Please support your own file format. Long term.
My parents know I work for a publisher and I do something with the internet. To them this seems to mean that I am some sort of computer wizard who can fix everything from hardware to software so they tend to call whenever a wizard is required. This time the task sounded simple.
Transfer all mails from an old PC to a shiny new one. Easy peasy..
Unfortunately I was soo wrong.
The old PC had Microsoft Outlook 2003 on Windows XP running while the new PC only had the free Windows Live Mail on Windows 7.
I hadn’t done something like this for some years running on Linux myself but I remembered to export a .pst file to then import it on the new computer.
Unfortunately Windows Live Mail doesn’t know about .pst files.
I don’t want to bother you with a rant that takes you as long to read as it took me to endure the procedure (about 8 hours) but in the end I had to install the trial version of Outlook to import the .pst file, then extract the mails with another mail program and then save it to Windows Mail which I was then able to import with Windows Live Mail. I had to export the calender separately and load it on the web to a newly created Windows Live account to then sync it with the mail program. And tall the contacts had to be exported into a .csv file and then imported. Yes, that’s the very short version.
I’m not really into all that Microsoft jazz anyway but I can happily accept that they abandoned Outlook Express and instead created Windows Mail for Vista which then got replaced again by Windows Live Mail on Windows 7. Weird yes. But ok.
But why – for f***s sake – did Microsoft decide to not support their own file format which worked perfectly for years?
You can of course replace such a format by a new version or a complete new one. But please always offer a way to import from older versions no matter how old they are if the information itself has not changed. An email is still an email, an event is still an event and a contact is still a contact.