Outlook 2007 users complain about slow performance

RSS feeds, search indexing and other new features put brakes on e-mail client

Early users of Outlook 2007, the latest version of Microsoft's market-leading e-mail client, are voicing widespread complaints about the software's sluggish performance.

Symptoms being reported by users include temporary freezes when commands are executed or windows are opened, an inability of Outlook to keep up with text as it is being typed and slowness in sending and receiving e-mails.

Most of the problems don't appear to be the result of underpowered PCs or of faulty or misconfigured e-mail servers. Instead, users say, and Microsoft acknowledges, that the underlying cause is changes made under Outlook's hood to accommodate new features such as RSS feeds and indexing for faster searches.

Some bloggers working with beta versions of Outlook 2007 have been complaining for months. Even loyalists such as Microsoft's Most Valuable Professionals -- the company's elite corps of unpaid technical helpers -- are grumbling.

"A lot of MVPs are complaining about Outlook's performance," said Paul Robichaux, an MVP who works as a Microsoft Exchange consultant at 3Sharp, an IT services firm in Redmond, Wash.

For Robichaux, Outlook 2007 tends to freeze when he's trying to download e-mail from his Exchange Server. It also holds outgoing e-mail indefinitely instead of sending the messages promptly, he said. Robichaux is sure that the problem isn't with Exchange because other, near-identical PCs that are running Outlook 2007 and are connected to the same e-mail server work fine. "Clearly, there are some things I don't understand," he said.

Jason Clarke, who works in the technical sales and marketing department at Wenco International Mining Systems in Richmond, British Columbia, receives about 100 e-mails on a daily basis. He said that on his PC, Outlook 2007 "hangs completely for three to seven seconds typically, and up to 20 seconds in worst cases when new mail is being downloaded."

Turning off Outlook add-ins that he has installed, such as ClearContext Corp.'s e-mail management software and Caelo Software Inc.'s Nelson Email Organizer, "does improve matters marginally, but not nearly as much as it should," Clarke said. "The hesitation is still very noticeable, jarring even."

Clarke, who oversees Wenco's e-mail system, has posted information about Outlook's slow performance on his personal blog. He blames the problems on the new e-mail indexing engine that Outlook 2007 shares with Windows Vista.

The indexing allows searches to be done almost instantly in Outlook 2007, a vast improvement over Outlook 2003. However, the process also appears to be CPU-intensive. Microsoft recommends that users put indexing on a regular schedule instead of letting it run constantly in the background.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?