Outlook on the web
||It has been suggested that Outlook Tasks be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2015.|
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Outlook on the web inbox, with open message view
|Type||Webmail, calendaring software|
Web version: Not licensed
Outlook on the web (Ootw, previously called Exchange Web Connect, Outlook Web Access and Outlook Web App) is a personal information manager web app from Microsoft. It is offered as a part of Exchange Server or Exchange Online. It includes a web-based email client, a calendaring tool, a contact manager, and a task manager. As of November 2015[update], Microsoft is in process of upgrading Outlook.com to Outlook on the web and the Office 365 infrastructure. It also includes add-in integrations, Skype on the web, and alerts as well as new themes that span across all the components.
Outlook Mail is the webmail component of Outlook on the web. It has an interface similar to the mail part of Outlook Web App before it. The default view is a three column view with folders and groups on the right, email in the center, and on the right the selected message. As of the 2015 Outlook on the web update, Microsoft introduced the ability to pin messages, sweep, archive, undo, and richer image editing features.
Outlook Calendar is the calendaring component of Ootw. With the update, Microsoft added a weather forecast directly in the Calendar, as well as icons (or "charms") as visual cues for an event. In addition, email reminders came to all events, and a special Birthday and Holiday event calendars are created automatically. Calendars can be shared and there are multiple views such as day, week, month, and today. Another view is work week which includes Mondays through Fridays in the calendar view.
Outlook People is the contact manager component of Ootw. A user can search and edit existing contacts, as well as create new ones. Contacts can be placed into folders and duplicate contacts can be linked from multiple sources such as LinkedIn or Twitter. In Outlook Mail, a contact can be created by clicking on a email address sender, which pulls down a contact card with an add button to add to Outlook People. Contacts can be imported as well as placed into a list that can be utilized when composing an email in Outlook Mail.
Outlook Tasks was a part of Outlook Calendar (originally called Calendar in Outlook.com) as a view. Since then, Microsoft has separated the services into its own web app in Outlook on the web. A user can create tasks, put them into categories, and move them to another folder. A feature added was the ability to set due days and sort and filter the tasks according to those criteria. Outlook Tasks provides the user with fields such as subject, start and end dates, percent complete, priority, and how much work was put into each task. Rich editing features like bold, italic, underline, numbering, and bullet points were also introduced. Tasks can be edited and categorized according to how the user wishes them to be sorted.
|Parts of this article (those related to features) are outdated. (October 2015)|
Ootw is navigated using the App Launcher icon which brings down a list of web apps for the user to choose from.
Ootw supports S/MIME and includes features for managing calendars, contacts, tasks, documents (used with SharePoint or Office Web Apps), and other mailbox content. In the Exchange 2007 release, Ootw (still called Outlook Web App at the time) also offers read-only access to documents stored in SharePoint sites and network UNC shares.
Ootw has had two interfaces available: one with a complete feature set (known as Premium) and one with reduced functionality (known as Light or sometimes Lite). Prior to Exchange 2010, the Premium client required Internet Explorer. Exchange 2000 and 2003 require Internet Explorer 5 and later, and Exchange 2007 requires Internet Explorer 6 and later. Exchange 2010 supports a wider range of web browsers: Internet Explorer 7 or later, Mozilla Firefox 3.01 or later, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari 3.1 or later for full functionality. However, Exchange 2010 restricts its Firefox and Safari support to OS X and Linux, making Google Chrome only an option for Windows users. Exchange 2013 included Google Chrome and Linux support and the browser restrictions are no longer an issue.
In all versions of Exchange prior to 2010, the Light user interface is rendered for browsers other than Internet Explorer. The basic interface did not support search on Exchange Server 2003. The Light interface was then reworked for Exchange Server 2007; OWA Light then supported searching mail items, and managing contacts and the calendar was also improved. In the 2010 version, a user can connect to an external email account.
Ootw competes against hosted options provided by other companies such as Google Apps or Yahoo!'s Business Mail, and locally installed alternatives to Exchange server such as Zimbra, Kolab, Zarafa, or Scalix.
Office 365/Exchange Server
Outlook Web Access was created in 1995 by Microsoft Program Manager Thom McCann on the Exchange Server team. An early working version was demonstrated by Microsoft Vice President Paul Maritz at Microsoft's famous Internet summit in Seattle on December 27, 1995. The first customer version was shipped as part of the Exchange Server 5.0 release in early 1997.
The first component to allow client-side scripts to issue HTTP requests (XMLHTTP) was originally written by the Outlook Web Access team. It soon became a part of Internet Explorer 5.0. Renamed XMLHttpRequest and standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium, it has since become one of the cornerstones of the Ajax technology used to build advanced web applications.
Microsoft provides Ootw as part of Exchange Server or Exchange Online, to allow users to connect to their email accounts via a web browser, without requiring the installation of Microsoft Outlook or other email clients. In case of Exchange Server, it is hosted on a local intranet and requires a network connection to the Exchange Server for users to work with e-mail, address book, calendars and task. The Exchange Online version, which can be bought either independently or through Office 365 licesning program, is hosted on Microsoft servers on the world wide web at portal.office.com.
In May 2015, Microsoft announced the conversion of Outlook.com accounts to the Office 365-based infrastructure with the Outlook.com Preview. It includes the new user interface, Outlook Mail add-ins, Clutter (cleans up clutter), new themes, new functionality for flags, as well as pins. Skype on the web will be included, as well as better sharing features to OneDrive. The preview is rolling out over time in a "controlled matter" by the Outlook team. 
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