My colleague Stephen O’Grady wrote a seminal feature some time ago – Speed is a Feature. I often return to this this piece for its cogent argument around user urgency. Stephen often reprises the argument too- here talking about boot times for Google Chrome OS devices.
When it comes to speed as a feature, as a user, I have never been convinced by the Exchange Outlook combo. If PSTs got big, or if Exchange was a hosted solution, performance degraded. I am an Outlook person though – I still can’t get with the gmail UI. We tried Zimbra for a bit, and indeed I used the Outlook plug in for that too.
I have been using gmail and IMAP to Outlook – with separate plugins for calendar etc.
Firstly – it just works. This was by far the easiest Outlook to mailhost configuration I have ever done. Best of all though it is so fast. I don’t know if Google optimised the protocols to make them less chatty or something, but like I say, the user experience is just awesome. You don’t even have to wait for the systems to sync before they are useful- mail and everything gets filled in as a truly background task.
Well done Google. Watch out Exchange. Gmail is a very powerful piece of software and you don’t need to pry Outlook out of users hands. And yes I know Google had some extremely bad press about security and password protection this week after the TechCrunch debacle.
Like I say, speed is a feature, but then so is security. Some commentators are saying that the poor password protection by gmail proves the cloud is inherently less secure than on premise. What total complete and utter unmitigated bollocks. I have a feeling Google is going to prove the opposite is true.
When Google fixes the gmail security and password model, which it will do, it will be able to roll it out to every customer in the world within days. Cloud advantage! Try and do that with distributed on premise software…