I’m using Microsoft Outlook again after a long hiatus. In my opinion it still remains the benchmark for integrated email and calendar management. While Google Calendar is pretty good it still has not surpassed Outlook Calendar.
For me the dilemma is that I’m now a Mac User. While Microsoft does provide an Office product set that includes Entourage for email and calendar management, Entourage is not 100% feature equivalent to Outlook. Entourage is close but the subtle difference of not being able to display multiple time zones in your calender, especially if you travel, can be annoying.
In a couple of hours I bought and downloaded a copy of VMware Fusion and installed it on my MacBook Pro. Given my MacBook Pro has 4 GB of memory and an Intel Core i5 with 2 cores and 2 threads per core I was optimistic. I then migrated a virtual machine of my Windows XP Professional running on a Leveno Thinkpad into VMware… seamlessly.
Next I started experimenting with the virtual machine settings. After some tweaking I had the virtual machine running on two threads of 1 core allocated with 1GB of memory. The coolest feature for me was the “unity” option of Fusion where you can display the application, in this case Outlook, as an integrated window under Mac OS X (see the top picture above). Performance of the virtual machine running Outlook was pretty impressive. Integration with printers, shared folders, ports, devices was seamless as well.
Now I have the best of both worlds: my UNIX environment (Mac OS X) and Outlook thanks to VMware Fusion. Next up is to see how VMware integrates with storage– who and what.