Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Office Outlook
Microsoft Outlook Icon
Microsoft Outlook Screenshot
Outlook 2010 running on Windows 7
Developer(s) Microsoft Corporation
Stable release 2010 (14.0.4760.1000) / June 15, 2010; 16 months ago (2010-06-15)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Personal information manager
License Proprietary commercial software
Microsoft Office Outlook for Mac
Microsoft Outlook for Mac Icon
Microsoft Outlook for Mac screenshot
Outlook 2011 running on Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Developer(s) Microsoft Corporation
Stable release 2011 ( / October 26, 2010; 12 months ago (2010-10-26)
Operating system Mac OS X
Type Personal information manager
License Proprietary commercial software

Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager from Microsoft, available both as a separate application as well as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. The current version is Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 for Windows and Microsoft Office Outlook 2011 for Mac.

Although often used mainly as an e-mail application, it also includes a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, a journal and web browsing.

It can be used as a stand-alone application, or can work with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server for multiple users in an organization, such as shared mailboxes and calendars, Exchange public folders, SharePoint lists and meeting schedules. There are third-party add-on applications that integrate Outlook with devices such as BlackBerry mobile phones and with other software like Office & Skype internet communication. Developers can also create their own custom software that works with Outlook and Office components using Microsoft Visual Studio.[1] In addition, Windows Mobile devices can synchronize almost all Outlook data to Outlook Mobile.



Microsoft Outlook has replaced Microsoft's previous scheduling and mail program, Schedule+ and Exchange Client.

Versions of Microsoft Outlook include:

Name Version Number[2] Release Date[3] Notes
Outlook for MS-DOS - - Bundled with Exchange Server 5.5
Outlook for Windows 3.1x[4] - - Bundled with Exchange Server 5.5
Outlook for Macintosh - - Bundled with Exchange Server 5.5
Outlook 97 8.0 January 16, 1997 Included in Office 97 and also bundled with Exchange Server 5.5.
Outlook 98 8.5 June 21, 1998 Freely distributed with books and magazines for coping with newest Internet standard such as HTML mail[5] Outlook 98 setup was based on Active Setup which also installed Internet Explorer 4.[6]
Outlook 2000 9.0 June 27, 1999 Included in Office 2000 and also bundled with Exchange 2000 Server.
Outlook 2002 10 May 31, 2001 Included in Office XP.
Office Outlook 2003 11 November 20, 2003 Included in Office 2003 (incl. Standard Edition for Students and Teachers) and also bundled with Exchange Server 2003.
Office Outlook 2007 12 January 27, 2007 Included in Office 2007, except Office Home and Student edition.
Outlook 2010 14 July 15, 2010 Included in Office 2010 Home and Business, Standard, Professional, and Professional Plus.
Outlook 2011 for Mac 14 October 26, 2010 Included in Office for Mac 2011 Home and Business

Outlook 98 and Outlook 2000 of two configurations:

  • Internet Mail Only or IMO mode: A lighter application mode with specific emphasis on POP3 accounts and IMAP accounts and including a lightweight Fax application.
  • Corporate Workgroup or CW mode: A full MAPI client with specific emphasis on Microsoft Exchange accounts.


Outlook 2007

Microsoft Outlook 2007

Outlook 2007 was available in retail stores at the end of January 2007.  Features that debuted in Outlook 2007 include:[7]

