Microsoft opens up the Outlook PST data format

Microsoft always planned to open up the Outlook PST data format in 2010 and last week it made good on its promises by releasing a technical structure specification document.

Paul Lorimer, Group Manager of Microsoft Office Interoperability, confirmed the company continuously received feedback regarding improved access to email, calendar, contacts, and other data generated by Microsoft Outlook. The PST format is used to store data ranging from email to calendar and contacts and allows for users to export and import that data within Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft hopes by making the documentation available that partners and customers will have greater opportunities to make use of the PST format. Allowing the PST format to be documented and open will allow web mail providers like Gmail and social networking sites like Facebook to better import data from Microsoft's Outlook application. Lorimer said "we’re proud of the work we’ve done in this area, and you can count on Microsoft to continue its vigorous pursuit of interoperability through a comprehensive approach, of which transparency is one of the keystones."

View: Outlook Personal Folders File Format (.pst) Structure Specification

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