Consultants come across requests constantly for an e-mail solution that fits their needs. Most times, larger more costly solutions are overkill for smaller sized companies, other times you will need the benefits provided by a large scale deployment such as needing an Exchange Server. In this article we will look at an easy to use e-mail solution that can help you not only manage your e-mail account, but multiple e-mail accounts simultaneously if this is a solution that appeals to you and your needs. This solution is usually helpful for those who have many online e-mail accounts and no central location to store and sort e-mail and calendaring events for example.
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Microsoft Office Outlook Live (MOOL) provides a solution for users who are accustomed to using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. Many times, e-mail users simply want to be able to log in to the client that they know, are comfortable with and do their jobs. With the growth and use of the public Internet, many e-mail accounts can pile up such as if you are using AOL, Yahoo and Gmail for example. Many times, folks will select new accounts to keep their e-mail addresses private. This doesn’t mean that you should have to log in and check 4 or 5 different e-mail clients a day, all different. If you want to keep it simple, you can use MOOL. As an example, what if you wanted to open Outlook and see one client (that you are familiar with) handle all your accounts? By using MOOL with Outlook 2003, you can log into Hotmail and manipulate the e-mails and calendar right from Outlook. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Hotmail not only because it’s a ‘Microsoft’ product, but more so because it’s important you understand how MOOL really operates with Outlook and Hotmail and the use of the connector. You can (as an example) share your calendar from Hotmail and your local Outlook calendar simultaneously. Hotmail’s Web interface although good, is not as easy to use especially if you are accustomed to using Microsoft Outlook and may not be as quick to respond. MOOL can be used in place of Hotmail so that you can use the Outlook client instead of the web interface you may already know and be familiar with. MOOL can be considered a combination of a scaled down version of Outlook and a beefed up version of Hotmail.
MOOL Components and Features
When using MOOL, you will find that aside from using MSN, Hotmail or Outlook/Exchange, Outlook Live is combined and has the following components:
- MOOL can be installed on and used with Microsoft Windows 2000 SP3 or later, Windows XP and or 2003. Currently MOOL is not supported for older version of Microsoft’s OS’s, or MAC OSX.
- MOOL connects MSN Hotmail with the advanced e-mail tools of Microsoft Office Outlook. When you purchase a subscription for MOOL, you are given Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. The version is nearly fully functional with only a few nonessential services missing from it. Subscribing to MOOL provides you with 2 GB of hard disk space, virus protection, advanced junk e-mail filters and calendar sharing, as well as integration between Microsoft Exchange Server mail accounts and your Hotmail or MSN e-mail through the Outlook interface. The connection is made via a ‘connector’.
- MOOL offers a connector that allows you to manipulate and manage messaging features from Outlook to other accounts.
- MOOL allows you to view and manage all personal information such as e-mail accounts, contacts and calendars from one centralized location. With MOOL, you can use Outlook to manage Hotmail and MSN accounts as an example.
Please check the MSN Website in the future for changes to these features.
Now that you understand the components of MOOL, and what it brings you in the way of benefits, let’s take a look at how to get the subscription service and configure MOOL for us. First, visit the MSN Website for information on MOOL.
Setup and Installation
Once you have completed the decision making process, you need to get MOOL and install it. Installing it is very easy, so we will focus on the things you may not know, or piece of information that may help you with making decisions on how you want to configure or use MOOL.
To download the product, you will have to pay for it and subscribe. You can follow the example here, but you will only be able to fully do it if you want the service. If you are interested, then the links are in the reference section of the article below.
To install MOOL, you will need to first determine if you have the following.
- A current copy of Outlook 2003
- A Hotmail or MSN account
If you do, then when you try to set up MOOL, you will be asked the following:
You will need to select that you do have the accounts, or you don’t. You can of course make one online if you so desire and then add it here. Click on Next once you are done.
After you have agreed to the membership and become a member, you will be given your new e-mail address, told that you will receive your CD for Outlook in the mail, and that you can call support if needed. It’s important to note that you can use a full verso in of Outlook 2003 if you have it already. The new version you get will be missing very few features, those that are not needed at all for MOOL.
In this example, I already installed Outlook 2003 and just decided to install the connector. The connector is very important to understand, as it’s the connection point between you local Outlook and Hotmail, MSN or other accounts. The connector will allow you to utilize and share between a Hotmail and Outlook at the same time as an example.
Pay close attention to what you are downloading and why, you do not want to ruin your current installation of Outlook so be careful when installing MOOL.
Now that you decided to use the connector, it needs to be installed and configured. You will be told if the MOOL installation was successful - as you can see the connector was installed successfully. Click on ‘Start Outlook’ to begin using MOOL.
Now that you are a member, you can also use the benefits found in the member center, such as technical support and other features such as help and downloads.
Once you open up Outlook, you will see that you are asked to log in to not only outlook, but also the connector that was just installed.
To log in, use your display name (if desired) and then you can list your email address and your password. These credentials will allow you to not only access your MSN or Hotmail email and see it and manipulate it within Outlook, but also to get you into Outlook to work. If you have other logins associated (if you have multiple e-mail accounts in place), then you will need to log in to those as well.
You may be asked about starting Outlook over to allow changes to take effect, very common for anyone using Outlook products for any length of time.
Once you have completed the installation, you only need to use Outlook as you always did, but be aware that now you can see not only your local calendar, but also the Hotmail calendar as well, as an example. Very helpful when you have more than one e-mail account that you actively use.
In this article we covered the basics of installing and using Microsoft Office Outlook Live, or MOOL for short. MOOL is a subscription based service offered by Microsoft that combines MSN's Hotmail Plus service and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 so that you can have the freedom of having a fully flexible and functional e-mail client, without the responsibility of managing an e-mail server. Microsoft's popular Outlook 2003 client application can be used and with special connector software, you can have a good e-mail solution in minutes.
Links and Reference Material
Microsoft E-mail Services
Microsoft Office Home
Microsoft Outlook Home
Office Update Services