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 Outlook 2010 for Windows and 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. In addition, Windows Mobile devices can synchronize almost all Outlook data to Outlook Mobile.


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

Versions of Microsoft Outlook include:


Version Number

Release Date


Outlook for MS-DOS



 Bundled with Exchange Server 5.5

Outlook for Windows 3.1x



 Bundled with Exchange Server 5.5

Outlook for Macintosh



 Bundled with Exchange Server 5.5

Outlook 97


January 16, 1997

 Included in Office 97 and also bundled with    Exchange Server 5.5.

Outlook 98


June 21, 1998

 Freely distributed with books and magazines for  coping with newest Internet standard such as HTML  mail

Outlook 2000


June 7, 1999

 Included in Office 2000 and also bundled with Exchange 2000 Server.

Outlook 2002


May 31, 2001

 Included in Office XP.                                                           

Office Outlook 2003


October 21, 2003

 Included in Office 2003 (incl. Standard Edition for  Students and Teachers) and also bundled with Exchange Server 2003.

Office Outlook 2007


November 30, 2006

 Included in Office 2007, except Office Home and Student edition.

Outlook 2010


April 15, 2010

 Included in Office 2010 Home and Business, Standard, Professional, and Professional Plus.

Outlook 2011 for Mac


October 26, 2010

 Included in Office for Mac 2011 Home and Business

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.

Outlook 2010 Features

Features that debuted in Outlook 2010 include:

  • All features of Outlook 2007
  • Ribbon interface in all views
  • 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...