Evolution: Outlook replacement, now for Windows
Well, now Evolution has been ported to Windows. Why do I feel differently about it now? I'm not sure. I guess since Microsoft Outlook already exists for Windows, it's hard to justify using a third-party application that replicates Outlook so completely.
The justification given on the Evolution site was that their company needed to be able to schedule meetings with external clients who used Microsoft Outlook as their email client. And rather than purchase Outlook for their staff, they opted to port Evolution to Windows to avoid paying for the software.
Although many publications have called Evolution an "Outlook Replacement", I'm not sure I would be comfortable building a company on what is almost certainly illegal software. Evolution's user interface is so similar to Outlook's that it's either infringing on Microsoft's copyright, or at least some form of intellectual property. I'm no lawyer, but I know in my gut when something feels wrong, and this feels wrong. But it's not for me to pass judgement, and who knows - maybe Microsoft is tacitly allowing Evolution to exist. Anyhow, as a technical achievement, it's remarkable. Even if it is fugly compared to recent versions of Outlook. Hmm, maybe that's why Microsoft doesn't mind?