What is Microsoft Outlook?

As one of the most used email services globally, Microsoft Outlook offers more than email access. It also serves as a web app manager, integrating other Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, making it essential for both workplace and personal use.

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Outlook is an essential tool in workplaces worldwide, used for email communication, organizing contact lists, and setting up meetings and events via its calendar feature.
  • Originally started as Hotmail in 1996, Microsoft Outlook was rebranded in 2012 and now serves as the anchor for managing Microsoft's bundle of applications.
  • Beyond email facilitation, Outlook allows users to control email using filters and folders, locate names in the address book, and schedule automatic email responses when the user is unavailable.
  • Outlook's integration with other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Access, Word, and PowerPoint makes it a versatile tool for tasks ranging from accounting to word processing and creating presentations.
  • While possessing skills for Microsoft Outlook alone may not lead to a specific career, knowledge of the email program and app management software can boost efficiency in the workplace, making it a valuable skill for any computer-related job.
  • Alternatives to Outlook such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail are available for those seeking free or less expensive options. However, Noble Desktop offers Microsoft Outlook courses for those looking to improve their skills in this popular software application.

Microsoft Outlook is among the most used email services on the planet. However, Outlook provides more than simply email access. It also serves as a web app manager that coordinates and integrates with other Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for the workplace or home use. Outlook facilitates email communication, organizing contact lists as well as using the calendar feature for setting up meetings and other events. Also, Microsoft Outlook does not share the data collected to integrate its assortment of applications.

Microsoft Outlook began its existence as Hotmail back in 1996, which was a free Web-based email service that was independently owned before Microsoft bought it and renamed it MSN Hotmail as part of the MSN online service. Microsoft eventually rebranded the email application as Outlook.com in 2012. As stated, Microsoft uses Outlook as the anchor for managing its bundle of applications, which are essential for workplace and personal projects. Outlook allows users to conveniently access the Office software needed to create an efficient workplace and communicate through email or share content within an organization for collaboration through the Internet or in the cloud with Microsoft 365. This includes applications for word processing, building databases, creating spreadsheets, or designing promotional material.

What Can You Do with Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is mainly considered an email facilitator, but it also functions as an app manager for integrating Office applications that are available through Microsoft 365. Outlook allows users to control email using filters and folders, locate names in the address book, or schedule email to automatically respond when the user is unavailable. Outlook also has a calendar feature for organizing meetings, events, or project deadlines.

By allowing interfacing with other Microsoft Office applications, Outlook can be used for tasks as wide-ranging as accounting, data entry, word processing, or creating presentations through software like Excel, Access, Word, or PowerPoint. Outlook provides an efficient platform that can benefit any workplace, academic institution, or home.

In addition to many people using Outlook for their personal email, business corporations, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations use Microsoft Outlook to complete projects in addition to using the software for email communication or organizing schedules. Outlook provides an assortment of features and functions for getting work done efficiently:

  • Outlook provides a variety of options for sending, receiving, and forwarding email, as well as being able to navigate the inbox and folders.
  • Outlook integrates other Microsoft Office applications like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
  • Microsoft Outlook users can collaborate with coworkers by allowing them to easily exchange Microsoft Office content.
  • Companies and organizations can share Outlook calendars among staff members to optimize the ability to collaborate in the workplace.
  • Users can sync personal data using Microsoft Outlook on computers, smartphones, or tablets.
  • Outlook allows users to enter information into the calendar that can be synced up with various devices.
  • Personal data can be integrated into Outlook, including virtual sticky notes, calendars, address books, and to-do lists.
  • Microsoft Outlook can integrate with other online services and apps, including Uber, Google Play, Facebook, Yelp, Skype, Boomerang, and Evernote.
  • Microsoft Outlook has font options for professional-looking formatting and various color themes.
  • The calendar feature for Microsoft Outlook can be set for daily, weekly, or monthly scheduling to keep track of important appointments and meetings.
  • Users can send out meeting requests to names listed in the contacts by using the calendar feature.
  • Outlook provides security features that include data encryption for the user’s mailbox after an email has been sent.
  • The premium version of Microsoft Outlook automatically deactivates suspicious links that may contain viruses, malware, or phishing scams and can recover important files from Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Users can run Skype directly through Outlook for online chatting in real-time.

How Do You Download/Get Microsoft Outlook? How Much Does It Cost?

Microsoft Office Bootcamp: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, Learn From Experts, Free Retake, Small Class Sizes,  1-on-1 Bonus Training. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

Microsoft Outlook is among the leading email services for businesses worldwide that provides more than email. As part of Microsoft 365, Outlook also offers features such as a calendar, to-do lists, and a contact list. Outlook also manages Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Powerpoint, and Excel.

