A Gmail Conversion Story

Ah, Microsoft, you have made Windows and Xbox by your great ingenuity and extended yourself with Windows Phone.   But compatibility with your own products is clearly too hard for you.  Selah.

This past weekend my Outlook stopped working.  More than the reboot three times kind of stopped working.   It completely freaked out.   Though my approach to technical problems can often be unsystematic and my commitment to regular backups arbitrary at best, I can usually figure things out. It just often takes a little time, and no one asking me “How’s it going?”  Because until it’s fixed, it’s not going well.

After four hours of troubleshooting  - repairing Outlook, cleaning registries, compressing pst files, and mumbling new plans to “start saving to the cloud” – with no success, I made one last ditch effort.  I decided to remove the Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector Add-On.   Because let’s be honest, any Add-On with that many words has problems.  This Add-On was required so that I could view my Hotmail account in Outlook.  Magic!  Not the Add-On, but the joyful deleting of the Add-On.  As soon as I deleted the Add-On (the Add-On from the same company who makes the product I was Adding-To), Outlook opened and new emails started flowing.  To Brett’s Comcast email address.  Of course, there was none of my Hotmail messages, but regardless - this was momentary cause for cyber celebration – at 1am.  The Address Book was there, along with the deep recesses of our Inbox Folders.

I then got a notification that a new version of Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector Add-On was required.  Really?  After four hours of email silence, it was an Update problem that I hadn’t been warned about, admonished for or held captive by in the normal course of Windows Updates??  Really Windows Update? You think to notify me of updates to the Bing Desktop but not to the one thing that vows to bring my Outlook to a crashing halt the day before Advent peace is supposed to reign in my heart. 

This was momentary cause for cyber hate.  (If you are a Microsoft employee, this is the part of the story where I need you to listen and not tell me the additional eight steps I could have taken.)  Through gritted teeth, I updated my Add-On from the same company who makes the product I was Adding-To.  I waited.  Still no Hotmail messages.  Oh, it found the account.  It just couldn't download anything.  <Insert 45 minutes of unholy troubleshooting and cookies at 2am.>  I then laid down my Hotmail arms, and pondered what if  I try adding in my Gmail account.  I set up my Gmail account around the same time I set up my Instagram account, when hope was in the air but intention was not in my heart.  (If you are a Microsoft employee, tell me honestly – do you still have your Hotmail email?)  GMagic.  It was all there, including all the forwarded email I set up from my Hotmail – which naturally I had to set up through the web browser instead of Outlook. 

I’ve been reluctant to change my email address from Hotmail to Gmail for over a year because it seems hard, but when they give you lemons, it's time for clementines.  

My new clementine email address: kateballbach@gmail.com