Outlook territorialism

Yesterday the Microsoft Office 2003 installation at my work PC was updated to its 2007 incarnation. But when starting the new and shiny Outlook to check my calendar, I was presented this little gem of a dialogue box:

Outlook being a little jealous.

Click it to see it the way it was intended. I had to scale the image to make it fit this page, but it is in Dutch anyway. Here’s what it says:

“Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. MAPI32.DLL is damaged or is of a wrong version. This might be because you have installed other software for e-mail communication. Install Outlook again.” (emphasis mine)

MAPI32.DLL is part of the Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI), which is a Windows APIĀ  that allows applications to handle e-mail and other message-based communication protocols. That fact that it is a Dynamically Linked Library (DLL) means that it is like a Shared Object (.so-) file in Unix: a library to be used by several programs, not just Outlook, I’d think.

I remember back in the late nineties when my friends and I entertained conspiracy theory notions about Internet Explorer (3?) trying to damage Netscape Navigator installations on the same computer. How it did this we didn’t think of and we obviously never found any proof. Occam’s razor would suggest that Netscape was unstable by itself.

Still, in the screen shot above you can see that I have Mozilla Thunderbird installed as well. So could the dialogue box be telling the truth? Is Outlook giving me the cold shoulder because I am cheating on it with Thunderbird? In any case, a sentence like that in an error message raises more questions that it answers.

Categorised as: skepsis

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