Outlook versus Outlook Express

Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003

About Outlook 2003
About Outlook Express
Considerations for using Outlook and Outlook Express on the same computer
Comparing Outlook and Outlook Express

Microsoft offers two products that contain the name Outlook. Although the name Outlook appears in both titles, they are not the same program, and they do not offer the same features.

  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003    Outlook 2003 provides an integrated solution for managing and organizing e-mail messages, schedules, tasks, notes, contacts, and other information. Outlook works directly with other programs in the Microsoft Office System. Outlook delivers innovations that you can use to manage your communications, organize your work, and work better with other people — all from one place. Features found only in Outlook include support for Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail accounts, Out of Office automatic e-mail replies, group calendar scheduling, multiple address books, tasks, notes, junk e-mail filtering, automatic backup, and archiving of items.


Manage and prioritize your communication

Organize information better to help save time and be more productive.

  • Manage all your e-mail in one place     Access, send, and receive e-mail messages from multiple accounts — including work, personal, or Web-based e-mail accounts such as MSN® Hotmail® — within a single view.
  • Print less, read more     Outlook 2003 makes it easier and more comfortable to read e-mail messages online, including long messages. The Reading Pane appears on the right side of the screen, by default, to display twice as much content and reduce scrolling when you read long messages online.
  • Save time and find messages faster     Find e-mail messages more easily by grouping messages by date, size, conversation, subject, importance, or other criteria.
  • Organize your Inbox     You no longer have to keep all e-mail messages in your Inbox to remind you of action items. Instead, use Quick Flags to flag messages by priority or time sensitivity and find them in whichever folder they are located in.
  • Automatically organize messages and receive reminders     Enhanced rules and alerts organize incoming e-mail messages according to your preferences and automatically trigger reminders or alert you when needed — such as when tasks are due or meetings are about to begin.
  • Find messages easily     Save the results of commonly used searches as Search Folders instead of running common searches each time you need to find the messages. Search Folders provide an automated way to keep relevant messages together, without moving them to other folders. Search Folders require a connection to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Exchange 2003, or Exchange 5.5.
  • Access your Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks quickly     Use the new Navigation Pane (or use the Go menu), to access your Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Folders, Shortcuts, and Journal and find the information you need to answer your e-mail messages, schedule appointments, and finish projects.

Get the information you need

Outlook 2003 can help you get the information you need — and block the information you don't need — to stay productive.

  • Prevent junk mail     The new Junk E-mail Filter helps prevent junk e-mail messages from cluttering your Inbox.
  • Block unwanted attachments     To help prevent unwanted attachments and bulky files from taking up too much storage space, Outlook 2003 blocks e-mail messages and files from people who are not on your Safe Senders List. After you examine and approve the message, Outlook 2003 downloads the full message and attachment.
  • Read e-mail messages regardless of the connection     The new Cached Exchange Mode downloads messages and other Outlook 2003 data to your computer so you can remain productive during network downtime. Cached Exchange Mode requires a connection to Exchange Server 2003.
  • Connection awareness     Indicate if you have a fast or slow connection — or have Outlook 2003 detect it for you. Outlook 2003 adapts its performance by displaying either a preview of a message or the full message, depending on your network speed.
  • Find facts quickly     No need to leave your e-mail program to do research — the new Research task pane brings electronic dictionaries, thesauruses, and online research sites into Outlook 2003 so that you can find information and incorporate the information into your messages. Some functionality in the Research task pane requires a connection to the Internet.

Work with other people more easily

Work together better and help protect against the misuse and unwanted distribution of key company information.

