I had installed Office 2010 last week, and the Outlook Connector installed just fine. When I reformatted and reinstalled Windows 7 over the weekend and then installed Office 2010 and got the same error I’ve been reading about all over the internet. A good number of people are saying they try to install it and get this error message:
You should have Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010 installed for the connector.
This was driving me nuts, until I figured it out: Last week, when it worked, I had Outlook 2007 installed, and didn’t after reformatting.
So, I installed a trial of Office 2007, and it worked! Just install Outlook 2007, which you can get here in Office Standard and don’t bother to enter a product key. Create the Hotmail account in Office 2010, it’ll download and install the proper version of Outlook Connector automatically, restart Outlook, and you’re done. Uninstall Outlook 2007 when you’re done.
Thank god I got this to work. It was driving me nuts!
The How-To Geek has details on a new feature Outlook 2007 has that you may not have noticed: Overlaying multiple calendars on each other so you can view them in a single view and compare appointments, just like Google Calendar does. Just activate more than one calendar with the check boxes, then click the little arrow in the top left-hand corner to View in Overlay Mode, and you’ll get a real nice means of tracking everything.
There’s another application for synchronizing your Facebook friends with Outlook contacts. Sadly, this one may look pretty, but it is less effective (1/3 as many matches) and has less features than Fonebook. Read my article on Fonebook here, and download it instead.
After reading this article from Amit Agarwal, I decided to install the Outlook-Hotmail Connector software, if only to see what the differences were between it and Outlook’s standard Hotmail connection (only available to Hotmail Plus users). The software has proven more than worth the free download, and I’d recommend every Hotmail user install it now.
What’s different? Well, for one thing, you don’t need Hotmail Plus. Any Windows Live Hotmail user can use it, and free Hotmail users get almost the same features as Plus users get without the Connector, as well as better interaction with Outlook’s interface (especially the Junk Mail filter). Plus users also get to synchronize the Outlook calendar with the Hotmail calendar, which is useful now and should become doubly useful when the full Windows Live Calendar is announced.
The program works a lot better at caching your Hotmail inbox than Outlook does, download messages silently in the background and syncing them as needed. It respects your connection and takes its time, but if you try to open a message that isn’t synced, it’ll download immediately. There’s a new toolbar that shows you the sync status (it’s been an hour, and 398 of 3532 messages have been downloaded).
I’d recommend this download in a second for any Live Hotmail and Outlook user. Whether you have Hotmail Plus or not, it’s a no-brainer. It’s available for Office 2003 and Office 2007, and requires validation.
Fonebook is a really cool application that will allow you to transfer your contacts from Facebook to Outlook 2007/2003. The current version copies profile pictures, web addresses, about me details, and status details (plus birthdays in Outlook 2007) from your Facebook account into Outlook, which makes for an extremely useful automated way of getting pictures of your friends. Sync Facebook to Outlook, then sync it to your phone, and you’ll start to see pictures of your friends when they call you.
Very useful little app. Pick it up here.
(via Jason Langridge, who inspired it)
Kam VedBrat has found a genuine bug in the Office 2007 user interface, though he doesn’t seem to mind it all that much. The bug occurs because the developers left objects you could double-click in the Ribbon, but didn’t train the Ribbon to be properly aware of double-clicking.
If you collapse the Ribbon (ironically enough, by double-clicking it) in order to save space, then it will expand on a click to be usable and shrink back when you click any button in the Ribbon, keeping it small when you don’t use it. If you double-click the Ribbon, the first click will shrink it, causing the second click to occur on whatever is beneath the Ribbon, which can be a major problem.
This really gets bad in Outlook 2007 when you are writing an email message. Outlook puts interface elements below the Ribbon (both for good and bad purposes), and the element that needs to be double-clicked, the format painter, is right on top of the Send button! You double-click Format Painter because your email message needs heavy editing, and you wind up sending your message. Whoops.
Good thing I memorized the shortcut key for disabling wifi. You don’t know how many times that got me out of an email jam.
