Are All Outlook Add-in Writers Crazy?

I just spent half an hour with a very interesting task: I created a new user account on a computer of mine and configured Outlook. Why did that take me so long? Very simple: because apparently all Outlook add-in developers are completely crazy.

Outlook has several methods of registering add-ins. I’m not an expert, but I have found that at least there’s one method to register an add-in system-wide, another that registers the add-in only for a given user. So guess which approach every single add-in on my system uses? Right, the global one! Why? Sure – everybody who ever works on my system wants to try TEO because I have been trying TEO. And everybody has a NewsGator account because I have one. And so on. Sure.

There are ways to disable add-ins, and of course they are only accessible via the registry… of course this is more of a Microsoft problem. But the add-in writers are the ones who decide exactly how hard they want to make it – and in the case of the NewsGator guys they apparently circumvented the whole mechanism completely. Josh even says it himself:

There is also a HKCU flavor of this key so your AddIn can be in either one. If you are in the HKLM section, your AddIn will not show up in the COM AddIns dialog within Outlook. For this reason, I am considering making TEO 2.0 use the HKCU even though it would require that each user reinstall TEO.

I’m sure there must be people out there who are able to follow that reasoning. I’m not one of them. Pardon my rant.

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