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Last week, I finally decided to test Windows Vista. I’ve been reluctant to do it because of all bad reviews it has received from users since it was launched. In order to avoid experiencing any problems related to lack of memory or speed in the box, I purchased a new Intel Core 2 Quad Processor with 3GB RAM, and 640 GB HD. At first, I would like to have Windows Vista Ultimate installed, but the box came with Windows Vista Home Premium from factory; I might take advantage of the Anytime Upgrade program to update my Vista Box as soon as I get comfortable using it.

Everything went very smoothly during the setup and, in just a few minutes, I had the Windows Vista Box running like a champ. However, my headache started when I had to configure my hotmail account in the new Box. In my previous Windows XP box, I was able to install the Microsoft Outlook Connector without any problems, and in less than a minute, my account in Outlook 2007 was being synchronized with my Live Hotmail account. In addition, my wife had her hotmail account configured within Outlook Express, and the synchronization was automatic. Unlike my experience in Windows XP, when it was time to install the connector in my new Windows Vista Box, I wasn’t very lucky. First of all, it was a new environment for me and I could not find Outlook Express, mainly because Outlook Express was replaced by Windows Mail, which does not accepted http-based email accounts. The only solution was to install my Office 2007 in the Vista Box (see Office 2007 EULA for details) and use Outlook 2007 along with the Outlook Connector to synchronize my hotmail account, as I used to do in my Windows XP box. Thus, I installed the Office 2007 and the Outlook Connector under the Administrator Account to avoid any problems related to security. 

Once I had Office 2007 and Outlook Connector installed under the Administrator Account, I logged into my standard account and executed Outlook 2007. Bingo! Outlook Connector was installed and asked me for my credentials. I provided my credentials and the setup was done. The next step was to restart Outlook 2007 and wait for the synchronization to start. However, after the Outlook was restarted, the Outlook Connector kept displaying an error message about not being able to login using my credentials, even though the credentials were correct.

After researching on the Internet for a similar problem and visiting Windows Vista and Outlook Blogs, I was not able to find any possible reason for the problem I was experiencing.  From Windows Vista Blog I have only received a reply saying they have never experienced the situation, and from Outlook Blog, I have received nothing.

It took me several days of attempts to uninstall/reinstall/repair the connector without any success, until I decided to verify whether the connector would work under the Administrator Account. As I executed Outlook 2007 for the first time under the Administrator Account, a firewall message pops up asking which action it should take about Outlook attempt to access the Internet. As soon as I allowed Outlook to access the Internet, the synchronization started. The next step would be to test whether my emails were synchronizing properly under my standard account. For my surprise, they were; everything was working properly.

Thus, basically, my main issue was related to allowing Outlook to access the Internet via the firewall. One thing still makes me puzzle: why haven’t I received the firewall message when logged into my standard account? I wonder if it’s a firewall or Window Vista security feature. I am reasoning that because I was running under a limited account, it would not be wise to give me, a standard user, the ability to configure firewall permissions. Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, what can it possible be?