NOTE: Straight-up computer nerdery in the post so if you’re looking for funny poop stories, might want to just skip this one…
Like a lot of folks in the corporate world, I manage my workday via Microsoft Outlook. I live in that goddamned program, and have for well over a decade. Frankly, next to Windows itself, it’s the software I’ve probably used the most in my work life, and I’m sure a lot of other IT-ish folks have had the same experience.
So, when a new version comes out, it’s kind of a big deal. Every little change is scrutinized to hell and gone, because _somebody_ has been using that little buried feature religiously for 12 years now and cannot fucking believe Microsoft would change how it works!
The biggest recent example of this was the ribbon interface introduced in 2007. Blew people’s fucking _minds_, I tell you. Instead of the usual, old-fashioned Microsoft application “File – Edit – View…” menu, each with 1347 treed sub-options, there was now a wider ribbon with the most-used features (discovered after a ridiculous amount of observation testing on Microsoft’s part) prominently displayed upfront rather than buried in those menus. _I_ liked this change just fine, but believe me, even six years and three major releases since it first rolled out, people still bitch about this thing.
I generally like living with the absolute latest, greatest, beta-ist versions of software, so I’ve not been part of the big bitch group about changes to Outlook over the years.
They fucked with one goddamned feature that probably seems really minor in the grand scheme of things, but seriously pisses me off every time I have to use it now. Lemme show you:
Outlook 2010 Main Interface Window
This is Outlook 2010. See that column at the right under the calendar? Real fuckin’ useful, that. It’s basically a preview of everything on your calendar that’s coming up. If you need to see even more, you can ditch the task list at the bottom, but I find that sucker useful as well.
This feature has been in Outlook since at least 2000. I live by it. Have for years. If I have to click into something to check out my day, I just won’t do it, I’m not wired that way. I need Outlook to be an at-a-glance system for managing my shit.
Here’s Outlook 2013.
Outlook 2013 Main Interface Window
Huh. Wow, Shawn, you’ve got a pretty clear schedule coming up!
Actually, no, I fucking don’t. Outlook is now only showing _today’s_ appointments. Before it would show you as many as you could fit in that space; now it’s only showing today’s.
“What the fuck?”, I thought to myself when I first saw this. “This can’t be right, I gotta be missing an option or something somewhere”.
Off to the Google I went… and, sure enough, Microsoft has gimped this feature for some stupid fucking goddamned reason. They changed the old preview engine with something new called “Peek” which can only read events from the current day.
Which is close to fucking useless.
I’m now feeling sympathy with the folks who used to lose their shit over what seemed to me to be small feature changes or removals from previous versions. When you use something many, many times a day, every day, for over a decade, you’re sensitive to changes to it.
Particularly changes like this that cripple the fucking thing for absolutely no gain that’s apparent to me.
I’ve found a few posts on forums here and there purporting to be from MS developers acknowledging that a) this sucks and b) that they’re trying to patch it, and soon. I really hope they do because it’s a slap to my OCD every time I look at Outlook now, which is something I can’t avoid doing a few dozen times a day.
This concludes today’s installment of First World White People Are Ginormous Pussies.