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Microsoft Outlook

Last Edit: 10/01/17



This client is referred to by two names, either 'Microsoft Office Outlook' or 'Outlook'. Unlike Outlook Express it's not a free program, and be bought either separately or packaged with MS Office. It's quite an extensive program, with more features than OE. With an advanced calendar / dating system, note taking, a diary / journal, being able to search through all your emails and messages and the ability to browse the web.

Outlook has the ability to operate on it's own, or in partnership with SharePoint and Exchange (both Microsoft apps). The advantage of it's partnership with these programs is for data exchange on local networks. There are then a number of third party program which do something similar, by combining Outlook with communication software such as Skype.

Outlook has even been launched for the Apple Macintosh. Renamed 'Entourage' in the year two thousand and one. The principle reason for it's launch was to allow Mac users to access servers running Exchange. This has been a possibility since Apple's made it's OS X operating system compatible with Exchange clients. The only disadvantage for Mac users is the amount of features on offer, which is less than for Windows users. Which is of no surprise, considering that Apple are Microsoft's biggest competitor. MS will desire to persuade users onto their OS as well.

Microsoft Outlook is therefore more than just an e-mail client. It's also a personal organiser. Which makes it more capable of sharing and managing data than most other e-mail clients.


There has been twelve versions launched, the last being in 2007. The date of the first version of MO was generally agreed to be 1997. It was titled Outlook 97, and officially version 8.0. Before this date the versions were generally parts of either Schedule+ or Exchange Server. And Outlook 97 was a an attempted merger of these two programs. Outlook has also been available for the Mac as well, but was called Entourage instead.

Some people would claim that the first Outlook version was 8.0. And there is in fact only six official versions. This is certainly true for the name of the program. But not for the development of the code.


8.0 - titled 97.
8.5 - titled 98.
9.0 - titled 2000.
10.0 - titled 2002.
11.0 - titled 2003.
12.0 - titled 2007.

The last version was therefore 'Outlook 2007' . Some of the new features of version includes a 'to do' bar for organising calendar data. This is just one part of multiple new calendar capabilities. Microsoft have also improved the way Outlook communicates with Exchange and SharePoint. This hopefully makes sharing data with local Office users easier. There is also the ability to send text and photo's to a mobile phone.

Security issues

Outlook suffered from many of the same flaws as OE. Which you can read above. Loading HTML and images being the most obvious. By version 2003, MO had evolved so that the program did not automatically load these security exploits. A notable addition to MO's security features was it's anti-phishing filter, and a junk filter which was also included in OE. MO now uses MS Word for it's rendering of HTML, but there are still security issues with this change.

One of the biggest security flaws was in 1999, when a Microsoft Word macro virus infected PC's, but only when opened as an e-mail attachment. It managed to spread by the Microsoft Outlook address books, and resent itself from that data. This resulted in Microsoft needed to provide a whole new 'guard' system for accessing the address book of Outlook.

However, a similar flaw was exploited by the "Klez" worm in 2002. The Klez worm produced an e-mail message with a HTML internal frame tag. The worm executed from this frame, and again managed to send itself by accessing Outlook's address book.