Outlook 2013 deprecated features and components

As much as we love adding new features to Outlook, for the maintainability of our product we sometimes need to remove those that are out of date and aren’t utilized by a large number of users.  This allows us to focus on improving the Outlook features that most of you, our customers, rely on.

The following are some features that we’ve removed from Outlook 2013, and we want to make sure you are aware so there aren’t any surprises when you go to use or deploy the new version. 

Exchange “Classic Offline” Mode

In Outlook 2013, we will no longer support “Classic Offline” Mode for Microsoft Exchange accounts.  Users in this configuration will be upgraded to Cached Mode when they install Outlook 2013.  For the vast majority of users this will mean no change to your Outlook experience.  Details of Cached Mode in Outlook can be found here:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj683103.aspx

“Deliver to PST” for Exchange accounts

Exchange accounts will no longer be able to have their delivery location be a PST file (rather an .OST).  Users in this configuration will be upgraded to Cached Mode (with an .OST file) when they install 2013. See the previous article for details about cached mode. 

Calendar Publishing to Office.com (PubCal)

Users will no longer be able to publish calendars publicly to Office.com using Outlook 2013, and the Office.com calendar sharing service will be shutting down for older versions of Outlook as well.  We will publish a follow-up blog post detailing the timeline for the service changes, as well as ways to get the same feature set using Exchange or Outlook.com.

VPN and Dialup Settings

VPN and dialup preferences are no longer independently configurable in Outlook.  These options were previously located on the Send/Receive tab in Outlook 2010.  As a workaround, affected users are encouraged to set these options system wide in the Windows Control Panel. 

Outlook search via the Windows Shell

Outlook 2013 will no longer surface search results for mail and calendar items in Windows Explorer (or via the start menu).  Users can still utilize all of Outlook’s search functionality from within the app itself. 

Journaling

The Journal as a top-level module no longer exists in Outlook 2013.  Journal entries can still be accessed via the Journal folder in the Folder List module.   Also, the ability to ‘auto-journal’ your Outlook actions is gone in 2013. 

Import/Export to Legacy Applications

Outlook has traditionally supported importing and exporting data to and from many different file formats.  Many of the formats Outlook has supported are outdated and are no longer in mainstream use.  Outlook will continue to support comma-separated-value (.csv) files as well as .PST files, but other file formats are no longer supported.

 This list includes:

–          ACT! Contact manager files

–          Word 97-2003 (.doc)

–          Excel 97-2003 (.xls)

–          Outlook Express archives

Legacy Contact Linking/Activities Tab

The Contact Activities Tab is removed from Outlook 2013.  This previously provided a way to “link” contacts with other Outlook items, and have them all roll-up in the Activities Tab.  The Outlook Social Connector (introduced in Outlook 2010) replaces much of this functionality in a faster, more user friendly fashion. 

–Justin Mahood, Outlook Program Manager