Saturday, December 26, 2009

T-Bird 3.0 versus Outlook 2010 (beta)

At work, Microsoft Outlook 2003 is the de-facto standard for email management.

At home, I’ve been using Thunderbird for years.

Due to a recent hard-drive (volume) failure at home, on the primary system our “master” email got managed on, I had to rebuild our email stores.

It wasn’t really any problem just took some time to migrate from Thunderbird 2.0 to 3.0.

Then I had to redo some of my email account settings in TBird 3.0 as I wanted to be able to choose which email account I wanted to respond out of, not just the default one.  That took some work with Gmail's documentation and TBird 3.0.

So here is my problem.  I’ve installed and configured Outlook 2010 beta to access my personal web-mail account and really, really like the familiarity and layout in 2010.  Really.  But I also like the dependability and ease of export/import options that Thunderbird offers me.

So now I’m in a real pickle!  Do I commit to one or the other?

Both do an admirable job but there will be consequences for committal.

Links below for my reference (and anyone else stumbling over these)

Outlook 2010 beta reference links.

Thunderbird 3.0 reference links

server name:
port: 465
use secure: No
Connection security: -

Lightning Project (Calendar for Thunderbird)

To help add calendaring functionality to T-Bird, I’ve relied on the Lightning project XPI add-on.  Only it isn’t quite yet ready for TBird 3.0 compatibility.

Here’s how I got Lightning working in Thunderbird 3.0

To install these builds in Thunderbird 3, please follow these steps:

  1. Download the build for your operating system to a folder on your hard disk
    UPDATE: Please make sure, that you right-click on the links above and choose "Save Link as...". Otherwise Firefox will try to install Lightning and you will get an error message like "Lightning 1.0b1 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox."
  2. Open Thunderbird, then open its add-on manager via Tools --> Add-ons (or the corresponding entry in your language)
  3. Click on the "Install..." button on the lower left and navigate for the lightning.xpi file that you just downloaded.
  4. Restart Thunderbird after the add-on installation has been performed. Voila!

Note: You will see there are two XPI files in the download.  Get them both; lightning-all.xpi is the main file while gdata-provider.xpi ties Lightning into your Google gCalendar.


As best I can tell, I’m using POP settings/access for Thunderbird for my mail clients including Gmail.  However Outlook 2010 may be actually using IAMP settings for Gmail connectivity.  I’ve not had the time to dive into the settings to verify.  The Outlook 2010 setup wizard took what I fed it regarding my Gmail account and seemed very pleased.  Not 100% sure what it did just yet.

I’m not sold yet if I want to convert my Thunderbird settings to use IMAP as well or not.  I think so.

I think there is some benefit but my brain is tired from all the holiday food and distractions and I’m having trouble focusing.

For reference….

Claus V.


ffextensionguru said...

I use TBIrd 3 for all my IMAP accounts with no troubles (once I just simply manually configured). Curious why Outlook 2003 and not Outlook 2007 at work. Of course with my work with tech support it is pretty much an even mix of Outlook 2003 and 2007 with an occasional Outlook Express. For the Mac folks Mail and Entourage (which is a pain in the rear to configure).

Claus said...

@ ffguru - 2K+3 because (as someone offered) the Exchange server level in use didn't support the 2K+7 features. The powers that be are migrating everyone over to a new Exchange server level that does support it. I did get to migrate early as a tester. As such I even configured the 2010 beta Outlook on a non-production tester account and it worked awesomely. It is very slick and "sexy" compared with the 2003 version. And the web-access GUI? OMG!! Night to Day compared with the older Exchange web-mail GUI. I could work all day in it without even needing a desktop Outlook client. It supports theming and even comes with a crazy xbox360 skin option as well as a Zune one. Don't see that often in the corporate deployment world!

Thanks for the insight on IMAP. I'm seeing the benefits of features it offers. Just need to take the plunge...

Happy holidays Guru!

--Claus V.

ffextensionguru said...

The main reason I went with IMAP besides the synching (not that I check my mail often from other locations/devices) is I still have all my email organized on the server in the event I have an OS melt-down (like I did with Vista in the summer of 2008 thanks to ZoneAlarm's Forcefield).

We provide Outlook 2007 or Entourage on our Exchange Email plans.