Difference between Outlook and Outlook Express

Key difference: Outlook Express and Outlook are Microsoft’s email clients that fall under messaging products. Outlook Express is a client from Microsoft that was included with Windows XP and Windows 2000, whereas Outlook is a premier messaging and collaboration client.

Microsoft Outlook Express and the more robust version of Microsoft Outlook share the same basic functionality: sending and receiving email and viewing newsgroups. However, there are few differences between the two.

Outlook Express is the e-mail client that was included with Microsoft Internet Explorer Editions operating system, the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating systems, and Microsoft Office 98 for the Macintosh. It was designed for home users, who gain access to their e-mail messages by dialing in to an Internet service provider (ISP).

Built on open Internet standards, the full support of Outlook Express ensures that one can take advantage of new technologies as well as seamlessly send and receive e-mail. However, there are certain points which can help in selecting a better version of the program. The following are the criteria to select Outlook Express:

  • Internet is only required for e-mail and newsgroup functionality purposes
  • It is compatible to the Windows versions of Microsoft Windows 95, Macintosh, and UNIX platforms.
  • One plans to use Office 98 for Macintosh, and want to take an advantage of the integrated version of Outlook Express with the standard version of the Office suite.

Outlook is Microsoft's premier messaging and collaboration client. It is a stand-alone application that is integrated into Microsoft Office and Exchange Server. It provides complete and robust performance with Internet Explorer 5.5. There is complete integration of e-mail, calendaring, and contact management in Outlook, hence making it the perfect client for many business users.

It is more user friendly, and is designed to communicate and share information more effectively. However, there are certain requirements which need to be met, while selecting Outlook:

  • One requires advanced Internet standards based on e-mails and group discussion functionality
  • One may require integrated personal calendars, group scheduling, task management, and contact management programs.
  • One may require integrated e-mail, calendaring, and cross-platform clients for the different versions of Windows like Windows 95, Windows 95, and Macintosh platforms.
  • One plans to use or uses Office 97, Office 2000, Office XP or Exchange Server.
  • One requires robust, integrated run-time and design-time collaboration capabilities.

Hence, from the above points, one can choose and decide, which client is best suited for them according to their requirements.

Comparison between Outlook and Outlook Express:



Outlook Express


It is a premier messaging and collaboration client.


It is a messaging client from Microsoft that was included with Windows XP and Windows 2000.

Included in

It comes with Microsoft office.

It comes with the operating system.


It is suitable for business users.

It is suitable for personal and home users.

Consist of

Has emails, personal calendars, group scheduling, task, and contact management.

Has only email and newsgroups functionality.


It can filter both, incoming and outgoing mail.

It can only filter incoming mail.

Task manage

It creates task lists with deadlines and priorities.

It does not offer task management function.


It is seamlessly integrated with other MS Office applications.

It includes pre-designed “stationery” for use in special occasions like birthdays, holidays etc.


It allows syncing email, calendar and tasks with smart-phones or Windows phones.

It does not offer synchronization function.

Storage settings  

It was tailor-made for networks, so it can store messages and settings on a central server that many machines can access.

It was designed to use on a single computer, so it cannot store messages and settings on a server.


Exchange servers

It supports Exchange servers.

It does not support Exchange servers.

Server Support



Internet support

e-mail, news, LDAP, MHTML, NNTP, MIME, S/MIME and HMTL.


Image Courtesy: iconhaze.com, homanic.com

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