  • To-Do bar added to the shell UI that shows a snapshot of the user's upcoming appointments and active tasks for better time and project management, and provides navigation entry points into calendar (e.g. selecting calendar dates in Date Navigator, clicking on day/date names in appointments area)
  • Changed calendar views that display the tasks due below each day on the week view and supports overlaying multiple calendars
  • Send your calendar information with calendar snapshots, which creates an HTML representation of your calendar so you can share this information with anyone
  • Ability to publish calendars in Internet Calendar format to Microsoft Office Online or to a WebDAV server
  • Send text and picture messages from Outlook with Outlook Mobile Service to a mobile phone. Forward Outlook e-mail messages, contacts, appointments, and tasks as text messages. Automatically send e-mail messages, reminders, and your daily calendar as text messages to a mobile phone Outlook SMS Service Provider
  • Integrated RSS aggregator
  • 'Instant Search' through a context indexer based search engine with Windows Desktop Search
  • Enhanced integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server
  • New programmability features[8]
  • Preview Handler extension for previewing email attachment (including reading pane) without leaving Outlook
  • Ability to add a picture or company logo to a contact or electronic business card[9]
  • Office Fluent user interface (though not for the main window)
  • Color Categories give you an easy, visual way to distinguish any type of information from one another, so it's easy to organize your data and search your information
  • Save as PDF or XPS
  • Discontinuation of Common User Access cut and paste support
  • Improved anti-phishing filters
  • Office Outlook 2007 E-mail Postmark is designed to make it very time-consuming and technologically detrimental for users to send mass e-mail like spam, yet they do not change the user experience of sending e-mail.
  • Information Rights Management (IRM) restricts and/or expires distribution of email using Windows Server 2003 or later running Windows Rights Management Services (RMS)
  • Managed policy compliance features integration with Exchange Server 2007

Outlook 2010

Features that debuted in Outlook 2010 include:[10]

  • All features of Outlook 2007
  • Ribbon interface in all views [11]
  • Contact cards to show pop-up details of all message participants from GAL or user contact records
  • Grouping of conversations improved - includes messages from all folders, and optionally from separate accounts
  • Improved To-Do bar, for example showing how many appointments are not shown when space is limited
  • "People Pane" and Social Networking features [12]


Microsoft also released several versions of Outlook for Mac OS, though it was only for use with Exchange servers. It was not provided as a component of Microsoft Office for Mac, but instead made available to users from administrators or by download. The final version was Outlook for Mac 2001, which was fairly similar to Outlook 2000 and 2002 apart from being exclusively for Exchange users.

Microsoft Entourage was introduced as an Outlook-like application for Mac OS in Office 2001, but it lacked Exchange connectivity. Partial support for Exchange server became available natively in Mac OS X with Entourage 2004 Service Pack 2. Entourage is not directly equivalent to Outlook in terms of design or operation; rather, it is a distinct application which has several overlapping features including Exchange client capabilities. Somewhat improved Exchange support was added in Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition.

Entourage was replaced by Outlook for Mac 2011, which features greater compatibility and parity with Outlook for Windows than Entourage offered. It is the first native version of Outlook for Mac OS X.

Outlook 2011 initially only supported Mac OS X's Sync Services for Contacts, not Events, Tasks or Notes. It also does not have a Project Manager equivalent to that in Entourage.[13]. With Service Pack 1 (v 14.1.0), published on 12 April 2011, Outlook can now sync calendar, notes and tasks.

Internet standards compliance

HTML rendering

Outlook 2007 was the first Outlook to switch from Internet Explorer HTML rendering to Microsoft Word 2007 HTML rendering. This means HTML and CSS items not handled by Word are no longer supported. On the other hand, HTML messages composed in Word will look more or less as they appeared to the author.[14]

This affects publishing newsletters and HTML/CSS reports, because they frequently use intricate HTML and/or CSS to form their layout. For example, forms can no longer be embedded in e-mail.

Microsoft Entourage is the only modern form of Outlook that properly supports CSS and allows for seamless rendering between web browsers and email clients with little to no modifications to the original HTML or CSS code.[15]

Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format

Outlook and Exchange Server internally handle messages, appointments and all other items as objects in a data model which is derived from the old proprietary Microsoft Mail system, the Rich Text Format from Microsoft Word and the complex OLE general data model[16]. When these programs interface with other protocols such as the various Internet and X.400 protocols, they try to map this internal model onto those protocols in a way that can be reversed if the ultimate recipient is also running Outlook or Exchange[17].

