Microsoft dumps a number of older features from Outlook 2013

Microsoft signed off on the RTM build of Office 2013 in October but it won't be made available to the general public until sometime in early 2013. However, there are a number of features that have been put into previous versions of Office that won't be a part of Office 2013.

Microsoft has made a list of the features that won't be a part of its latest email and calendar program in a new blog post. Microsoft confirmed today that older .doc (Word 97-2003) and .xls (Excel 97-2003) won't have any importing and exporting support in Outlook 2013. The same goes for ACT! Contact manager files and Outlook Express archives.

Another feature that won't be a part of the new version of Outlook is the "Classic Offline" Mode for Microsoft Exchange accounts. The blog states, "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." Also, Exchange accounts with Outlook 2013 cannot have their delivery location be a PST file.

If you like publishing your calendars for anyone to see on Office.com, that's changing too. In addition to removing that feature from Outlook 2013, Microsoft is also going to shut down that service for older versions of Outlook as well. Microsoft will reveal the timeline for this shutdown soon. Outlook 2013 also won't support searching for mail and calendar items in Windows Explorer or the Start menu anymore, in favor of searching inside Outlook.

VPN and dialup preferences won't be independently configurable for Outlook 2013 and Journal fans won't see that feature as a top-level module in the program. Microsoft has also removed the "auto-journal" feature. Finally, Microsoft has taken out the Contact Activities tab in favor of the Outlook Social Connector.

Source: Outlook blog | Image via Microsoft

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Outlook 2013 also won't support searching for mail and calendar items in Windows Explorer or the Start menu anymore, in favor of searching inside Outlook.

I'm sorry... WHAT?!!!!!!

Is that an actual screenshot? If so, what a nightmare for professional users on anything but a touch screen.

Honestly, look at all the white space. So little information in the contact window with almost 1/2 the screen real estate lost.

I guess it would be a little better with Outlook windowed instead of fullscreen, but I see a whole lot of reasons NOT to upgrade right there.

Is Outlook 2013 as bad as all this or are there any good reasons to upgrade to it?

More pandering to the techno-weenie set. As MS forces people to upgrade, i.e., spend more money for dubious functionality improvements; people start looking elsewhere and switch.

A couple days ago I upgraded from Office 2010 to 2013 but now I don't have my MSN contacts synced to Outlook 2013. I'm using Exchange ActiveSync as the Outlook Connector is no longer supported. Only 2 old contacts are showing up under "People." Anyone else notice that problem or know how to resolve it?

I tried 2013 for a while but found Outlook too bright / white.. got a bit tiresome on my eyes after a while, and I didn't find the themes really helped much with that. Gone back to 2010 for now!

Chicane-UK said,
I tried 2013 for a while but found Outlook too bright / white.. got a bit tiresome on my eyes after a while, and I didn't find the themes really helped much with that. Gone back to 2010 for now!
i actually hate the white theme but the gray one fitted me pretty well, really like it.

Outlook 2013 also won't support searching for mail and calendar items in Windows Explorer or the Start menu anymore, in favor of searching inside Outlook.

Really? I love that Windows Live Mail does that, and I don't see why they would remove such a nice convenient feature. I can just hit the start button and start typing, rather than navigating to Outlook, finding the search box and then typing.

I've been using the trial final version. I installed it about 30 days ago. It said I had 60 days before I had to buy a key and activate it. well those 60 days have turned into about 29, in one day it went from 11 days remaining to 8. I don't know how that's possible as well as not being able to activate the trial version with the key that was generated on their site. Hope I can buy a legit key soon.

Glassed Silver said,

How do you benefit from that?GS:mac

Microsoft get more money by forcing older users to upgrade!

Likely won't happen, and Microsoft will release "converters" in a few months time.

dvb2000 said,

Microsoft get more money by forcing older users to upgrade!

Likely won't happen, and Microsoft will release "converters" in a few months time.

You haven't a clue, have you?

It's only "importing and exporting" involving DOC and XLS formats in Outlook that is affected. Converters make no sense in this context seeing as all versions of Office back to 2000 can all save to the new DOCX and XLSX format.

Think before you post such drivel.

testman said,
You haven't a clue, have you?

It's only "importing and exporting" involving DOC and XLS formats in Outlook that is affected. Converters make no sense in this context seeing as all versions of Office back to 2000 can all save to the new DOCX and XLSX format.

Think before you post such drivel.

Office 2000 saving to DOCX and XLSX?

Pot. Kettle. Black.

GS:mac

Quite a few people still use .doc and .xls sadly. Just yesterday i got a .xls file sent to me from a large company. But i'm glad MS are dropping support. People really shouldn't be using such ancient versions of Office! Upgrade already!

Same with XP and IE6. Infact i'd be happy if every single person still using XP and IE6 would just suddenly drop dead.

Word and Excel 2013 will open and save .doc and .xls files. It's just been removed from Outlook. You cannot, for example, export contacts in Outlook 2013 to .xls.

It is different for big companies. In most cases they set a group policy to default to the old formats until they have upgraded 100% of users to a new version of office. For companies that skipped Office 2007 (its popular to do every other version of office) the upgrade to 2010 may still be underway.

Even if they are 100% on a new version and default new files to the XML format, most users will not change the format of existing documents just for the heck of it. I can see .XLS files hanging around for a VERY long time to come in large companies. I don't see it as a problem either.

No big whoops for me, the changes they're making. I find it's a great product. Frankly, I love being able to click 'Reply' to a message in the Preview pane, and write the message right there and send it on.

And not only that! You can finally search your inbox or sent items when you click "new email".

Before, Outlook wouldn't let you unfocus from the recently opened window.

...are you sure about that? I've got a "new" email open and I can still search and read other emails in the main window.
Outlook 2010 here.

I believe he's referring to when you right click on a file or something and use the send to - email functionality. I remember that would not let you go to any other windows in Outlook except that one stupid window until you send the email or cancel it.