Microsoft Outlook Explained

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Then, it explains how Outlook has evolved, available options, and features. In the final sections, the guide explains how to get Outlook and compares it to Windows 10 Mail.

This tool has different components and has evolved over time. To make it easy to understand the subject, I add information in sequence. To have a better understanding of the subject, I strongly recommend that you follow the sections in order. However, you may also jump to a section by expanding “Browse Post Topics” below.

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What is Outlook?

What is Outlook?

Outlook is an email software developed by Microsoft. Users can use Outlook to send, receive and read emails. It was first released as part of Microsoft Office suite, but recently it has been repackaged as part of Office 365 suite and as a free version – Outlook.com.

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However, Outlook is more than just an email client. It is a suite of productivity tools – it includes calendar, and contacts as well. You can create events and meetings with its Calendar.

Moreover, you can add and manage your email contacts as well. For the detailed features of this email tool from Microsoft, see the Features & Benefits section of this guide.

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How Outlook Has Evolved

How Outlook Has Evolved

This email tool was first released in 1990. Then, it was released as part of Office 97 suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Since Outlook 97 version, different versions has been released, each adding new features.

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Fast forward to June 28, 2011, it was repackaged as part of Office 365 products. Then, in July 31, 2012, Outlook.com was born. It is a free email and productivity tool aimed at competing directly with Gmail. The free version can also send and receive emails as well as used to manage contacts and calendar.

Outlook Options

Outlook Options

Based on the information in the first 2 sections of this Itechguide, you would have figured out that there are different ways you can access this email tool. This section covers the different ways you can access and use Outlook.

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Part of Microsoft Office 2019

Outlook is still part of Microsoft Office 2019. Before 365, Microsoft sold Office as a stand-alone bundle, not subscription-based. You can still purchase Office Home & Business 2019 for a one-time cost of $249.99 (price correct as at May 5th 2020).

You will be able to install and receive up-to-date versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint for Windows or Mac.

Part of Office 365 Subscription

You can also get Outlook as part of Office 365 monthly or annual subscription. As at the time of writing this Itechguide, 365 has 2 subscriptions – Microsoft 365 Apps for business and Microsoft 365 Business Standard.

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If you purchase Outlook as part of Office 2019 (one off purchase) or Office 365 (subscription), you will still need to create an email. However, you can create a free @Outlook.com email. If you want to create a custom email, like Name@BusibessName.com, follow the steps in Get a personalized email address in Microsoft 365.
If you need help setting up a personalized (name@businessdomain.com) email for your small business or personal use, get in touch via our Contact Us form.

Outlook.com

You can also access Outlook as a free email service (just like Gmail). To create a free Outlook.com email, visit Outlook.com. When you create a free Outlook.com, you will have the option to upgrade tom Office 365.

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Features & Benefits of Microsoft Outlook

Features & Benefits of Microsoft Outlook

Most of the features discussed in this section may apply only to the paid version. Some of the features may not be available in the free version.

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Email Calendar, and Contacts

As I already mentioned in this Itechguide, you can send, read and reply to emails. However, you can manage and organize your contacts as well as create meetings and tasks.

Moreover, with Office integration, you can attach documents directly from Microsoft OneDrive. You can also access your contacts and send them emails or invite them to meetings. You can even view LinkedIn profiles right from Outlook!

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Book Meetings and Manage Schedules

You can also use this Microsoft productivity tool to create new meetings, book conference rooms and manage responses to meeting invites. You can also share your calendars and even see if your colleagues are available for a meeting – you also see if they are busy.

Built-in Security and Intelligence

Outlook also comes with built-in security – spam control, information security and more. It also comes with built-in intelligence that “anticipates your needs”, according to Microsoft.

One example of how the smart intelligence can help make life easy for you is by adding your bill payments automatically to your calendar so you do not forget to pay the bills.

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Multi-Device Support

Finally, for this section, with Outlook, you can access your email from your desktop PC*, Mobile appsMac and Web.

*The Windows 10 client comes as a a Microsoft Office bundle.

Free Mail for Windows 10

This Itechguide has written extensively about Microsoft Outlook. This final section discusses a free Windows 10 mail client that can work as a great alternative.

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This email client may not be as robust as Outlook but it has all the features you need in an email tool – including email, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks.

Moreover, you can also use Mail for Windows 10 for Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and any other POP or IMAP emails. For steps to set it up, see the Set up guide.

I hope this post was helpful to you. If the post was of any help to you, kindly take a few minutes to tell us what you think at Itechguides Community.

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Furthermore, if you have any questions or feedback about this article, please also post them at Itechguides Community. Our team of forum staff and other members are always ready to answer your questions.

Finally, for more Email tech Itechguides, visit our Email & Productivity Tools Explained page. You may also find our Work from Home page very helpful.

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