I’ve dumped WLM again – it’s just too slow to startup. With my inbox dating back to 2002, and 7000+ emails, WLM takes ages to start up and thrashes the hard disk like crazy.
I considered going back to Thunderbird but then remembered that I’d lose the integration with my Windows Live contacts – something that I’ve really grown fond of and don’t want to lose.
So, I re-installed Outlook and then also got the Outlook Communicator (albeit first I got an older version which didn’t work). Outlook Communicator lets you integrate Outlook with Windows Live, so you get your inbox from Windows Live, and your calendars and address books – in fact, not only your calendar but any calendars you are subscribing to in Windows Live – neat. Another benefit is that you get full read/write access to your Live calendars in Outlook as opposed to read-only access to your Google Calendars (unless you’re using the Google Calendar sync tool, which I am for the moment).
I’m finding Outlook much faster to use than WLM, plus the integrated calendaring means that I can dump Windows Calendar as well. The only criticism I have is that you can’t (or at least I can’t see how to) get a single inbox view of all your accounts including ones subscribed to by Outlook Communicator – they show up as separate accounts in Outlook. You can at least do a global search of all emails though and they all end up in Vista’s search index.
I’ve kept WLM installed and have the emails still in it just in case, but I’ve removed .eml files from the search index so that it doesn’t clog it up and get in the way.
I’ve been using IMAP on Gmail for the past few days, then. But I’ve found that WLM is a bit "strange" with it: –
- Memory usage is now about 90mb whenever it’s running – I imagine that because of the number of emails that there are?
- It’s fairly slow to mark an email as read – maybe 1 second sometimes. Imagine that I come home and have 30 emails to read?
- Lastly – because the same email appears in both Inbox and All Mail, I get the same email twice in my Unread Mail smart folder. Any way around this?
I’m still using POP access as well because I’m not entirely sure whether this is the way to go, and I want to easily switch back to POP if I decide to.
I’m toying with the idea of using IMAP full-time for accessing my Gmail. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being that it’s a live view of my Gmail so when I read something locally, it automatically marks it as read in Gmail, too.
However, I’ve got a few questions/ concerns about this: –
- Security of my data. I remember reading horror stories of web mail companies in the past losing/wiping someone’s account accidentally; the response from them was "well, it’s a free account, you should back your mail up locally anyway – don’t rely on us". So, currently I download my Gmail using POP and have my mail folder backed up weekly onto a backup hard disk. Can I rely on Gmail to safely stored my data in the "cloud"? If not – should I still use POP access to get my mail locally for the purposes of backup?
- What about searching through emails client-side? I like being able to search through all my emails locally across accounts in Windows Live Mail. If I’m using IMAP, that’s just a view of what’s in the Inbox (rather than the entire mailbox – including archived mail) of Gmail. How do I search all of that locally? Do I download the "All Mail" folder instead? [I just tried it and WLM died; it’s currently now stuck in the task manager at 50% CPU i.e. one core doing "stuff"; it refuses to load a new instance whilst that one is working]. Will I be able to search against an IMAP folder – doesn’t it just download the headers and then the bodies "on demand"?
- As per (2) but with Vista Instant Search – does it still work?
- What about duplication of items when searching i.e. I would presumably need to download the entire contents of the [All Mail] folder to search all my mail locally. However, that folder contains everything including all the items in Inbox plus any other folders (labels in Gmail-speak) that I have. So when I search, would I see the items twice?
Comments/ advice gratefully received…
I had a problem recently whereby the quick view of the Inbox went completely empty. I panicked at first, thinking that all my emails had gone walkies. Thankfully, it was just the view. Why it happened, I don’t know, but, I found a fix for it. In fact, as I write this, it has just happened again! The solution is here, but briefly: –
- Delete the value SearchFolderVersion in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\ key.
- Restart WLM.
Still using WLM. No real complaints apart from: –
- Ability to have a folder automatically delete items over a certain age. I could probably do something like this manually as a saved search in Vista
- When you minimize to tray and then restore the window, it seems to automatically go to Inbox, even if this wasn’t the previously selected folder
Good things over and above Thunderbird: –
- Excellent Windows Live Contacts "smart-client" application which integrates very tightly with Messenger; contact details are stored online on your Space
- Integrated Vista search
- Works with Hotmail out of the box
Things I would like to see added: –
- A way to use online bookmarks / RSS feeds would be nice. I currently use Google Reader for my feeds so I can view them anywhere