email application. Too bad, I liked the fact that Microsoft seemed to have a better interface for email.

This has been my experience with Microsoft all along. At first things are great and work great. Then slowly, you get situations that seem to have no cause and just frustrate you. I have used Microsoft products for a long time, and the only thing that was solid was DOS. The more complicated Microsoft became, the more you had to handle situations that other software companies saved you from.

This isn’t an anti-Microsoft rant. I have benefited greatly as an IT person from people choosing Microsoft. Apple isn’t perfect either, so nothing is perfect and without flaws. However and this is what I find curious, when people have an Apple experience they tend to have a 90% satisfaction rating. I don’t think this is because Apple is so much better than Windows, but mostly because it doesn’t have the weird errors that you get with Windows.

Here is an example. I have some Logitech 390 headphones. They are plug and play which means that Microsoft should automatically install them when they are plugged in. That is not the case. When you have a laptop connected to a docking station and plug-in these headphones, they fail to plug and play. It should not matter if a laptop is plugged into a docking station. Plug and play should always work. So to get these headphones to work I had to delete their profile in the device manager, and plug them into the docking usb port. The average computer user expects a plug and play device to just plug and play into any usb port.

I could give many more examples, but my experience with these headphones on an Apple computer is that you plug them in and they work. This is the typical experience with using a Mac. You don’t have to install drivers, you just tend to plug things in and they work. That is plug and play. There is no reason that after a decade any Windows users should have this experience. Most people just want basic devices to work. So enable basic functionality, and if people want to do complicated stuff, then download a separate app if you need to.

So I keep trying Microsoft programs and hope they will be reliable. Is that crazy?