Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Evolution for Windows

I've been waiting for Evolution for Windows for a long time and now I find out it's been around since August 2008 for this easy-to-install version, and even further back to Jan 2008 for other versions, how time flies! If you don't know what Evolution is then let me tell you - it's the default email and calendering solution for Gnome, but you probably know that already right? I only really use the mail client but there's nothing better for me, it's just so 'clean'.

Now, on Windows, there's no decent IMAP client around so when I'm forced to use Windows I have to use Outlook Express, which works well with IMAP, or a Web Browser (Outlook is awful at IMAP). But now, I can use my favourite email client on Windows too!

So how is it?

Well it crashed a lot at first but now that I have disabled the exchange plugin, in Edit->Plugins, it works like a dream. Initial load time is poor, about 45 seconds on an old 1.4Ghz notebook but once it's loaded the responsiveness really is very good.

Being a Gnome port the User Interface is not native and may feel a little odd to Windows users, although there are a surprising amount of native looking controls, but isn't that one of Window's greatest features? I mean every program looks different on it anyway, imposing its own colours, font-sizes, clever new buttons etc. This is one of my oldest Windows gripes, but I'm not anti-windows, I just really like Gnome and apps that behave the way *I* want them to. Long term Windows users usually don't see this as a problem in my experience so Evolution should feel okay to them I guess.

I'm afraid I won't be able to test this on Windows much, as I don't use that OS often, but my Dad has volunteered to test it. I wonder how this will turn out...


  1. Just FYI - A lot of folks have found this hair-pullingly buggy on Windows XP systems - I'm no slouch at getting 'difficult' installs to work, but had to throw in the towel on this after a dozen or more attempts with successive versions of the package....

    Edward Sullivan

  2. Follow-up: Now as far as IMAP Clients for Windows go, the old (flying) warhorse Pegasus Mail is wonderful:


    Edward Sullivan

  3. Thanks for the comments Edward.

    I used the installer from http://www.dipconsultants.com/evolution/ version 2.22.2-4 on WinXP, which installed without a hitch. I had to kill exchange-evolution to get the main program to start, but after disabling the plugin it worked well. Right now this thing is working as fast as the Linux version - darn!

    Pmail certainly looks complete. It kinda reminds me of Eudora-of-old but with an even more complex UI, or even more like a prettier Claws. Shame it's not multi-platform.

  4. Since Microsoft Office 2003 their MS Outlook supports IMAP OK. (Until then it was a disaster).