Moving to the Dark Side

** Former IBM colleagues may not want to read this!! **

I’m am now officially a full-fledged Microsoft user. With the exception of Firefox, I find myself using Microsoft Office, XP, Media Player, Office and One Note. I’m typing this blog entry with Windows Live Writer. For years I refused to use Outlook, first because I worked for IBM Lotus, and second, because I loved the open-source mail client, Thunderbird, a Firefox companion and very light-weight app. Well poor Thunderbird got hit with the ole uninstall today as I at last figured out how to migrate my 15 years of e-mail to Outlook. This was quite a complicated process involving exporting Thunderbird messages, importing them into Outlook Express and finally exporting these into Outlook 2007. A utility written by this guy is the first thing I’ve seen after months of searching that allows you to migrate  all of your messages from Thunderbird to Outlook for free while preserving your folder structures.

I’ve been patiently waiting for Thunderbird 3.0, which has now been in development for something like 18 months. I think there are a few guys in Eastern Europe actually working on this between their day jobs and anything else better they have to do. I can wait no more. Outlook 2007 has better integration with Google and other MS applications, much better calendar support and, in general, a better user-interface. In just one day of using Outlook, I like the sleek interface, archiving capabilities, IMAP integration and advanced organizational capabilities. As a student, I was able to buy the Microsoft Ultimate edition for $59, an amazing price. 

And why the sudden embrace of Microsoft? Well as I’ve moved from 14yo hacker to computer science major to IBM software developer to IBM software salesman to professional vagabond, I find I just want software that works. I don’t want to be running scripts and reading forums and staying up to 3am trying to manipulate some .ini file or install a patch to get my work done. I won’t even go into the Linux desktop experiment I had a couple of years ago. My God, before you know it I may be a Mac user. If only I could afford their stuff….So long Thunderbird, it was a good run.

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