This problem could also be faced by less experienced users, who sometimes double-click on everything (my mother double-click URLs). The user interface designers need to enable the minimized Ribbon to understand and detect double-clicks and cancel out the second click, in the name of preventing unintended clicking. It’s a small bug, but it could become a problem for many.
A new capability for the iPhone has been announced, Apple’s super-hyped phone will be announced this week, maybe today, that it has licensed the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. iPhone users will be able to connect to Exchange servers and use exchange for wireless email messaging and synchronization, although the feature may be added in an update.
While the iPhone is not targeted to business users (and will only be sold as a consumer device, not to AT&T business accounts), the Exchange feature should make things a little easier on corporate users who desperately want the phone, but won’t give up the ability to access their work email.
They’ll also like this: The iPhone will ship with a document preview application for Word and Excel documents. You won’t be able to edit or create them (and I doubt they’ll support Open XML Office 2007 formats), but it’s a little bit extra to pacify business users raised on more capable phones.
Microsoft has released a free public beta of the Office Outlook Connecter software, which allows Outlook to access Windows Live Hotmail accounts for free. The new software (a previous paid version was discountinued a few years ago and sorely missed) includes offline access, categorization, flagging, instant search, business cards, the todo bar and more for free, and requires premium access to Hotmail for syncing of calendars, tasks and notes.
Get it here.
Gil Azar has written a Preview Handler wrapper for Outlook 2007 under Windows XP that gives it the ability to preview all sorts of types of files. Specifically, you’ll be able to run all these filetypes right within an Outlook 2007 preview pane or message window:
The last group, in italics, is made possible through wrappers that sometimes require the installation of seperate preview handlers.
Outlook 2007 in Windows XP can’t handle the preview handlers currently available due to security differences between Windows Vista and Windows XP regarding managed code. Read more about it here.
You can never have enough previewers in Outlook 2007. I know that’s true, because I have no idea how I’d live without my PDF preview handler. The MSDN magazine blog points out an SWF (Macromedia/Adobe Flash) previewer, here’s one that handles PDF/AVI/ZIP/HTML/WMV and apparently there are also XPS and XML preview handlers.
Anybody find any really useful preview handlers?
Microsoft has a very useful Calendar Printing Assistant application for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. It lets you print out your calendars with a lot of control over layout, graphics and information.
Print many different calendar view layouts:
Print calendars for specific time frames, and print multiple calendars on top of each other or side-by-side:
Print calendars with user-chosen templates, images, colors, fonts and styles, and lets you create your own templates:
And forecast your activites and use space-saving designs, even displaying an entire year of information in a single view:
Download it here. The download is 14.5 megabytes and does not require validation. Officially it supports Windows Server 2003 SP1 and XP SP2, but getting it to run on Vista should not be a problem. It also requires the .Net Framework 3.0, if you don’t have it already.
Oh, and LiveSide has a little info on Windows Live Calendar, which should feature a lot of sharing scenarios.
Microsoft also issued an update to Outlook 2007 that should improve performance significantly, by reducing the download time of messages and the system freeze that usually accompanies it, as well as freezes when moving and deleting messages. The problems were there (and are still not fixed, just lessened) because Outlooks’ main PST file has become a dumping ground for RSS feeds, calendar, todo items, and, oh yeah, gigabytes of emails, making it mighty unweildly.
Microsoft needs to compartmentalize the PST files, so they are all limited to a small, quick-loading size, and let search take over most large problems. Of course, they also need to fix search. I have 51,197 items not indexed, which makes me think search isn’t indexing at all (it certainly isn’t working, at all). I have been looking for advanced options to monitor and control Windows Vista search and Outlook search, and thus far, no luck. I wonder what’s broken?
Zoli Erdos says there’s a simple solution to Outlook search and performance issues: Gmail, which is instantaneous. He’s right. Microsoft needs to realize that anything more than a few seconds is unacceptable.
Mary Jo Foley (who basically always knows what she’s talking about) guessed recently that we could see Microsoft offer a “Live” version of Exchange by the end of the year or early next year.