Microsoft Outlook can be acquired through a variety of methods, including purchasing Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office, or licensing for personal use, family, work, or education. You can subscribe to Microsoft 365 in various packages, including $99.99 for a year or $9.99 a month for the Family Plan or a year at $69.99 or monthly for $6.99 for the Personal Plan. Each plan includes PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams.

These offers include free trials for 365 that give users access to one TB of cloud storage per user that allows individuals to download and install Office apps to multiple PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. It should be noted that the credit card used to participate in the free trial will be charged after the trial period ends, and that card will be charged at the Microsoft 365 Family Plan cost of $99.99 per year, which you can cancel at any time to end any future charges.

There is also a free Web-based version of Microsoft Outlook available. Once you have created a Microsoft account for the email service, you will then need to verify your email address and create a password following verification and confirming that you are not a robot. The free Web-based version of Outlook is limited with ads and less storage capacity.

What Are the Benefits of Learning Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is a staple in workplaces worldwide and functions for personal communication. Outlook integrates with other Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to perform tasks for word processing, presentations, data analysis, and basic email communication. Anyone working anywhere from a corporate office to an academic institution to a freelance agent working at home uses Microsoft Office to communicate in the workplace and organize workplace functions. Outlook provides a gateway for access to various Microsoft Office applications for composing, editing, saving, and uploading content to maintain an efficient working environment.

Learning more about Microsoft Outlook can help optimize your email inbox for home or work or integrate new contacts from an email you’ve received into your contact list. You can pick up tips more efficiently using Outlook to get projects done. Many use the calendar to set up events or to access an Outlook account from multiple devices, including a smartphone. Training may also help with using the Outlook calendar to help with organizing meetings or managing deadlines. These lessons can add up to more seamlessly integrating Outlook with other Microsoft Office apps, using those calendar features, or connecting with other features and applications, including using the cloud through Microsoft 365 or posting on social media platforms. 

Read more about why you should learn Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook Careers

While possessing skills with Microsoft Outlook alone might not be enough for establishing a career in a specific profession, knowledge of how to use the email program and app management software can help coordinate Office applications available through Microsoft 365, which Outlook anchors.

Training for improving skills with Microsoft Outlook can help with operating basic workplace functions effectively for businesses, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations, as well as countless other industries. Skills with Outlook are a vital element for any computer-related job. Microsoft Outlook is more than simply an email server and not only facilitates how workplaces communicate and integrate Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and Excel to help individuals and organizations get work done everywhere. Improving skills with Microsoft Outlook can provide valuable skills for anyone working in any office or corporate setting by providing an important element for computer literacy.

As stated, while possessing skills for Microsoft Outlook alone cannot lead to a specific career, the email and software manager can help support other tasks in a working environment. Outlook is necessary for any workplace that depends on email communication, organizing calendars and contact lists, or managing projects and deadlines. While knowledge of how to effectively use Microsoft Outlook may not be enough to nail down a career, skills for using the software can get you set for more efficiently working any job.

How to Learn Microsoft Outlook

Training to improve skills for using Microsoft Outlook can help you with being able to integrate Microsoft Office applications for increasing efficiency in the workplace. Because many people use Outlook as their email server, they may take the software application for granted due to their familiarity with day-to-day use and may not feel that further training is necessary. However, Noble Desktop offers a variety of Microsoft Outlook courses that can fit your needs, whether for work assignments or personal projects. These courses provide expert instructors who teach in real-time for students eager to improve on skills with Outlook for organizing calendars or to-do lists, interfacing with Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, or managing contact lists along with other advanced functions. These courses include in-person classroom training that allows participants to interact with teachers and classmates, which is a benefit that can extend beyond the classroom. There are also live online Microsoft Outlook classes that provide essentially the same level of education that you would get from sitting in a classroom without having to leave the comforts of home.

Noble Desktop provides other ways to improve skills with Microsoft Outlook, including options for on-demand training. Unlike live online courses, on-demand classes allow students to learn at their own pace on their own time, avoiding the stress of conflict with work or other commitments. There are options for on-demand Microsoft Outlook training that provides beginners or advanced students with courses from various education providers. For example, Udemy’s Get Started with Microsoft Outlook provides step-by-step instructions for people who may have little to no experience with Microsoft Outlook or how it integrates with other Office applications, while ONLC Training Centers offers Outlook 2019 On-Demand: Comprehensive (Part 1 & Part 2) Course Outline, which is an on-demand self-study course that provides comprehensive training for Microsoft Outlook.

While many people would love the opportunity to get a better understanding of Microsoft Outlook for help with getting work done, a busy schedule or other obligations can keep them from being able to enroll in a course. However, there are options for improving skills with Outlook or using email more efficiently. While Noble Desktop does not offer free tutorials specifically focused on Microsoft Outlook, there is a Noble Desktop YouTube channel and other video outlets for finding information and tips for effectively using email. Noble Desktop also offers free seminars that give students options for improving skills with email communication that can fit the time of their choosing, including the free Intro to Email Marketing seminar or the free Designing Responsive Email seminar. You can also find more options for training related to Microsoft Outlook by checking out Noble Desktop’s Learning Resources for Microsoft Office

Read more about the full guide for how to learn Microsoft Outlook.

