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The RSS reader in Outlook 2007 is a pile of junk!

Posted on: November 19th, 2007 by Simon Swords

We like blogs here at Atlas.  In fact, we love them.  So much so that most of us here are subscribed to at least twenty blogs that we read on a regular basis.  Blogs help us to stay on top of the latest trend and see what the competition are up to.  Sadly, some of us are even subscribed to this blog!

When we found out that Microsoft Office 2007 included an RSS reader it was good news all round.  Now we could check our e-mails AND read blogs in the same place, and not have to hunt around various blog sites to see what has been posted recently.

Unfortunately that dream was shattered when we realised that the blog reader that ships with Outlook 2007 is worse than useless.  Here’s why:

  • It stores new blog entries as unread e-mail items.  So if you’re subscribed to a bunch of blogs, you always appear to have about 200 unread e-mails sitting in Outlook which actually isn’t the case.
  • If the blogger updates his or her blog post after adding it, it gets added as a new “unread e-mail” entry in Outlook, even though it’s the same post just updated. This leads to even more unread blog posts cluttering up Outlook
  • It’s slooowwwww.  Outlook 2007 is quite a hefty piece of software.  Add thousands of e-mails and one hundred blog subscriptions to the mix and don’t bet on zipping through your unread e-mail/blog entries before that 10am meeting.  It just won’t happen.
  • Blog subscriptions are checked for updates whenever Outlook checks for new e-mail.  So whenever Outlook checks our Exchange e-mail server for new e-mail, it checks at least twenty and in some cases more than one hundred websites for new posts!!  To say that this slows e-mail retrieval down is an understatement

So as you can see, it’s great that Microsoft finally included an RSS feed reader for Outlook, but why implement a half baked feature set if it means that users then have to find an alternative RSS reader probably never to return for Outlook for RSS reading?

Don’t get us wrong, we love Outlook 2007 and it’s snazzy new features, it’s just a shame that what could have been so  perfect is now just okay.

Simon Swords


Managing Director

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