Can you use Microsoft Outlook with Google Apps? Yes.
Should you use Microsoft Outlook with Google Apps? No.
"Stop using Outlook." We know we sound like a broken record but seriously, stop it! Outlook is a huge piece of software, inherently complicated, that you're using for no reason.
- I like it.
- I'm used to it.
- I need my folders.
- I've used it forever.
- I don't want to change.
- I'm not interested in learning something new.
No doubt these are valid 'buts' and if we were talking about two equivalent options, that would be the end of the conversation. But the options are not equivalent.
Outlook runs on that little spinning disc in your computer, along with everything else on your computer. If you take your hard disk drive out of your computer and open it, it looks like this.
This hard drive is the engine powering Outlook as well as every other program on your computer. Before Software-as-a-Service and Cloud Computing, all your applications lived on this hard drive.
Where does Gmail live? Gmail runs on multiple data centers simultaneously, you can check them out here if you're interested in learning more. Tens of thousands of servers (and hard drives!), geographic redundancy, network redundancy, storage redundancy, backup redundancy, hundreds of support engineers and billions of dollars invested annually.
Comparing Outlook to Gmail is like comparing the 9 volt battery in your smoke detector to the power plant providing electricity to your home. It's not even remotely close to being a valid comparison. Regardless of how much you liked 9 volt batteries, I doubt you'd use them to power your entire home because it would be a huge pain in the butt and something would always be going wrong and need your attention.
At Umzuzu we support 10's of thousands of people leveraging Google Apps. We hear from people using Outlook on a daily basis because something isn't working correctly. All while the people using Gmail require little more support than they do when using Linkedin, Facebook, Amazon.com or their personal Gmail account. While Outlook users troubleshoot, Gmail users go about the business of their business.
Change is hard and we understand that. Breaking the habits of Outlook can be just as difficult as breaking other bad habits in your life. This is identical to conversations we had around Blackberry devices over the past few years. People would have a wide range of Blackberry issues and wanted the right answer for how to fix it. The right answer was to get rid of the Blackberry. Many of us fought this change but then we caved and got an iPhone or Android device and didn't look back.
The right answer is to get rid of Outlook.
Change takes time, change can be painful, and learning something new is hard work. But investing in learning how to leverage modern web applications will pay dividends over the next few years. The Web is the platform going forward in every way the desktop was the platform of the past few decades. Become an expert at leveraging modern cloud computing services and everything you want is at your fingertips.
Replacing Outlook with Gmail will save you weeks of time every year. How is that possible?
- Most of your time in Outlook is spent organizing, not communicating
- A global network of data centers is more reliable than one hard disk
- Browser software is more reliable than desktop mail client software
- Any device is your device - you're less reliant on computers, they're all at your disposal
- There are dedicated Gmail apps for iOS and Android
We want you to stop using Outlook because you have more important things to do with those weeks of life.
Need help breaking the habit? Check out these resources: