Many moons ago when I was playing with various Linux builds and comparing to OSX and WinXP I'd been looking at the desktop apps to see if it was possible to exist as a "linux guy" in a Windows world. For me the biggest issue was something that would take the place of Outlook (not Express. The grown-up version). On OSX it's an easy choice. It's called Entourage - and in some ways it's still slicker than Outlook 2007.

For Linux users the Outlook equivalent has always been Evolution. Sadly it was never available as a Win32 port (and one the one occasion I was foolish enough to raise the question the fanboys tried to roast me alive and I never went back!)

Well, turns out that in the long run I was right! Reading Chris Porillos (sometime acerbic but always amusing) blog I came across news of a workable port of Evolution to Windows that tidies up some of the idiosyncrasies of the official port (which had also escaped my attention - I've been playing with Outlook 2007 beta and not seen the need to keep hunting alternatives). Shame Evolution looks ugly but it's great to see the functionality is now here and stable.

I'm not going to try it for the moment... got a bit too much work on at the moment to spend the time it deserves to see how it all hangs together, but I hope the folks from the Outlook team at Microsoft do take a long look at it - just to keep them on their toes - as well as Thunderbird and the forthcoming Lightning mail integration to help keep Outlook out there as the tool of choice...