This focus on the possibility that emails and other items will ultimately be converted back to Microsoft Mail format is so extreme that if Outlook/Exchange cannot figure out a way to encode the complete data in the standard format, it simply encodes the entire message/item in a proprietary binary format called Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF) and sends this as an attached file (usually named "winmail.dat") to an otherwise incomplete rendering of the mail/item. If the recipient is Outlook/Exchange it can simply discard the incomplete outer message and use the encapsulated data directly, but if the recipient is any other program, the message received will be incomplete because the data in the TNEF attachment will be of little use without the Microsoft software for which it was created[17]. As a workaround, numerous tools for (partially) decoding TNEF files exist[18].

Calendar compatibility

Outlook does not fully support data and syncing specifications for calendaring and contacts, such as iCalendar, CalDAV, SyncML and vCard 3.0. Outlook 2007 claims to be fully iCalendar compliant; however, it does not support all core objects, such as VTODO, VJOURNAL.[19] Also, Outlook supports vCard 2.1 and does not support multiple contacts in the vCard format as a single file. Outlook has also been criticized for having proprietary "Outlook extensions" to these Internet standards.

Security concerns

As part of its Trustworthy Computing initiative, Microsoft took corrective steps to fix Outlook's reputation in Office Outlook 2003. Among the most publicized security features are that Office Outlook 2003 does not automatically load images in HTML e-mails or permit opening executable attachments by default, and includes a built-in Junk Mail filter.[20] Service Pack 2 has augmented these features and adds an anti-phishing filter.[21]

Outlook Add-ins

(Other possible and frequently used names: Microsoft Outlook add-ons, Microsoft Outlook plug-ins, Microsoft Outlook extensions, etc.)

Outlook Add-ins are small helping programs for the Microsoft Outlook application. The main purpose of the add-ins is to add new functional capabilities into Microsoft Outlook and automate some routine operations. Add-in also refers to programs where the main function is to work on Outlook files such as synchronisation or backup utilities.

From Outlook 97 on, Exchange Client Extensions are supported in Outlook. Outlook 2000 and later support specific COM components called Outlook AddIns. The exact supported features (such as .NET components) for later generations were extended with each release.

Outlook Express

Outlook Express was an e-mail client, newsgroup client, and contact management software application that Microsoft bundled with Internet Explorer 4, 5 and 6 and all versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 98 to Windows Server 2003. Other than the similar name there is no connection between the two products and they originated from different divisions of Microsoft. While both offer access to POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail accounts, only Outlook offers client access (MAPI) to Microsoft Exchange. Outlook Express was succeeded by Windows Mail and subsequently by Windows Live Mail.

Importing from other email clients

Currently, Outlook supports importing messages from Outlook Express and Lotus Notes. There are some ways to get the emails from Thunderbird; the first is to use a tool[22] that can convert a Thunderbird folder to a format that can be imported from Outlook Express. This method must be processed folder by folder. The other method is to use a couple of free tools that keep the original folder structure.[23]

See also


  1. ^ Top 10 Reasons to Use Outlook - Business Center - PC World
  2. ^ The version numbers follows the Office numbers.
  3. ^ "Microsoft Outlook Life-cycle Information". Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ HTML Mail with Microsoft Outlook
  6. ^ OL98: How to Troubleshoot Active Setup Problems in Windows 98, 98 SE or ME
  7. ^ Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 product overview
  8. ^ What's New for Developers in Outlook 2007 (Part 1 of 2)
  9. ^ Add, change, or remove a picture for a contact
  10. ^ Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 product overview
  11. ^ Overview of the Office user interface in Office 2010
  12. ^ The Outlook Social Connector
  13. ^ Welsh, John C. (October 1, 2010). "Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011". Macworld. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Outlook Data Model Reference (page on the MailItem object class members), MSDN development documentation, [1], retrieved May 2011
  17. ^ a b Preface of the TNEF specification, Outlook 2010 edition, [2], retrieved May 2011
  18. ^ See list of some TNEF decoders in the main TNEF aticle
  19. ^ "Microsoft Office 2003 editions comparison". Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  20. ^ "MS-STANOICAL - v1.01 Outlook iCalendar Standards Compliance" (PDF). Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-03-09. [dead link]
  21. ^ Microsoft 'Security at Home' website
  22. ^ IMAPSize
  23. ^ Export messages and folders from Thunderbird to Outlook / Outlook Express / Windows Mail

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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