Best e-mail Client for Extreme Power User

Posted on 2012-04-04
Last Modified: 2012-04-06
I have a client that uses Outlook as the e-mail client for a cloud based exchange server.  His mailbox size is approaching 20 GB, with a total mail count of over 150,000.  He needs to be able to access all of his e-mail from at least two computers.  Outlook has some reliability issues when the OST gets this large.  Specifically the search function, which he may use 20 times or more per day, provides inconsistent results.  There are also other random issues that seem to be most easily corrected by reinitializing the OST file, which can take more than a day to resynchronize.  I have archived some of his e-mail to PST files, and copied them to all of his computers.  However, this is undesirable because it causes great confusion to the user (the company owner) to have e-mail in multiple folders located far from the inbox.  However, it would be workable to have folders directly under the inbox.

This user typically has 20+ mail windows and ten applications (most with multiple open files) open at any given time.  His computers all run Windows 7 64-bit and have lots of memory, so at least in theory are able to easily handle so many open applications and files.

Is there a better PC, Mac or Web based client for this extreme type of user?   He needs it to be fast, reliable and easy to use.
Question by:Microdowns2000
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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

Frosty555 earned 167 total points
ID: 37809283
I've experienced the same problem. Depending on the version of Outlook, you really aren't supposed to let the mailbox size get bigger than 5-10gb.

If the client is unwilling to delete his old email, can you enable online archiving for his mailbox and archive some of it? (This isn't the traditional Outlook archiving to PST file, I mean the Exchange 2010 online archiving feature which is done server-side, and I think it is an included feature of the premium Microsoft hosted Exchange service. See

If the user is fed up and willing to consider other email solutions other than Exchange/Outlook, I usually recommend Google Apps. The business edition supports a 25gb mailbox comfortably, and if your client uses the search feature extensively then Google's mail search will be very appealing. It is instant, tremendously powerful and follows Google's philosophy of "search, don't sift". The "gmail" interface allows him to access it from anywhere, at any time. His multiple windows can be replicated by having multiple tabs in a browser open, and the whole thing costs pretty much the same if not a little bit cheaper than a hosted Exchange service.

The only catch with Google is you really do have to abandon Outlook. Yes, technically Google Apps for Business has an Outlook connector but it is not really for power users.
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

apache09 earned 167 total points
ID: 37809289
If you using an Excahnge Server, Outlook is the best option for this user
Your not really going to find anything else, that works better for exchange.

With some of the issues you have mentioned above, it really sounds like the majority of them have to do with the users use or inability to archive off any email into personal folders and their regualr need to work with email directly in the mailbox, or via ost when offline.

You are correct in that some versions of outlook 20GB is about the maximum size for PST and OST useage
Anything over that they can become corrupt or unusable. Anything close to that you would start to see performance issues.

However, this mostly applys to outlook 2007 and earlier.
COnsidering whats posted Above I take it 2007 or ealiler is being used.

I would reccomend use or Upgrade to Office 2010
In Office 2010 Microsoft has increased the useage size of Unicode PSTs and OSTs to 50GB
Assuming that the persons OST is pretty consistant around 20GB size, an upgrade to 2010 woulf give them an additional 30GB leway.

Additionaly, Office 2010 has made many performance upgrade a tweeks since its previous versions..

This product alone, with Exchange, should be more than enough for the user.
No need to look at bigger PC, Upgrading PArts ect ect
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Allen Falcon
Allen Falcon earned 166 total points
ID: 37812058
Upgrading to Office 2010 will not improve your problems with search and will not reduce the effort needed to manage emails.  While the PSTs and OSTs can be 50GB, Outlook's architecture is not designed to index and search that much data.

Moving to Google Apps for Business will resolve the search and universal access issues.  It also supports multiple email windows at a much lower cost.

As he is a power user, I would suggest training on Filters and the Priority Inbox.

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