A Brief History of Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook started as Hotmail, a free Web-based and independently owned email service established in 1996. In 1997, Microsoft purchased Hotmail and added it to the MSN online service as MSN Hotmail. By 2012, Microsoft rebranded the email service as Outlook.com.

Today, Outlook serves not only as the email server for Microsoft 365 but as the anchor for integrating Microsoft Office applications that include Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Excel for helping individuals and organizations get work done everywhere through the Internet or in the cloud.

Comparable Applications/Programming Languages/Fields

Because Microsoft Outlook is considered the industry-standard platform for email communication and scheduling for workplaces worldwide, many companies and educational institutions use the software to work seamlessly with Microsoft Office applications. However, the cost of subscribing to Microsoft 365 could be prohibitive for many individuals or organizations. Fortunately, there are free email alternatives to Outlook or less expensive and also compatible with Office applications.

If someone is looking for an alternative email server to Microsoft Outlook, Google offers Gmail, which is available free of charge. Gmail provides comparable functions to what you find with Outlook, including a calendar for scheduling meetings and appointments, access to Google Meet, a video conferencing application, 15GB of Google Drive cloud storage per user, and spam, phishing, and malware protection. In addition to those features, Gmail offers Smart Compose, an assistive software with the Google Docs Editors suite that helps with spelling and grammar. It's crucial to note Gmail has more users than Outlook mainly because people often use the free personal version as their backup email account. And although the popular personal version is free, Gmail Workplace Individual and Gmail Workplace Business currently cost $7.99 per user a month and $12.99 per user a month, respectively. Both Gmail Workplace versions offer calendar features that facilitate sharing content for collaboration in working environments.

Another alternative to Microsoft Outlook would be Yahoo! Mail, which provides free email service. As with Outlook and Gmail, Yahoo! Mail allows users to organize their mail into customizable folders. Users can also customize layouts for their accounts, including displaying previews for messages with only a click or two. Yahoo! Mail also provides smartphone users options, including viewing online receipts, connecting to or unsubscribing from online accounts through their email inbox, and tracking packages or receiving notifications.

Learn more about the difficulties with learning Microsoft Outlook.

Learn Microsoft Outlook with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you’re looking to improve on knowledge of using Microsoft Outlook, Noble Desktop has courses that provide training for a better understanding of the software application. This includes in-person classes available in New York City, along with live online courses offered at times that may fit your schedule at varying costs.

Noble Desktop offers in-person and live online Microsoft Office courses that provide hands-on training from expert instructors. These courses provide training that includes lessons for Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Project, and Outlook, which serves as the hub for access to this bundle of integrated Microsoft Office applications. These classes can be taken inside a classroom or live online. 

Students can enroll in Microsoft Outlook Level I for lessons on the fundamentals of the application. This one-day course focuses on teaching participants about using Outlook efficiently with lessons on setting up email folders, automating email, managing calendars and to-do lists, or organizing schedules and contact lists that can all contribute to improving workflow.

People may elect to take the Microsoft Outlook Level II class. This follow-up course builds on the training established in the Level I course. Level II emphasizes lessons for configuring email accounts, performing advanced searches, filtering spam, learning about working with advanced calendars, and handling contact lists.

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Outlook is an email server and app manager that began as Hotmail in 1996 as a free and independent Web-based email service before being bought by Microsoft and eventually rebranded as Outlook.com in 2012.
  • Outlook is among the most popular email servers for businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions.
  • Microsoft Outlook is available through Microsoft 365 as part of its bundle of applications.
  • Outlook integrates other Microsoft Office applications available through 365, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Users can share Outlook calendars with others, including coworkers or friends, to collaborate on projects.
  • Microsoft Outlook serves as a staple in workplaces worldwide and can also be used for personal communication.
  • Training to improve skills with Microsoft Outlook can help users optimize integrating Office applications to increase efficiency in the workplace.
  • Microsoft Outlook can be acquired in various ways, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office, or licensing for personal use, work, or education.
  • While possessing skills for Microsoft Outlook by itself cannot lead to a specific career, knowledge of the email and app management software can help with supporting other skills for most jobs, especially with integrating Office applications available through Microsoft 365.
  • There are alternatives to Outlook, such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, that is free or less expensive.
  • Noble Desktop provides training for a better understanding of the software application.

How to Learn Microsoft Outlook

Master Microsoft Outlook with hands-on training. Learn how to use Outlook to draft and send emails, schedule meetings, create mail merges, and more.

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