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What’s New In Outlook 2010

Microsoft would have you believe that Outlook 2010 saves you time, is easier to use and gives you extra functionality. Is this true? Let’s find out.

Outlook Ribbon

Let’s summarise what’s new in Outlook 2010:

  • Look and feel – Outlook 2010 sports a new look and feel that is consistent with other programs in Office 2010. Whereas the ribbon in Outlook 2007 was a cut down version that integrated with command bars, in 2010 the ribbon is fully fledged. In case you don’t already know, the ribbon is Microsoft’s replacement to the old menu and toolbar system of navigating the program.
  • Backstage View – this is completely new and replaces the file menu of previous versions. Here you find commands that affect the whole application.
  • Conversation Management – this is a big change that pulls all messages related to a conversation into a single “thread”.
  • Calendar Preview – a new feature that shows a preview of a meeting in your inbox so that you can see conflicting appointments without having to open up the calendar.
  • Quick Steps – these are sequences of commands that are grouped together so that they can be initiated with one click of a mouse. For example, you might create a quick step that defines a set of criteria and actions to perform on any message that meets those criteria. These actions might include moving a message to a folder and setting the importance level (there are other actions that can be performed, too).
  • People Pane – the people pane is the visible part of the Outlook Social Connector that connects Outlook with social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. It allows you to keep track of your social contacts from your inbox.
  • Mailtips – mailtips inform the user that they are about to send emails to groups or individuals outside of their organisation. These alerts are designed to help you avoid common, sometimes embarrassing, mistakes.

The problem with a What’s New In Outlook 2010 article is that if the author includes everything that’s changed, it becomes a gargantuan piece of wriring. There are many, many changes to this program but none are big enough to merit their own bullet point above. Only the more significant changes are listed there. However, there are also additional improvements in the areas of:

  • scheduling meetings
  • instant search
  • cleaning up conversations
  • auto-complete list suggestions
  • roaming signatures
  • attached picture resizing
  • spellchecking in more places
  • many more!

It’s all very well to list everything new in Outlook 2010, but the best way to discover the changes is to use the program. Why not work through the Outlook 2010 tutorials and see the changes for yourself?

Setting Up Microsoft Outlook 2010

Many people balk at the task of setting up Microsoft Outlook 2010 because it seems such a daunting task. It’s not really, so fear not! This tutorial will take you through the basics of setting up Outlook 2010, and you’ll discover just how easy it is.

After you’ve installed Office 2010, as soon as you start Outlook, you’ll getthe startup window that let’s you know that you’re in the process of setting the application up.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup

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Click Next.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup 2

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At this screen, you must decide whether you want to tell Outlook about an existing email account that you are currently using. You would normally select “yes” here, and that’s what we’re going to do.

Click Next.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup 3

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On this screen, things start getting interesting. Here, we add details about our email account. You need to type in the following:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Password

Once you’ve typed in those details, click Next.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup 4

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The next screen tells us that Outlook is configuring the email server settings. This involves trying to establish a connection with the email server and attempting to log on using the email account you specified on the previous screen. It should take only a few minutes.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup

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The next screen, although it highlights an error of sorts, is usually nothing to worry about. It tells us that a network connection was successfully established and that Outlook was able to log on to the email server, but it also tells us that an encrypted connection to the mail server wasn’t available. You don’t even need to know what this means! Just click Next.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup 6

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This time Outlook tries to log on using an unencrypted connection. Again, don’t worry about what that means, just keep your fingers crossed!

If all goes well, you should get the following screen:

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Setup 7

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The final window tells us that Outlook was able to connect, log on and send a test email to the account you specified.