Exchange, the Microsoft server product that provides unified email (as opposed to downloading POP3 to a system and not having it anywhere else), as well as push email, mobile messaging/calendaring, collaboration, antivirus, antispam, encryption, and is generally the one thing many business users simply cannot live without, would be the kind of addition to Windows Live that would make the competition look like a pastel-colored also ran.
Currently, individuals can purchase monthly subscriptions for Exchange from third parties, but there are trust issues there, as well as somewhat high prices ($10 or more per month, for as little as 100 megabytes of storage, although I have seen 2 gigs offered for $12 in some places). Microsoft would do well entering this market as a Live service, finding a way to either offer it for free or cheaper, but mainly with a more trusted face and easier-to-understand plans.
How much would Exchange be worth to you? I think that, purely for consumers, free Exchange pays for itself. To take advantage of Exchange, you’d have to own a Windows Mobile device and buy a copy of Microsoft Outlook, so giving away the platform could pay for itself in software. Microsoft is going to have a tough time competing with Gmail and other free services, unless it can make consumers an offer they can’t refuse. Just tier it so that it is only available for individuals and small businesses, and let the money come in sideways.
On the InsideGoogle blog, I did a bit of housecleaning. I’m sick and tired of writing about week-old news, and I think the readers of my blogs deserve up-to-date news and features. As a result, here is every story, leading basically up to today, that has been sitting in close to a hundred browser tabs on my computer.
Enjoy, and I’m getting back to work:
Long Zheng posted this video of Microsoft’s vision of collaboration in 2010:
Video: Microsoft’s Vision of 2010.
Want to take Windows Mobile 6 for a test drive? Microsoft has a Flash demo you can download and see exactly what it looks like in action.
The New York Times is going to start charging for its Reader application, a Windows Presentation Foundation-powered news reader that brings an incredibly powerful and visually amazing way to read the Times. Dopes. Way to blow a chance to bring the Times to a more tech-savvy generation. They really think people will pay a monthly fee for a newspaper that is available free online?
At least it is free for Times subscribers.
Want to preview PDF files in Outlook? Download this!
What is the Zune’s wifi feature useful for? Tracking down Zune thieves, naturally! If there are only two Zunes in an area, and one is stolen, you can use the other to help your buddy out.
Want to select text vertically in Word and other text editors? Just follow Lifehacker’s helpful tip and hold down the ALT key.
Lifehacker also points out a free RSS reader for Windows Vista Media Center and XP MCE.
Todd Bishop has put together an incredible listing of every single major Microsoft blogger he can find, and its so extensive, its scary. I can’t wait for him to finish the OPML, because I am so subscribing. Read his post for links to the Google Co-Op search engines he created for the list.
Microsoft claims it has no plans to buy video game publisher Take 2, but everyone agrees it’d be stupid not to bid. Take 2 makes the Grand Theft Auto series, and if Microsoft bought the company, or at least the GTA franchise, it would have a dramatic effect on Sony’s ability to compete. GTA is one of the biggest system sellers in history, possibly bigger than Microsoft’s own Halo, with more sales than Halo putting a lot of new PS2s in homes.
Rumors are coming out about Apple’s next generation iMac. The iMac is the centerpiece of Apple’s non-portable computer line, but with a built-in screen, it does not appeal to many typical PC buyers (and the Mac Mini is too limiting in the exact opposite respect). Here’s hoping Apple plans a normal PC; I could just buy it!
It has been virtually confirmed that Microsoft will be selling a $480 limited edition black Xbox 360 called the 360 Elite. It will feature a 120 gigabyte hard drive, an HDMI output, all-black accessories, and probably only run a few hundred thousand units. Once it sells out, it may replace the Xbox 360 Premium at $400, in white plastic.
New Line has bought the rights to a Gears of War movie. Stuart Beattie, writer of Collateral and Pirates of the Carribean is attached to write. I hope to god someone does a Crackdown movie.
I found out about this site, calendar-updates.com, that sells (and gives away, in some cases) calendar schedules for Microsoft Office Outlook. You can buy NHL team schedules for $1.99, or buy the schedule for the entire league for $6.99. Right now, they’re doing a cool thing by giving away importable events of the NFL playoffs for free, making it a click-and-download affair to get this weekend’s games in your schedule (since you know those games are as important an appointment as any meeting with your boss). Besides all sorts of sporting events, they’ve also got sunrise/sunset calendars, holidays and other events, just a .PST file away.
