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Doug's Mailbag: The Case Against Google Apps Sync, More

George sides with most of you who wrote about the various shortcomings of the supposed "Exchange-killer," Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook:

I have to agree with (most of) the readers regarding Google Apps Sync. There are a number of issues that stand out: e-discovery, backups and the ability to restore, total control of the environment, tie-ins to CRM tools, etc. Being an Exchange admin, I have seen and heard of just about every crazy request you can imagine. Google is simply not equipped to handle it right now.

As for the one person that has replaced Exchange with Google? There is nothing that irritates me more than a business with an, @yahoo, @live, etc. address. It's so very unprofessional. Pay the $10 to $20 a year to register a domain and pay the extra for e-mail hosting, be it with Google, Yahoo or something else. Other than horribly bad service, there is nothing that makes me not want to do business with a company more than them not having a registered domain and/or not using it for e-mail.

Last week, Doug wrote about Microsoft's recently revealed Windows 7 downgrade plan, but noted that it only applies to high-end versions of the OS. Marc gives a reason why:

These downgrade rights are limited to high-end SKUs because it is not intended for consumers. It is intended for enterprise customers (as well as small businesses) who want to move to Windows 7 but have not completed their evaluation (or transition) of their mission-critical applications from XP to Windows 7. These rights are not intended to enable the end user to keep using XP so they can run their old, poorly-behaved applications forever.

Frankly, in my opinion, these downgrade terms are extremely liberal considering that users have know since 2007 that XP was going away!

Downgrade plans or not, a couple of you are still lukewarm (at best) about the idea of moving to Windows 7:

Let me preface what I'm going to say with the fact that I've been a user -- sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes not -- of Microsoft products for over 20 years. That said, Windows 7 in my mind is Windows Vista SE (Sorta Enhanced). It's not significantly better, it doesn't really blaze any new trails, but it does correct some -- and I mean some -- of the shortcomings Vista had when it was introduced. For instance, its memory footprint seems smaller. However, I haven't noticed that it's significantly faster than either Vista or XP. And the GUI has been tweaked just enough to convince me that Microsoft is being innovative just for the sake of changing things. Who was the rocket surgeon who decided that there was no longer a need for the Quick Launch toolbar?

On the plus side, Windows 7 seems relatively solid. It seems to break some programs that run OK in Vista, but that's more a quibble than anything. I'll just say that Windows 7 is OK -- not great, but OK. Other than the forced deadlining of XP, there's no real reason to move to it. Fine. Things change. Windows 7 is the future. Get in line now, as we slog into tomorrow. Onward.

While Windows 7 seems to fix much/most of what was wrong with Vista, we still need to test everything on all 10,000 desktops against Windows 7. Sometimes all you need is a tweak, but you have to determine that and include it in the rollout plans before you disrupt the user community. And if you think XP Mode is the cure, think again.

First, in its present form, it is a rough beta with usability issues. Second, even if it did work well, to use it you must provide each PC with two IP addresses -- one for the regular PC and one for the virtual PC. With many of our subnets configured fairly tightly (as would most efficient telecommunication environments) there isn't room on each subnet for another IP address. Not that there couldn't be a workaround, but each time you add a twist or turn, you add complexity and another thing to go wrong. And since when would any responsible corporate customer adopt a new operating system without testing the RTM against their current population of applications and other software? Imagine if that was how Vista was handled.

But Jeff just hears the same, old song from the detractors:

Is it my imagination or are some of the IT folks that write into you some of the whiniest people -- more whiney than end users -- when it comes to software upgrades? I love the constant "how dare Microsoft force me to upgrade" rants; they are quite hysterical.

Tune in on Friday for more reader letters, including your thoughts on good IT/bad IT. Meanwhile, share your thoughts below or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on 06/24/2009 at 1:16 PM


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