  • Communicate instantly with other people     No need to leave Outlook 2003 to find out if an Instant Messaging contact is online. Initiate Instant Messaging conversations quickly in messages, Contacts, Calendar, and other areas in Outlook 2003.
  • Control distribution of sensitive work     Help protect your company assets by preventing recipients from forwarding, copying, or printing important e-mail messages by using Information Rights Management (IRM) functionality. You can even specify an expiration date for the message; after the expiration date the message cannot be viewed or otherwise acted upon. IRM functionality requires Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 running Microsoft Windows® Rights Management Services (RMS). By using Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, you can use Outlook 2003 to create IRM-protected e-mail messages and grant other people permission to access and modify your e-mail messages. You can also apply policy templates to IRM-protected e-mail messages that you create. By using Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003, and Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003, you can read IRM-protected e-mail messages; with permission, you can modify them as well.
  • Work together better     Save e-mail message attachments to shared workspaces where your team members can get the latest versions, check files in or out, or even save task lists, related files, links, and member lists. You can determine whether team members are online and then use Instant Messaging to send them a message. Shared workspaces require Windows Server 2003 running Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services.
  • Spend less time coordinating schedules     Access shared team calendars in Outlook 2003 and view multiple calendars side by side to make scheduling meetings fast and more convenient. You can view your own work and personal calendars, calendars in Windows SharePoint Services, or the calendars of other people who have granted you viewing rights. Sharing team calendars requires Windows Server 2003 running Windows SharePoint Services.
  • Go mobile     If you own and use a Tablet PC, you can use ink markup to annotate e-mail messages in your own handwriting by using a pen input device. You can write notes for personal use or e-mail messages to send to other people.

Outlook 2003 main window

  • Microsoft Outlook Express 6    Included as part of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows®, Outlook Express is a basic e-mail program. Outlook Express offers standard Internet e-mail and newsgroup access and supports Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) e-mail accounts. Even though Outlook Express is free and allows you to send and receive e-mail messages, it doesn't provide the advanced functionality of Microsoft Office Outlook, part of the Microsoft Office System.


Outlook Express main window

Considerations for using Outlook and Outlook Express on the same computer

Although you can use both Outlook and Outlook Express on the same computer, you need to think carefully about how you want to use each program. At work, you might choose to use Outlook for both your corporate and personal accounts. Or, you might want to use Outlook for your work e-mail and Outlook Express exclusively for your personal e-mail. Consider this — if you read a message in Outlook Express, it stays in Outlook Express until you delete it. This means the message won't be there for you when you decide to use Outlook later in the day because you already downloaded it from your e-mail server (to another application). It's probably best not to access the same e-mail account on the same computer using two different applications — the messages on that account then divide between two different e-mail applications on the same computer.

 Pastaba   If you are using an IMAP e-mail account, your e-mail messages stay on the server so accessing them from both Outlook and Outlook Express should not cause problems. The same is also true for Web-DAV accounts, known as HTTP e-mail accounts, such as MSN® Hotmail®.

Comparing Outlook and Outlook Express

Features Outlook Outlook Express
Send and receive e-mail messages. Yes Yes
Connect to Microsoft Exchange Server for enhanced collaboration, scheduling with free/busy information, and online forms. Yes No
Connect to POP3 Internet e-mail servers. Yes Yes
Connect to IMAP and HTTP e-mail servers, including MSN Hotmail, America Online (AOL), and Yahoo! Mail (subscription fees might be required by the provider). Yes Yes
Address Book and Contacts folder to store and retrieve e-mail addresses. Yes Yes
Out of Office Assistant that automatically sends a reply to incoming messages while you are out of the office. Yes No
Multiple address books. Yes No
Fully integrated Calendar, including meeting and event scheduling, appointments, and group calendars. Yes No
Reminders for e-mail messages, calendar events, tasks, and notes. Yes No
Information Rights Management (IRM) functionality that allows you to control whether recipients can print, copy, or forward your e-mail messages. Yes No
Integration with Windows SharePoint sites. Yes No
Auto backup (archive) functionality to keep your mailbox manageable. Store old items that you want to keep but don't need immediate access to, and move those old items to the archive location automatically. Yes No
Microsoft Office Word as your e-mail editor to provide access to additional formatting and style options. Yes No
Categories for organizing your items. Yes No
Side-by-side calendars where you can view multiple calendars and drag items between the calendars. Yes No
Tasks folder to keep lists of personal or work-related errands that you want to track from start to finish. Yes No
Junk e-mail message filter. Yes No
Notes folder — the electronic equivalent of paper sticky notes. Yes No

Access to NNTP newsgroups.

 Pastaba   Although it might appear that Outlook does have newgroup support, when you open the newsreader, it actually opens in an Outlook Express window.

No Yes
Signatures and stationery. Yes Yes
Secure e-mail messaging. Yes Yes
Outlook 2003