Office Live Bad, Godaddy Good

Soooo, I’m a die-hard PC guy. It’s not that I dislike Macs, I actually like the interface and I will never use another media player as long as iTunes is around. I am also a fan of some Microsoft products, I use Outlook 2003 more than any other program on my computer by far.

BUT, Microsoft the company has some serious issues, mostly due to the fact that they release products before they are ready for public consumption. I’ve had some form of paid MSN address since I first got online back in 99. I have one now that’s attached to my DSL account.

When I first decided to set up a website about a few years ago, I picked Yahoo because it was relatively cheap and easy to work with. In Nov of 06, Microsoft came out with Office Live, their new web-based business site. According to the specs, you could not only have a web address and host your account there, but MS would let you sync up all your Outlook information, including Business Contact Manager, in real time. Now this got me drooling, because I’m a sucker for any program that will coordinate everything in one place for me. I envisioned doing work away from home and having all my changes simultaneously sync up with my Outlook program on my PC. So I jumped on-board, paid the monthly fee, changed my email addy, and got started.

First of all, the ability to sync up anything, even contacts, wasn’t up and running when I first signed up. I couldn’t even import, create, or save them until mid January. Also, the Business Contacts still won’t sync up, as of yesterday. I emailed them last December, and got a response that basically said that they were aware of the issue, and were working on it, but didn’t have a time frame for when it would be working. Then, to reduce the amount of spam that get sent (not received), if you send more than 4 or five emails within the span of an hour, they lock you outbox until you log in through a browser and type in a security code. I have emailed them a few times with choice, blunt words about their verification process, and how I’m paying them to work for me, not the other way around.

Then there’s the web hosting. I’m not allowed to use a third party program, so my Dreamweaver/Flash site that I was using had to be shelved, because they would not allow me to upload the files into the ftp. I had to use the new Beta MS Web Impressions software, the replacement for FrontPage. It’s horrible, hard to work with, limiting in what you can do, and once it was out of Beta I’d have to pay for it.

Yesterday, after making some changes to my site the previous night, I found that it had changed again without my knowledge. Add to that the fact that some of my emails were disappearing, along with contacts, and I decided I’d had enough. I canceled the account, asked for the registry key and site name, and opened a new domain at GoDaddy. I uploaded my Flash template again, reconfigured the email, and now its back online. The samples have to be relinked, and some of the sections are incorrect, but at least it’s up and running. By next week, the old website address will forward to the new one, which I did some work on tonight.

And that’s my rant. Thanks for listening, and stay away from Office Live.