Outlook 2010: The client features you'll want to use

Exchange 2010 is rolling out -- but will you need Outlook 2010 to enjoy its new features?

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  • Conversation Management: This allows you to ignore or delete conversations you no longer want to be a part of. You may be part of a distribution list with a conversation that's sprawling out of control and has nothing to do with you. You can choose to ignore the thread or delete the thread with this feature.
  • SMS Texting: While not always the best outlet for your users' time, texting is part of the modern means of communication, so now Outlook can send SMS texts too, without another client app.
  • Mailbox Archive: Users can drag messages to a new folder called Archive. The benefit is that the archived message is eliminated from their storage quota.
  • Protected Voicemail: This uses Active Directory Rights Management (RMS) to provide data encryption of voice mail. When you mark a message as private, Exchange 2010 will encrypt it using RMS so that only the mailbox owner can listen to it, even if it's forwarded to someone else.

Some of these feature work without Exchange 2010 because they are part of the Outlook/OWA 2010 client: MailTips, Conversation View, Conversation Management, and SMS Texting.

Although you may not be considering rolling out Office 2010 (in fact, many shops are just now moving to Office 2007!), you might consider at least deploying Outlook 2010 with your Office 2007 upgrade, especially if you plan on using Exchange 2010. Learn more about Office 2010 in my blog "Office 2010 beta: Is there enough substance?" and consider whether upgrading to Office 2007 is right for you in my blog "8 reasons to finally upgrade to Office 2007."

This article, "Outlook 2010: The client features you'll want to use," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments on Windows and Microsoft Exchange at InfoWorld.com.

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