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Discovering Flaws. Frustrated!


HiramSS
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Let me start this post with the following: I agree with everyone above that the mail client on the Surface is disappointing. There are a number of things that I find frustrating on the device, but the mail client is definitely at the top of that list.

 

Having said that, I can think of a couple of reasons why Outlook might not run well on the Surface. First, regardless of how you pull email (Exchange, POP3, etc.), Outlook creates a locally cached copy of your email. I manage many, many people who use Outlook and I will tell you that no matter how smart they are or how well intentioned they are, they don't manage the size of their email until they reach some kind of pain threshold (read: limits imposed by an admin, PST files getting so bloated that Outlook chokes out, etc.). Can you really imagine this happening on a Surface tablet that's already running a slower processor and has limited storage capacity? This is a nightmare waiting to happen for most users.

 

Speaking of locally cached copies or PSTs, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have run across people with orphaned email files that existed under another profile that's no longer in use. Again, this speaks directly to the storage issue, but it's a reality for most people who use Outlook.

 

Another point to consider are the mail clients on the iPad and (laughably - and becoming more laughable with every passing day) anything running Android. While the mail client on the Surface could use some work to bolster performance and add some features (especially for folks hooking into O365 or an Exchange environment), I would argue that it's at least as good as either of the two competitive platforms above, and in some cases, I like it more.

 

I know we could easily create a thread with a litany of items we would all like to see addressed on (hopefully) upcoming patches, but I really don't think Outlook was ever in the cards for this device.

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So it doesn't have to be Outlook but it has to at least be functional, which it isn't (just like the pOS and android mail clients). The mail application in windows live was way better than what is on the RT.

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I don't want outlook functionality on my limited memory tablet.  I am fine with a mail client assuming I can manage the mail, i.e. creating/deleting folders, selecting many emails and taken batch actions, etc.  My point is that the IOS client is what I want on my tablet.

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I have my own email server and it has a built in WebMail Server, so I can get my mail via web browser from any internet location. I've been using it for years and it does pretty much everything I want.

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I don't want outlook functionality on my limited memory tablet.  I am fine with a mail client assuming I can manage the mail, i.e. creating/deleting folders, selecting many emails and taken batch actions, etc.  My point is that the IOS client is what I want on my tablet.

 

Outside of unified inbox, how is the iOS mail client better? Maybe I have been off my iPad too long but I don't remember that mail client being all that and a bag of chips.

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Outside of unified inbox, how is the iOS mail client better? Maybe I have been off my iPad too long but I don't remember that mail client being all that and a bag of chips.

 

As previously mentioned, apples mail client is the same crappy attempt as the one on the Surface.

 

I have switched to using email via the web.

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Several users are using Outlook.com as a service to better manage email accounts and interact with Surface. This is how I am working around the lack of POP support. May be worth trying. 

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The more I ruminate over this thread, the more I start going back to the same thought - what's really wrong with the mail app as it stands today on the Surface? I think it really comes down to how you utilize the tablet, but for quick reading/replying/filing, I actually think it works okay.

 

Could I stand having the ability to create folders? Yes! Could it use some more robust features like better integration with your calendar, etc? Sure.

 

The other note I would add is, I wasn't thinking of this previously, but all my mail comes from either an Exchange server or a service like gMail. I don't have a POP3 account anymore - maybe that's why I have less complaints about the client than others?

 

At the end of the day, it functions fine for the way I use the Surface RT - this was never going to be a laptop replacement for me so it does the job I need it to do pretty well. In fact, I would go so far as to list little things that really make life easier (especially over the iOS mail client) like the ability to have different signatures for different mail accounts. Something simple that Apple has neglected and was super frustrating to me. Oh, and I can still file email using keystrokes (Ctrl-Shift-V)!!! Such a huge win.

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Scoobyx, well said!

I think it is too easy to want the Surface to be more than it is, but that is why there are other choices, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

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Have to agree with Scoobyx on this too. The mail app is disappointing so I mainly stick with the web interface for heavy email sessions and use the built-in app for notifications and quickly processing (usually deleting) email. But I could say the same thing about iOS and Android clients too. The only iOS mail feature I miss is the unified inbox since it's easier to triage email in it. Because I do use the web interface for various emails I found I prefer the Surface for this. Everyone has different requirements, the Surface RT meets mine.

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