Microsoft Outlook 2002 departs from previous versions of Outlook by dropping more than a dozen features, some of them quite significant features. Before you upgrade, you might want to check the list below to make sure that a feature you really need hasn’t been cut.
The lack of support for these two features leaves Outlook with fewer collaboration tools for non-Exchange Server users:
- Net Folders — Introduced in Outlook 98 to try to meet the collaboration needs of non-Exchange Server users, Net Folders is officially dead in Outlook 2002, perhaps a victim of the tighter Outlook security features.
- Microsoft Mail and the “workgroup postoffice” that was included with Windows NT, Windows 95 and Windows 98 — The Office XP Resource Kit provides conflicting information on Microsoft Mail, but it is officially unsupported in Outlook 2002. It was probably removed largely because of Y2K non-compliance. One exception: On an upgrade from Outlook 2000 or earlier on a machine that already has a profile with Microsoft Mail installed, the service may be usable in that profile. One thing to check is the location of the Msfs32.dll component. If it’s in Windows\System\Mapi\1033\95, try copying it to Windows\System\Mapi\1033\. Also, some of the Outlook MVPs have developed a procedure to Add MS Mail support to Outlook 2002 by modifying the Mapisvc.inf file and copying other necessary files.
If you were using the workgroup postoffice mainly for internal mail, an alternative might be a relatively low-cost POP or IMAP4 server such as Mercury Mail, NT Mail, Proxy+ or SL Mail (and many, many more for Windows). If you get an IMAP4 server, you get the extra benefit of being able to share message folders.
If the IMAP server supports access control lists on folders, you can use InsightConnector to share all kinds of Outlook data via IMAP folders, not just messages. Compatible IMAP servers include CommuniGate Pro, Cyrus (open-source), and InsightServer. FastMail provides both free and paid hosted IMAP accounts on a compatible Cyrus server.
A more expensive POP server, such as IMail, may offer calendaring using the iCalendar standard, which is compatible with Outlook. See Members offer alternatives to Exchange 2000 for other mail server solutions. Other POP/IMIAP servers specifically targetting Outlook include CommuniGate Pro Groupware, SuSE Linux Server, and Oracle Collaboration Suite.
Other possible alternatives to make up for the lack of basic sharing in Outlook:
- Database and PST-sharing components
- Web-based sharing services
- Shared Address Books for Microsoft Outlook
- Other calendar servers and databases
For those who collaborate via Microsoft Exchange, the main loss is the local calendar, a special offline folders .ost file that made the calendar work more efficiently by synchronizing the local copy with the server in the background when you were working online.
Mail and Fax Services
Outlook 2002 drops support for the following mail and fax services:
- Microsoft Fax — doesn’t work, even on an upgrade from Outlook 2000
- Symantec WinFax Starter Edition — the “lite” fax component from Outlook’s Internet Mail Only mode
- Microsoft Mail and the “workgroup postoffice” that was included with Windows NT, Windows 95 and Windows 98 — see above
The interaction with Compuserve’s Secure Password Authentication scheme is broken in Outlook 2002. If you’re interested in some of the details, you can read this newsgroup thread.
It also looks like the GroupWise MAPI components have problems with Outlook 2002. We’re keeping an eye on the novell.support.collaboration.groupwise5.clients discussion group.
The problem with GroupWise, Lotus Notes, Corel Address Book and other MAPI providers that don’t work with Outlook 2002 probably is related to various MAPI calls. See PRB Custom MAPI Providers Do Not Load In Outlook 2002 for one example. It will be up to the third-party providers to deliver new versions for Outlook 2002.
Internet Mail Only Features
Outlook 2002 ends the distinction between Corporate/Workgroup mode and Internet Mail Only mode that was present in Outlook 98 and Outlook 2000. These IMO-only features did not survive the cut, but all have at least partial workarounds:
- Sharing of the address book between Outlook and Outlook Express — In IMO mode, you could set Outlook to share its address book so that you’d see the same contacts in OE’s Windows Address Book. You may still have this feature, however, if you upgraded to Outlook 2002 from Outlook 2000 in Internet Mail Only mode. We have also tested a registry hack that seems to work; see To share Contacts between Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express.
- Ability to export Internet mail account settings to an .iaf file as you can in IMO mode and Outlook Express. If you already have an .iaf file from Outlook Express or Outlook 2000 IMO mode and want to move account information to a new machine, try this workaround. Import the .iaf file to Outlook Express on the new machine. Then in Outlook 2002, use File | Import and Export | Import Internet Mail Account Settings.
- Use of the Nickname field for address resolution — You can type a name in the Nickname field on a contact, but Outlook 2002 ignores it during the “check names” function. One solution is to edit the contact and change the display name for one of the email addresses to the nickname that you want to use. Another workaround is to create a distribution list in Contacts with the name your want to use as a nickname and include the single contact as the only member.
- OL2002 The Option to Break Apart Large Messages Is Missing — A possible workaround may be Dkms’s XP File splitter.
- Outlook no longer expands the folder list to show all folders where you have received new messages. This appears to be fixed in the June 21, 2001 Outlook 2002 Update and later patches.
- Unencumbered access to the Outlook Object Model and CDO is a thing of the past. Outlook 2002 fully implements the “object model guard” features of the Outlook Email Security Update. These are customizable only in an Exchange Server or HP OpenMail environment. If you need unencumbered access to Outlook items and methods in other environments, you have two choices. If you know C++ or Delphi, you can use Extended MAPI to rewrite your programs. VB and VBScript programmers can use the Outlook Redemption programming library.
- The Office Document form is no longer supported. If you choose File | New | Office Document, you’ll get a regular Word, Excel or PowerPoint window. You cannot publish the resulting document as an Outlook form. (We’re still trying to figure out how much support there is for designing Office Document forms created in Outlook 2000.)
- Help on the Outlook object model is incomplete. For example, the “updated” Help system omits the literal values for all the constants. You have to look them up in the Object Browser.
Other Missing Features
- The setting to adjust the line length of plain text messages no longer works. Even if you change it from the default of 76 characters, Outlook appears to always use 72 characters as the break point.
- You cannot set the default format for Internet plain text messages to quoted-printable (which puts in soft returns, not hard returns at the end of each line). This makes long URLs in plain text messages unusable. Microsoft Knowledgebase article Q278134 describes how to modify the registry to set the default encoding format for plain text messages to quoted-printable. However, this setting appears to be only cosmetic. While it does indeed set the Content-Transfer-Encoding to quoted-printable, Outlook performs only partial encoding — handling 8-bit characters, but not soft line feeds.
- OL2002 The Print Option Is Missing When You Select Multiple Attachments
- Outlook 2002 uses one set of signatures for all profiles, rather than allowing different signatures for different profiles. A workaround is to use a script to copy a signature file, then start Outlook.
- The Find feature in Outlook 2002 disregards both any existing filter on the view and any immediately previous Find operations. In earlier versions, a Find searched over the filtered view, not all items in the folder. If you did a second Find, it searched only over the items displayed from the first Find.
- New Features in Microsoft Outlook 2002
- Microsoft Outlook 2002 — our comprehensive resource page
- OL2002 Services That Do Not Coexist with Outlook 2002