Outlook: 1996 to 2011

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Outlook: 1996 to 2011

Over the years Outlook has changed not only its look but its function. We all know Outlook as one of the top email platforms, that the majority probably have some sort of email. Many colleges in the United States give their students a university / college email that they can use during their time at the school. Outlook is also a familiar topic because it connects easily with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. All three of the services just listed can easily be accessed on the homepage of the website version of outlook. However, Outlook was not always the popular email browser.

In 1999, Outlook was a website that was used as an “event driven” publication page.  On this website people got the inside scoop on real customer opinions and ratings of products and services. Outlook gave tons of information from the highs and lows of the previous months, summaries of current articles (that are for purchase) and one article that is public to give you a taste of what Outlook has to offer. 

Graphical user interface, text

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To the left we can see a picture of what the home page of Outlook looked like in 1999. We can see that this looks nothing like our current outlook that we know today. Outlook did not offer an email service in the 1990s, but it did act as a platform for people to search for information about today’s hot products and services, so the readers could get a good understanding of the true un-bias feedback from other consumers and companies. When looking at the representation of this site, we can see how simplistic it is. It is not very aesthetically pleasing, and it is very straight forward. Everything the website offers is clearly laid out on the home page with a link to get you to there and a description of where the link will take you. 

Hoping over to 2011, Outlook is a completely different site. It no longer is a website that offers articles about the hot new products and services that are out there. Now it is simply an Email platform. At the end of 2010, Outlook was reinvented and joined with Microsoft Office which really took it off the ground because it joined forces with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote (Desmond 2021). Now you can write a paper, make a PowerPoint, make tables, take notes and check your Email all under one username. 

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Above we can see the new face of Outlook. As we can see compared to the 1996 version all the hyperlinks and text are gone since they are no longer offered. Now it is a simple login page that is very cut and dry. Looking at the representation of the page, there are no extra details in this homepage. There is simply the name of the website and the sign in portion. 

Another comparison we can make is looking at the hyperlinks at the two different time periods. In 1996, the hyperlink was short and sweet, simply http://outlook.com . Whereas the 2011 one was,https://login.live.com/login.srf?cbcxt=out&vv=900&wa=wsignin1.0&wtrealm=urn:federation:MicrosoftOnline&wctx=wa%3Dwsignin1.0%26rpsnv%3D2%26ct%3D1306084206%26rver%3D6.1.6206.0%26wp%3DMBI_KEY%26wreply%3Dhttps:%252F%252Foutlook.com%252Fowa%252F%26id%3D260563%26CBCXT%3Dout. We can see here that this is one other difference between the two different versions of Outlook. When clicking both links now they take you to the most updated version of Outlook.


Images from:

“Outlook Archive”. Way Back Machine. Internet Archive, 1996.


“Outlook Archive”. Way Back Machine. Internet Archive, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20110522171010/https://login.live.com/login.srfcbcxt=out&vv=900&wa=wsignin1.0&wtrealm=urn:federation:MicrosoftOnline&wctx=wa%3Dwsignin1.0%26rpsnv%3D2%26ct%3D1306084206%26rver%3D6.1.6206.0%26wp%3DMBI_KEY%26wreply%3Dhttps:%252F%252Foutlook.com%252Fowa%252F%26id%3D260563%26CBCXT%3Dout

Desmond, Erika. “History of Microsoft Outlook.” Cirrus Insight. Cirrus Insight. Accessed October 8, 2021. https://www.cirrusinsight.com/blog/history-of-microsoft-outlook. 

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