One thing I really wish they’d do: Calendar feeds. I know Outlook 2007 can support such feeds, which would let you pay for a team’s schedule, and then calendar-updates could update the schedule as the season progressed, adding playoff games, moving rescheduled games, and maybe even adding extra information (like projected starters). I’d pay $10 a year for a Mets schedule feed.
Oh, and living in New York, this Sunday is gonna be exciting, and I don’t even like the Giants and Jets! I’ve gotta get the HDTV antenna working before the weekend, because those back-to-back playoff games are all that’s gonna matter come 1 pm Sunday.
(via Jason Langridge)
Joe Wilcox has an article with a surprising fact: Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition made up 80% of all office suite sales over the last year. Apparently, not only is the Student edition really cheap (sold at a “special offer” price of $150, an offer that has not been rescinded for over 5 years), but it can be installed on up to three computers, making it very attractive to all sorts of people, including business users.
“They don’t card at the door,” said Chris Swenson, NPD’s director of software analysis.
Microsoft’s no-buyer-check policy, coupled with aggressive pricing and rebates, makes Student and Teacher Edition the defacto retail productivity suite standard. During the 2006 back-to-school season, rebates put the software’s price around $100, or about $250 to $300 less than Office Standard.
This generation around, what used to be Office Student is the new Office Standard (with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook), while Office Home and Student 2007 drops Outlook for OneNote, making it less attractive to business users. Because Microsoft does not offer a package that has both Outlook and OneNote (besides the $540 Ultimate Suite), users like myself, who consider both essential software, will have to weigh the cost of losing OneNote versus that of paying extra for Outlook. The odd pricing scheme means these are the two ways to get both by buying a suite:
- Office Home and Student ($150) + Outlook ($110) = Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote for $260, OR
- Office Standard ($240 upgrade) + OneNote ($100) = Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote for $340
- Individually: Word ($110) + Excel ($110) + PowerPoint ($110) + Outlook ($110) + OneNote ($100) = $540
I’ve long argued this is a weird hole in the Office Suite lineup, that there is no SKU that contains Outlook and OneNote at a decent enough price. The best bet might be to hope for a rebate on Home and Student and maybe a slight savings on Outlook to bring the cost of the first package down to $200. I wish Microsoft would let you “Build Your Own Office Suite”, because I would swap PowerPoint out of Home and Student for Outlook in a second.
Anyway, the main point of Joe’s article is that Student and Teacher is taking all the customers away from the other suites, and its low price can’t be helping Microsoft’s bottom line. However, it could be argued that Student and Teacher (and now Home and Student) are targeting the “piracy market”, making money by getting people to plunk down some cash for software they might otherwise steal. Still, for the legit customers, there might still not be enough options.
I would almost argue that the best solution is to pay for Home and Student, and pirate Outlook. Hey, it could work…
LiveSide has info on Windows Live Mail Plus, the paid upgrade to Windows Live Mail in Holland that will likely be offered eventually in the US. For $20 a year, users get a four gigabyte hard drive, 20-megabyte file attachments, no ads (including in the Desktop software and Live Spaces), access to your account in Microsoft Office Outlook, and no disabling of the account due to inactivity. The four gig is a decent jump over Gmail’s current 2.8 GB, but may not be enough higher than Live Mail’s own two gig limit to temp users (though Outlook Access is worth twenty bucks for me).
Microsoft has released two official Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets for Microsoft Outlook 2007, one to show your upcoming appointments, another for your Outlook Tasks. Personally, I wish they had combined these (and the Outlook contacts Gadget) into one Gadget, but then again, the point of Gadgets is to be simple, not full-features applications.
(via Ryan Gregg)
UPDATE: One of the OneNote guys asks if they should do a Sidebar Gadget for OneNote. Hell yeah! My most-used Gadget is the Post-it note Gadget, and I’d love to replace that with one that used OneNote’s SideNotes feature. If you agree, let him know in his comments.