Today, MS Outlook is one of the most common environments for digital correspondence. Since its inception, the system has undergone many exciting changes. The latest version is very different from the first Outlook of 1997. Here is a look at the evolution of the system. Discover the history of the Outlook versions in our guide below.
This mail client has many additional features that make it perfect for business communication. Users can set tasks, manage calendars, leave notes, and more. All correspondence can be managed in one place. However, the features we know today were not always present.
What Version of Outlook Do I Have?
If you do not know which version is installed, it is easy to figure out. The process is different for Outlook released before and after 2013. In the earlier versions (including 2013), go to the Help section. There, you will see an option telling you about the system — details of its version and build. The Microsoft website has a list of all builds and versions of MS Outlook. For newer editions, follow this sequence: File — Office Account’. If the latter is not available, you can find the necessary information via Help. The details of your current version of Outlook will be shown on the right-hand side.
What Is the Latest Version of Outlook?
At the moment, the latest version is the one released in 2019. Users who subscribe to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 have access to all new features and updates. This also includes security enhancements and bug fixing. Here are some key stages in the system’s development.
MS Outlook Versions Comparison: From 2003 to 2007
In comparison with 2003, sharing data with contacts and structuring work is now a breeze. The improvements allowed easier search through the mail. Most importantly, the appearance of the system changed dramatically. The interface now had a Ribbon that gave instant access to key features. Other advantages included:
- a convenient To-Do Bar allowing to filter, organize, and view the tasks, calendar, and correspondence;
- anti-phishing defense;
- enhanced junk filter, and
- higher efficiency overall.
Comparison: From 2007 to 2010
In 2007, users saw the introduction of the Ribbon. Three years later, this feature became fully customizable. It is always visible when you work with the system. Whatever you do, you can access the right option immediately.
Each of the Ribbon tabs contains several option categories. As related items are grouped together, you can easily find what you need. This structure is more logical in comparison with the predecessor. Other improvements in 2010 included the following.
- Backstage View for faster management of tasks.
- Customizable Quick Access Toolbar for the most frequently used commands.
- The Mini Toolbar for quick and easy formatting.
- New Conversation View allows users to cluster emails into a single item.
Comparison: From 2010 to 2013
The newer version introduced new features that made work easier. Users gained more control over contacts, messages, schedules, and social networks.
Here are some additions:
- Exchange ActiveSync allowed data sharing through popular mail servers and services.
- The navigation bar became more efficient.
- Social Connectors provided automatic delivery of updates from social networks.
- Keeping track of messages and schedules was now easier with peeks.
- The Calendar could now be easily shared to fix meetings or rearrange schedules.
- Weather forecast could now be viewed via a special bar.
- The search function was improved.
The Latest Version: Key Advantages
Over the past decade, Microsoft has never stopped working. Today, all files are stored on the clouds, and updates are automatic. Since last April, the latest version has gone by the name Microsoft 365. The system offers a wide range of options tailored to individual users. There are two pricing categories and one version that does not require subscription (for home and student use). Students and university employees may also use a special free version. So, what does this latest package offer?
- Regular updates while your subscription is valid.
- Cloud-based storage.
- Apps for smartphones and tablets.
- Free minutes for Skype calls.
- Opportunity to install the system on different devices.
Overall, this is the most convenient version for people who work from different devices. Gone are the days when files were stored locally. As data is kept on the cloud, it may be accessed from smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers easily. Draft a message using your laptop, edit the draft on the go, and send it! If you need to switch devices during the day, this is a great solution. This means millions of people find it convenient.
Microsoft has never stopped perfecting its mail system. Today, it offers a powerful mail client that works on any device. The early MS Outlook versions look basic and obsolete. They are incomparable to the impressive range of functions we know today.
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