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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Outlook 2010 Inbox Zero Bug

Comments (314)

I’ve always had a knack for quickly finding bugs.  It’s not hard with most software / web services as the bugs are everywhere, but they like to emerge from the shadows when I tickle my computer.

I’ve been running Outlook 2010 for a few weeks since it shipped.  Now that I’m used to the new ribbon UI, I find it much improved over Outlook 2007.  I particularly like the Conversations view which was long overdue (and works really well) and am amused that most of the memory leaks / shut down issues are gone.  Given the amount of email I jam through on a daily basis, my Outlook workflow is particularly well tuned and while I’ve tried to switch to Gmail, it hasn’t happened yet.  Maybe I’ll try again when Gmail gives me an option to not have a conversation view.

I ran into a surprisingly lame Outlook 2010 bug the other day.  I run an inbox zero drill although I fought to get there for about ten days after my week off the grid in May.  When I got there the other day, I was stunned to see that apparently no one tested for a classic off-by-one error – namely what happens when you have no messages in your inbox after you delete the last one.

They got half of it right.

image

Note the “There are no items to show in this view” in the left mail items list view.  However, not the remnant message – the last email that I was reading that I recently hit delete on – in the right reading pane.  Since there are no items in the mail item list view and nothing selected (since there is nothing to select), the right reading pane should be blank.  It’s obviously not.

Through the magic of email I was able to test this several times.  Specifically, inbox zero is a condition that doesn’t remain for long in my world.  As a few new messages came in, I read, responded, and deleted.  The error persisted.

It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft fixes this in a quick patch or, if like the Snipping Tool close error, it persists – well – forever.

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