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What is Microsoft Outlook?

Get Specifications of MS Outlook Program!

Developer:Microsoft Corporation
Application Type:Personal information manager
License:Proprietary commercial software
Versions:Latest version of MS Outlook is 2016 for Windows & MAC
Written in:C++
Supported Platforms:Windows and MAC OS X
Website:http://www.office.microsoft.com/outlook (for Windows)
Website:www.microsoft.com/mac/outlook (for OS X)

What Is Microsoft Outlook and Why it is Used? – Complete Review

In a common word we can say that MS Outlook is an emailing program (desktop email client) developed by Microsoft and installed with MS Office suite. Microsoft Outlook includes extra features like: calendar, contact manager and journal which help you keep a details of email interactions you want to remind. It allows users sending/receiving emails through free POP3/IMAP and SMTP email Server also store contacts, journals, calendars and notes, etc.

The MS Outlook is part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications and also available for individual use. It stores entire mail components in an Outlook data file (.pst or .ost ). A .PST extension of file is called personal storage table file. By using a PST file user can access the data even if Internet connection breaks down or not available for a while. Since .OST extension of file is an offline storage table file mainly associated with the Microsoft Exchange Server.

Protocols Used by Microsoft Outlook!

POP3, IMAP and SMTP are free servers widely used by users.

Editions of Microsoft Outlook Include:

Application NameRelease DateVersion Number
Outlook 9716/07/19978.0
Outlook 9821/06/19988.5
Outlook 200027/06/19999.0
Outlook 200231/05/200110
Office Outlook 200320/11/200311
Office Outlook 200727/01/200712
Outlook 2008 for Mac15/01/200712
Outlook 201015/07/201014
Outlook 2011 for Mac26/10/201014
Outlook 201329/01/201315
Outlook for Mac31/10/201415.3

Examine Top 15 Features Of Microsoft Outlook

A lot of helpful functions are available in MS Outlook that make it more poplar comparison to other desktop email clients.

1) Faster Email Processing: MS Outlook allows sending or receiving emails quickly without taking extra time. A user can read their emails through MS Outlook even if the internet connection is not available for a while. One such feature of MS Outlook helps making communication faster and effective.

2) Email Attachment Reminder: It is another strong feature of the MS Outlook program that remind users to add or insert attachment to the email message even if user forgot to do so. Thus, this feature will be very helpful for people who are usual for this kind of working way as now MS Outlook will remind them to add required attachments.

3) Social Connectivity: Microsoft Outlook has 'Social Connectors' function that makes it really a best communication platform for professionals. With the help of this function you will always updated with current activities one has updated through Facebook, witter and LinkedIn profiles. Because all the related information is exhibited in Microsoft Outlook to keep the users updated about the recent social activities.

4) Altered Contacts: MS Outlook stored all contacts in their Address book that can be managed in a very smooth way. The most beneficial point for the user is that one can edit or change contact information by a single click on its name. As we have seen that Contacts have now replaced with "People" in new interfaces.

5) Tracking Feature: Most of the users want to know that how many peoples have read the message sent by them. So MS Outlook has released a new features using it a user can track the status of sent email messages.

6) A new message can be composed, it offers to the users with different two options:

  • "Request a Read Receipt": This function will inform you with a confirmation receipt when your email message is being opened by the recipient.
  • "Request a Delivery Receipt": By selecting this option you will aware when the message (sent by you) is delivered to the recipient's mailbox.
Thus, both of the features are used by many users to get back the status of their email. You can configure MS Outlook to track entire emails within "Message Handling" section if you desire to keep informed with the status of your messages that whether your message received or opened.

7) Customized Calendars: Most of the organizations use MS Outlook Calendars to manage appointments, meetings and events, etc. So for now The calendars have been modified and altered with a different look that makes it simpler to add organization events, appointments and view scheduled. It offers to preview current activities and also to update the status once the task is being done.

It also offers a"weather forecast feature" that shows weather conditions and keeping users up-to-date and prepared with the weather situation consequently for local as well as outside meetings/appointments.

8) Inbox Clean Up Tool: This feature of MS Outlook deletes extra spaces from the drive and makes email communication more easy as well as effective. The user should assign suitable settings to the inbox that will help in saving most recent email message only while deleting others.

9) Shortcuts\ Hot Keys: This is the highly used feature of MS Outlook 2013, which make email communication easier and more effective.Shortcut keys are frequently supportive of the users who send\ receives a huge quantity of email messages on a regular basis. Using Hot keys, user can complete the task in less time and efforts.

10) Inter-Communication: Microsoft Outlook 2013 allows to invite employees as well as co-workers for the meetings and offers ease for instantly informing others about the imperative schedules. This feature informs about the activities (what time they are in and out) of the each employee also keeps track of rejected and accepted requests.

11) Ribbons & Navigation Bar: Through ribbons and navigation bar user get easier to proceed with a particular operation in MS Outlook. Ribbon is also useful for non technical users as just by clicking the mouse on a menu bar it will show up all the related features in the ribbon area.

12) Support Microsoft Exchange Server: Most of organizations prefer to set up an Exchange server to keep secure email communication and data centralization purpose. MS Outlook and MS Exchange server both products are developed by Microsoft and fully supported to each other.

13) Free Import Export Facility: Microsoft Outlook provides a free Import Export Wizard that helps users in exporting and Importing data from/to MS Outlook. Through this function a user can use MS Outlook data with other email clients.

14) Manage Rules and Alerts: This is the another strong feature of the MS Outlook, which help users to create rules in MS Outlook to send emails to particular filtered folder. Using this feature user also can create and manage alerts.

15) Work Offline: When you switch to work Offline that's mean your Outlook is disconnected from the mail server and you will not able to send or receive emails until you will switch to working offline to Online in Outlook.

What is the File Extension for Microsoft Outook

The .pst extension is the primary file format of MS Outlook used to store entire email messages, contacts, tasks, calendars and notes etc. Apart from PST format, a few other file extensions related to Microsoft Outlook.

.OSTOutlook Offline Folder File
.MSGOutlook Mail Message
.EMLE-mail Message
.VCFvCard File
.ICSCalendar File
.WABWindows Address Book
.SIGSignature File
.RWZOutlook Rules Wizard File
.SRSOutlook Send/Receive Settings File
.PRFOutlook Profile File
.PABPersonal Address Book
.OTMOutlook Macro File
.OLMMAC Outlook Data File
.OFTOutlook File Template
.IAFOutlook Internet Account File
.BCMBusiness Contact Manager File

What are Default Locations for Microsoft Outlook Data Files?

Where PST files are located?

  • Windows XP: drive:\Users\\My Documents\Outlook Files
  • Windows 7 & Vista: drive:\Users\\Documents\Outlook Files
  • Windows 8: drive:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Where OST Files are located?

  • Windows XP: drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Windows 7 & Vista: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Windows 8: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Helpful Articles:

How to Convert OST to PST Format

How to Convert MBOX to PST Format

Final Verdict:

Above mention information is all about MS Outlook and its features that will let you know everything about Microsoft Outlook. The latest edition of MS Outlook 2016 has few more basic features that can be examined here. After a deep analysis about Microsoft Outlook software our editor team is giving it a 9.5 rating out of 10. You may also use free trial edition of the software to check its features.