Want to try something fun? Open up Outlook 2003 and then hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open up your process monitor in the Windows Task Manager. Clickon the Mem Usage column header to sort by memory usage. Now locate OUTLOOK.EXE in the Image Name column. Make a note of how much Ram is being used.
Good now you’re looking at the amount of RAM that Outlook is hoarding for itself. Now let it sit open for a few minutes, while you get a cup of coffee or stretch of something. Done? Good now compare the Mem Usage column to your notes, it should be way higher and still climbing. This is because whenever Outlook is open and not minimized (this doesn’t mean it is in focus or even visible mind you) it will keep grabbing up as much memory as it can get until you run out or minimize the application to your Task Bar. Once you open it again it starts hoarding all over.
So what is the good behind this? Well it can make sorting through huge folders of e-mail faster. What is the problem? Well, nothing else has any RAM so your PC runs like an octogenarian through quicksand.
It is poor design to create an application that will hoard all of your RAM even when it is out of focus or completely hidden. This is an example of bad software design and extremely poor memory management and should be a priority fix. It would noticeably improve PC performance with little to no downside or cost.
So what is the lesson? Don’t hoard memory when it is not needed. If everyone shares and plays nicely we’ll all have a better experience. We learned that one in Kindergarten.