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January 28, 2008



Actually I know why they did this :)

Newer Outlook/Exchange versions allowed rules on the server (instead of on the client.) So you could configure certain rules to happen on specific machines only. Let's say you had a laptop and a desktop, and they both connect to the same Exchange server. If certain rules need to fire only on the laptop or desktop, you can mark them as "this machine only".

It's lame, though, that newer rules/etc. get defaulted to this, even when you're not connected to Exchange. I have to go through my 20+ rules and check/uncheck them everytime I setup my computer again.

Jon Sharp

Okay, here's another one for you. Entourage is Microsoft's answer to Outlook for the Mac. Except it works totally differently. It doesn't hook into Exchange the same way. Heck, it doesn't even sync tasks or notes with Exchange. Is the Mac dept. at Microsoft even part of the same company? Do they ever talk? You'd think that something as important to business as Exchange support would be a higher priority for an Outlook replacement.

Zac B

Hello Mike,
I feel your pain, all the time. I am a developer and before I committed my life to virtual machines I would face this annoyance every month. I would ask myself why, why does it perform this way? Is there any logical reason? Many times, though most I'd rather not want to admit it, some of Microsoft's odd presets or default settings actually make sense. Usually you have to look at the bigger picture as in who is the average user, what is their typical skill set, etc. Obviously most don't fit into even the lowest of skilled power user. So we tend to get shafted.
Anyway, with this particular feature, I just can't figure it out. Yes, there is a good chance that people who use rules are power or corporate users. I would say that statistically, the majority of user's who setup rules, receive their email from an Exchange server. If we step back again and look again at the number of rule users using a home/work/notebook (multiple computers) to retrieve mail from a single account it is large but probably around 25% maybe . What gets me though is that… it really doesn't matter. I can't think of a single statistic which incorporates Outlook users into a situation where this would be beneficial to have as the default. What's worse is that I haven't been able to find a setting to change it from a default. The final most awful hijack-like behavior is the fact that almost ANY change you make to a rule adds that damn "on this machine only" selection. Yeah, I noticed that it mostly occurs when a folder is involved but hey most people use this for moving mail around. Rules are separate from your pst, ost or whatever so I can ALMOST understand why but still. Like I mentioned, its behavior is just like a hijack of my rules. Anonymous usage statistics would dictate that if the majority of users use rules for moving mail around to specific locations, one could come to the conclusion that if a person exported those rules than they intend to have the folder functionality in use. So actually instead of the nonsense that is "(For other machine)", which really means that it has been recently imported and still intended for your previous machine, it should be that it says something like "(Requires new folders)" and a button that says "Create missing folders".
Ah, I know what you're thinking, "Zac, what do you know, you're just a Microsoft .NET developer who specializes in Microsoft Office products…"

It is terrible when you have 100, 200+ rules and the majority of them require you to double click to edit, uncheck "on this machine only" and then hit finish just so it knows that you really for sure intend for its use on this specific 100% machine that you just imported them into.

Please-O-Please Office 13,


this is very annoying, and its another example of why microsoft is critised so much. This option should not be! simple. For those using exchange there should be an option something like "if exchange is used/detected - turn on 'this machine only' " - its really not that difficult: Microsoft, i can show you how !!!
Then everybody is happy. Why dont you watch what 'real' people are doing with your products.
PS. the competition is still a lot worse (opensource, linux shite, etc...). Basically, it all sucks.


i found a simple way around to fix the problem. go to "rules and alerts options" >> export all your rules to hard disk, i.e my documents/desktop etc. >> back to rules page and delete all your rules >> after deleting now ?"import" the rules you saved to desktop (or my documents wherever it is) >> voila ... it works properly

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