Free and better alternative to Microsoft Outlook?

Free and better alternative to Microsoft Outlook?

When searching for a free and better alternative to Microsoft Outlook, numerous factors need to be considered, ranging from individual use to specific requirements for email management, calendar functions, and task management.

Microsoft's approach to Outlook seems to be a play on users' emotions—constantly presenting a new Outlook, then tweaking the design and functionality again. Over the past few years, Microsoft has fundamentally changed the interface and features of Outlook multiple times, causing confusion and frustration among long-time users. Additionally, there have been several parallel versions of Outlook that differ in their functionalities, further complicating the situation.

It is now certain that Microsoft will phase out the classic Outlook, as it has been valued and used by many users for decades, in favor of a web-based version. This change means that communication and data retrieval will primarily run through Microsoft's servers. With the transition from a classic email client to a SaaS tool (Software as a Service), Outlook is fundamentally transformed.

Although emails are inherently a decentralized form of communication, Microsoft is seeking a centralized solution with this transition. The rationale behind this decision is clear: Cloud services and subscription models simply make it easier to earn money, especially through the analysis of user data.

Many of my clients and I have been loyal users of eM Client for years.

Farewell to Classic Outlook:
A Look into the Future of Email Communication

For Microsoft Exchange customers, Outlook is likely to remain unrivaled as the number one choice. It is reasonable to assume that this group of customers can use Outlook without additional costs, as they are already integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem. This represents a clear advantage for companies that have deeply invested in the Microsoft infrastructure.

However, for those who retrieve their emails using classic protocols such as POP or IMAP, an alternative will soon be necessary. The announcement that Outlook will only support IMAP/POP through Microsoft's servers in the future should be viewed with caution. This change not only centralizes data processing unnecessarily but also raises privacy concerns without offering any apparent benefits to the end-user.

Furthermore, the issue of compatibility with other providers, such as iCloud or Google for calendars and contacts, persists. These limitations make it necessary for users who value openness and flexibility to look for alternative email solutions.

Farewell to PST Files:
What the End Means for Your Email Archives

With the gradual transition to web-based email services, users are losing an essential functionality that has been of central importance for many over the years: access to PST files. Many of my clients have meticulously archived and sorted their emails in Outlook, some chronologically by years, others by clients or projects. However, these carefully structured archives, bundled in PST files, are no longer supported in web-based Outlook, as is the case today.

The reason for this seems obvious: Since all data are now stored in the cloud, Microsoft sees no need to maintain local archiving as a feature. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are alternative programs capable of importing PST files. These tools can significantly ease the transition from classic Outlook to new solutions, ensuring that valuable email archives built up over the years are not lost.

Better than the Original?
Why do I consistently recommend eM Client?

For several years now, I have personally relied on eM Client, primarily because of the initial challenge of synchronizing my iCloud calendar and my iCloud address book on both Mac and Windows. My experience has been so positive that over the last two years, I have switched numerous clients from Outlook to eM Client. The reasons for the switch were often trivial, such as a non-functioning search feature in Outlook due to large amounts of data or problems with the iCloud plugin.

eM Client offers private users a free license for up to two email accounts, which is sufficient for most users. Those who need more can opt for the Pro version at a small price. The transition to eM Client has been consistently smooth for my clients, largely due to its user interface, which closely resembles traditional Outlook Classic.

Another advantage is that an eM Client app for iOS and Android will be released in the near future, offering simple one-click setup and is currently in an open beta phase.

eM Client impresses with a variety of useful features that make work life easier, making it a reliable solution for private users as well. Compared to Thunderbird or other email clients, the company behind eM Client has seen impressive growth. It is already used by many large companies, which means that there is sufficient capital for future updates and developments.