Outlook and Linux

Eric S. Johansson esj at harvee.org
Tue Nov 1 03:07:37 UTC 2005

this may be another one of those for want of a ... a Linux sale was lost 
cases.  The only reason I bring them here is to try and make the 
fundamental problems in the real world visible and work out what are 
reasonable solutions.

I was asked in this by a client today.  How do you share Outlook 
calendar and contacts using a Linux system as the core?  Simple 
filesharing doesn't work because Microsoft screwed the pooch with the 
resource locking.

I know about bynari and a couple of other players but they are all 
rather expensive (quantity 100: $90-$150 which is a significant chunk of 
change) and want to own the customer from client all the way through to 
mail server with all of the solutions for antispam, virus etc. coming 
from them.

Answers like "don't use Outlook" are not really helpful.  They are 
married to it and they are on Windows desktop for the foreseeable 
future[1].  On the other hand, if there was an equivalent client with 
exactly the same functionality in terms of e-mail, calendars, and 
contact sharing, they may be open to that kind of change.

So, how does one solve this problem.  (Telling me to go to a different 
form is perfectly acceptable)


[1] about three or four months ago they tried converting a few people to 
open office so they could cut down the number of Microsoft office 
purchases they were making.  The conversion failed miserably.  This 
organization lives and dies by spreadsheets that are shipped around.  If 
it is going to be a replacement for Excel, the conversion must be 
perfect.  Everything must behave identically.  Close enough and fudge 
it, doesn't cut it because these are salespeople dealing with product 
and customers with a very short turnaround cycle.  stuff that isn't 
exactly as it was, makes their hearts beat faster and not in a good way.

try open office 2.0?  not likely.  The experience was so bad it's going 
to take a while for people to forget.

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