Outlook is a personal information manager from Microsoft, available as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Microsoft Outlook comes with features like calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, journal and web browsing. The application can be used as a stand – alone application or can also be used by multiple users in an organization to share mailboxes, calendars with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Share Point Server.
Microsoft previously used Schedule+ and Exchange Client as their mail program which was later replaced by Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft has released mobile applications for most mobile platforms, including iOS and Android. Windows Mobile devices also facilitate the users with the ability to synchronize most of their Outlook data to Outlook Mobile app.
The latest version of Outlook online for Microsoft Windows Operating system was launched on January 9, 2013. The new features that debuted with the 2013 edition of the application are:
- Attachment reminder
- Exchange ActiveSync
- Add-in resiliency
- Outlook data file, files could be compressed with (.ost).
- People hub
- Startup performance improvements.
Macintosh also released several versions of Microsoft Outlook for Mac OS, however, Outlook application is not a part of Microsoft Office suite for Mac OS, and requires individual download. Microsoft Outlook online comes with add – ins as small support programs for the application. The major purpose of such add-ins is to add new functional capabilities like working on Outlook files, synchronization and back up of utilities. Outlook online social connector is an integral part of Outlook which was introduced as a free add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007 edition in November of 2009. The add-in allows integration of social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Windows Live Messenger into Microsoft Outlook.
Microsoft Outlook supports POP3 and IMAP protocols, which enables the users to import emails from email clients’ servers that support these protocols. For example: Gmail. Outlook can also import email from Hotmail accounts with the use of Microsoft Hotmail connector. In 2013, the facility was further expanded enabling users to import email (as well as calendar) through Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Although it’s slightly tricky, emails can also be imported from Thunderbird. For this, users will first need to convert the Thunderbird folder to a format recognized by outlook Express. Either users can do this process folder-by-folder or use some free tools available for download to hold the original folder structure.