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What is Microsoft Outlook? Basic features of Microsoft Outlook.

What is Outlook

In these days of digitalization, who does not know about Microsoft Outlook? The question of what is Microsoft Outlook is straightforward for anyone with a basic knowledge of the internet. Still, I decided to write a small blog for my readers to share about Microsoft Outlook and its brief history with basic features. I hope this will help you to gather some knowledge if you go through this full content.

In this blog, I will introduce Microsoft Outlook and its basic features to my readers who are new users of Microsoft Outlook. Those who have used this application for a long time can also read my article. It will help him to know the development and the history of Microsoft Outlook.

Some frequently asked questions will be shared with you at this article’s end. I will be ready for you to answer more questions. Ask me in the comment box.

What is Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is the most preferred email client for sending, receiving, and managing emails. Outlook provides users with email facilities and fantastic features like appointments, contacts, calendars, and many more. It can be a standalone application but comes with a Microsoft Office suite package. The short form of Microsoft Outlook is MS Outlook.

Read More: Email software similar to Outlook – alternative to Outlook

When was Outlook first released?

The first version of Microsoft Outlook was named “Outlook 97” released on January 16, 1997. Microsoft Corporation included it in Office 97 package and bundled it with Exchange Server 5.0 and 5.5.

Outlook 97 is released only for the windows platform. It opened a new era of emailing features for windows operating system users, and very soon, it became popular. And surprisingly, popularity is increasing day by day, even nowadays.

Read More: 10 features of Outlook that most people don’t know.

What are the basic features of Microsoft Outlook?

There are too many features in Microsoft Outlook for its user, but here I will include only some basic features that a user should know. Basic features of Outlook include but are not limited to emails, contact, email search, flagging, appointment, etc.

Besides these, a user of Outlook can use the following features:

  • Recall email: If a user sends an email to the recipient by mistake, he can recall the unread copy of the email from the recipient’s inbox. Once an email is sent but unread, it also can be replaced by a new one.
  • Email Scheduling: Users can compose an email and choose when to send it through Microsoft Outlook.
  • Calendar Sharing: Users can share the calendar with their colleagues to see their availability while scheduling a meeting.
  • Email Alert: All incoming email show notifications on the bottom right corner of the user’s display with a low chime.
  • Email storage: Microsoft Outlook allows users to create new data files to store all emails in the local hard drive and make them available while offline.
  • Attachment reminder: If the user writes about an attachment in the email body but forgets to attach file, Outlook reminds the user to attach a file.
  • Preview of documents: If the user receives an image, pdf, excel, or word file as an attachment, he can see the preview of that document in the reading pane without opening that.
  • Easy attachment: Users can copy and paste to the email body to attach any document with their email.
  • Email attachment: Users can attach any previous email with a new email as a reference without forwarding it to the recipient.
  • Keyboard Shortcut: Plenty of shortcut key is available to make Outlook user-friendly.
  • Spelling check: Outlook composer has, by default spelling check feature available, which helps the user correct sentences.
  • Multi email inbox: Users can add multiple email addresses and send-receive emails from any particular address.
  • Appointment and meeting call: Users can request an appointment and call a meeting through Outlook. A reminder will remind the user before the meeting time.
  • Junk Email: Microsoft Outlook has an extreme level of security to identify junk emails and keep them in a junk Folder.
  • Draft Email: Users can draft an email before sending it and save it in the draft folder for further action.

What is Microsoft Outlook used for?

Microsoft Outlook is used for basically sending, receiving, and managing emails. It allows us to manage the calendar, store contacts, and track tasks. MS Outlook is a complete solution for using email facilities. Microsoft Outlook will give you a complete email solution whether you have a small business or an individual.

Read More: How to make outlook default email client in Windows 11

Microsoft Outlook and typical email

The thing you have to understand is that both email and Outlook are not the same.  A typical email like Gmail/Yahoo is a webmail service, and Outlook is an email client. There is many differences between both of them. Let us figure out the differences.

An email client is an application that downloads email from a server and stores it on our computer from where we can send/receive an email to any recipient. We can read emails while we are both offline and online.  Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird are some good examples of email clients. All email clients need to configure with your email server. As we download our email from the server, no worry about space. As long as the computer’s hard drive is not full.

On the other hand, a Typical email or webmail is an interface where users can access email facilities from any place through an internet browser and send-receive email directly from the server. As long as users have internet facilities can access webmail services. Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, and Hotmail are the best example of email or webmail. Webmail does not require any configuration. There is a limitation of space as we are using a web server.

Most importantly, webmail can be accessed through mail clients also.

Microsoft Outlook Platform

Besides Windows and Mac, Microsoft released most mobile operating system platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows phones. Developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio can also build custom software that works with Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook and

Many of us get confused between Microsoft Outlook and; Both are different. If you are also confused, Don’t worry I will make you clear about both of them.

Microsoft Outlook is an email client that is a desktop application you already know from the above discussion, and is a webmail service just like Gmail. Gmail is a product of google, and is a product of Microsoft.  

Read More: What is Special features of


New features in Outlook 2019/2021

  • One-click fixes for accessibility issues.
  • Focused Inbox is new.
  • Add visual impact for the newer version.
  • View three time zones at a time.
  • Listen to your emails.
  • Mark emails as read when deleting them.
  • Never miss a reminder from Outlook.
  • Email sorting is made easy for you.
  • Know who you’ll be meeting with by name.
  • Automatic download of cloud attachments from Outlook.

Can I download Microsoft Outlook for free

You can download the total Microsoft Office package for free, but it needs to be activated. The free version will work only for 30 days. While installation is ongoing, you have to select only Microsoft Outlook. Other office products you should not select. 



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