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?