While updating the Microsoft Office experience with new and improved versions, some obsolete features get retired while other features are sacrificed to meet development goals or to maximize the benefit of newer features. There are many changes going forward from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010 and some users might miss features they’ve grown accustomed to using. I see a lot of articles outlining what’s new with Outlook 2010, but I’d like to discuss some features that have been altered or removed from Outlook in Outlook 2010.

 AutoArchive as a Retention Policy Mechanism

AutoArchive enables users to automatically move messages based on age, to an alternative location. AutoArchive still exists in Outlook 2010; however, you’re no longer able to configure AutoArchive through Group Policy. Enterprises with message retention requirements for regulatory compliance or even company policy, are expected to deploy Message Record Management (MRM) in Exchange 2007 or Retention Policies in  Exchange 2010. This enterprise solution is more granular, more scalable, and much better suited for compliance scenarios.

 You can still manage the Outlook Archive settings centrally because most of these setting are workstation registry entries that can be deployed by other means, including via a .reg file through a logon script. In Outlook 2010, the AutoArchive settings can be found in the registry at:

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences

 MAPI Connectivity to Exchange 2000

Outlook 2010 isn’t able to make MAPI connections to an Exchange 2000 Server. Users won’t have mailbox or public folder access. Outlook 2010 requires Exchange 2003 or later for MAPI connectivity. If you’re still using Exchange 2000, you might consider holding off on a migration to Outlook 2010. Alternatively, Outlook 2010 can, of course, still employ POP3 or IMAP4 for access to some Exchange 2000 mailbox content.

 Message Hygiene Feature Postmarking Removed

Outlook 2007 introduced the concept of Postmarks to help establish legitimacy for email messages. A token got added to the header of outbound email messages as the output of a computational puzzle. Exchange 2007 systems would assess the header and improve inbound SCL values as legitimate mail. Postmarking was not really adopted outside of Outlook and Exchange systems. Postmarking has now been removed as of Outlook 2010.

 ANSI Offline Folder Files (.OST)

Outlook 2010 removes the option to create ANSI .ost files for Offline Folders. New .ost files are automatically Unicode .pst files as introduced in Outlook 2003. The older ANSI format has inferior performance and a 2GB file size limitation relative to the Unicode format. You can still create new ANSI Personal Folders (.pst) files within Outlook from the Home tab in the Ribbon by navigating to New Items, More Items, Outlook Data File, and in the Save As Type dropdown list selecting Outlook 97-2002 Data File (*.pst).

 Office Classic Menus

Office 2007 introduced a more dynamic menu with the Office Ribbon. The ribbon was not adopted in all interfaces across the Office 2007 suite. Outlook 2007 did not fully integrate the new Ribbon, but Outlook 2010 takes full advantage of the new menu interface. Of all the Microsoft Office applications, Outlook has the most forms using the new Ribbon. There is no classic mode for those who either dislike the new presentation or who are desperate for screen real estate.


 WebDAV for HTTP Accounts

Windows Live Hotmail announced in 2008 that Distributed Authoring and Versioning (DAV) access to Hotmail would cease on September 1, 2009. Outlook 2010 has dropped the DAV protocol altogether. Microsoft still offers an Outlook Live Connector (See “Using the Outlook Live Connector” InstantDoc ID 125324) and POP3 access to Hotmail. Any other DAV-based webmail solutions will be inaccessible using Outlook 2010 and will require an alternate client application.

 ScanOST is Gone

Well used Personal and Offline Folders have historically been criticized for susceptibility to corruption and errors. Outlook installs with a basic database integrity repair utility for local data. In Outlook 2007 and earlier, there was a Personal Folders Integrity Check tool (ScanPST.exe) and an Offline Folders Integrity Check tool (ScanOST.exe). The Offline Folder version is no longer included as of Outlook 2010. If the user is experiencing local folder performance issues or possible corruption problems with his or her Offline Folders, Microsoft recommends deleting the current .ost file and allowing Outlook to create a new .ost as it synchronizes with the mailbox on the Exchange Server. You can make a backup of the .ost file by copying the content to a .pst file first.

 Send Link To This Folder

Some people swear by Public Folders and some people swear at them. Public folders are still around, though little by little they inch towards true obsolescence. In Outlook 2003 and earlier, it was easy to send links to Public Folders as email attachments. These links used the extension .xnk. For security reasons, this functionality was disabled in Outlook 2007. You can enable it again by asserting the file extension .xnk association with Outlook.exe as outlined in Microsoft knowledge base article 931218. Outlook allowed you to send a shortcut to a Public Folder by right-clicking on the folder and selecting Send Link to This Folder. This generated an .xnk attachment to an email. The context menu command Send Link to This Folder has been removed as of Outlook 2010.

 There are many subtle changes to Outlook with Outlook 2010. If or when you find yourself looking for a feature that has been removed, take some comfort in knowing you probably weren’t the first person to do so.