Business Contact Manager Crashes Outlook 2003

Microsoft Office is giving me a headache today. All my users with Office 2003 are calling in one by one this week, complaining that Outlook is crashing at startup. The scenario is the same in each case. The users does windows update, and Outlook mysteriously breaks.

After hours of banging my head against the table, googling, scouring usenet, and cursing under my breath I finally found the culprit: the stupid Business Contact Manager. Why do we use it, you ask? For one, it is bundled with Office 2003, and it comes preinstalled on new Dell systems. Up until now I did not really think much about it – but from now on, I will make unsintalling it from the new machines a company policy.

What is happening? I have no clue. There is some buzz on the interwebs that some .NET patch completely b0rked BCM. I haven’t seen anything official or even a reliable analysis. Just people ranting on usenet groups and message boards. I know one thing though – as soon as BCM was uninstalled all their Outlook problems went away.

What did I learn from this?

  1. BCM is total garbage
  2. .NET ain’t that great at version control after all
  3. windows update can b0rk your system

Save yourself some trouble. Remove BCM, and don’t let users to install it. I don’t really see any great use for that add-on anyway. And if your company does use it – good luck!

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