Microsoft Outlook 2010

Check your email on your device and stay connected with things from work or school

  • Category:

    Email

  • Version:

    2010

  • Works under:

    Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 8

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Full Version
  • Vote:
    5.8 (207)

Microsoft Outlook 2010 may be starting to show its age, and it's missing many of the features that have been added to the platform in the past few years, but it's still a respectable choice of email client for anyone working with an older machine or outdated version of the Windows operating system. But even for its time, it was already starting to show its age. Google's Gmail modernized the traditional email client by turning it into a web-based platform that could be accessed anywhere and comes integrated with a number of different office tools. But still, there's something to be said for a traditional take on the email web client, and if that's what you're looking for, you'll find it with Outlook 2010. On top of that, it integrates many of thee features popular with Gmail and Facebook users, making it an interesting middle ground between the past and the future.

Outlook saw the most extensive upgrades of any software in the Microsoft Office suite, and it shows. That's not to say it doesn't retain the signature style it's always had. The ribbon is still in place, and while it's not the prettiest approach to email management, it does manage to pack a lot of options into a very small amount of space. If you're turned off by the ribbon system, the more traditional file menu is also supported so you can access everything you need through more traditional pull down menus. Just keep in mind that the file menu drowns out all of your inbox and calendar in favor of a comprehensive menu. This "Backstage" system gives you all the account management options you could need in one place. It's the same interface used in other Office programs like Excel and Word, but it can seem a little sparse in this format since a number of the options there simply don't apply.

But the big hook of the 2010 Outlook experience is the social connector, an attempt to fold many of the options you'd find in Facebook directly into the Outlook experience. In theory, it's a clever idea, but in practice (and as indicated by the more robust integration folded into Office 360), it doesn't work quite as well as it should. Through the connector you can connect all of your social media profiles and aggregate the important information from your feeds directly into the Outlook window. Fundamentally, though, it's not necessarily the best place for it. This "People Pane" that gathers together your social media feeds sits right alongside your emails, but few people will likely find a great deal of use for it.

Outlook 2010 is a fine email client, and it will work well for people who are running archaic machines or aren't looking for the full breadth of modern features, but it's definitely starting to show its age. The web-based clients for Outlook and Gmail are likely better alternatives today, but there may be specialized circumstances where having a dedicated platform unfettered to your browser makes sense. In these cases, Outlook should suit you just fine.

Pros:

  • Combines macros, rules, and custom ribbons into one neat "Quick Steps" feature
  • Constitutes a major evolution from earlier versions of Outlook

Cons:

  • Hasn't kept pace with more modern email clients
  • Interface is cluttered and kind of ugly

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