An issue is being reported widely today that a specific update for Microsoft Office 2013 causes the Folder Pane in Outlook 2013 to show an empty display. Among a few Office 2013 releases, KB2817630 appears to be the culprit.
Uninstalling KB2817630 seems to resolve the issue. There's no word yet that Microsoft has acknowledged the problem, or is working on a fixed update.
There's a current threaded discussion going on in the Office forums on the Microsoft site here: Outlook 2013: Folder Pane is empty
The related updates are located at the following links:
This report is just a continuing storyline in a growing quality problem Microsoft is facing for its monthly updates. Patching admins are starting to grit their teeth with each approaching Patch Tuesday. For months now, there's been at least one update that has caused problems for many customers or has exhibited quality issues. Patching has almost turned into a game of Russian Roulette, and now with limited availability for product downloads due Microsoft's decision to end TechNet subscriptions, it will continue to be harder and harder for admins to test patches adequately. This all lends itself to an added bullet point in the growing concern that Microsoft is secretly engineering tactics to rid the world of IT Pros.