Crappy GUIs and Productivity

I’ve recently had to stop using Thunderbird at work and switch to Outlook, a change forced on all of us in the commercial side of the business due to the quality of available plugins for our preferred CRM system.

I hate Outlook, it’s messy, awkward, slow and painfully ugly. It’s also improving my productivity as I try to avoid looking at the damn thing and therefore spend less time being distracted from tasks by incoming messages and demands.

I wonder if the decision to design such a crappy GUI was a conscious one on Microsoft’s part to improve user productivity?