What About Outlook?

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2008-10-02 Print this article Print


What About Outlook?

Microsoft's decision long ago to market its Outlook e-mail and calen??ídaring application in with the rest of its Office suite has led most people to expect that all office productivity suites should come along with an Outlook analog. OpenOffice.org has never included such an application in its suite, and this state of affairs has not changed with version 3.

Instead, the OpenOffice.org project is pushing the duo of Mozilla's Thunderbird mail cli??íent and Lightning calendaring add-on as its preferred route to replacing Outlook. In my testing of the Thunderbird/Lightning combo, I've been pleased overall with the pair's performance and functional??íity, particularly regarding the spam filtering duties that Out??ílook tends to handle poorly.

However, the big prob??ílem with Thunderbird as an Outlook replacement is the absence of the Mes??ísaging API protocol through which Outlook talks to Exchange. For e-mail, enabling IMAP in Exchange will do the trick, but Lightning does not link up to Exchange's calendar and task list.

Lightning does support remote cal??íendars exposed through iCal, CalDAV or Sun's Java System Calendar Server, but the Exchange omission will pose problematic for many businesses, which would do well to remember that there's no reason why one can't simply team OpenOffice.org with Outlook.

eWEEK Labs Executive Editor Jason Brooks can be reached at jbrooks@eweek.com.


As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

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