New Features for Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-17

The following sections describe the new features in Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003 that make your messaging and information management tasks easier to perform.

Outlook can now connect to Exchange 2003 through the Internet without the need to use slow and sometimes unavailable virtual private network (VPN) connections. This feature enables you to access your Exchange 2003 account from the Internet when you are working outside your organization's firewall without any special connections or hardware, such as smart cards and security tokens. For more information about configuring Exchange 2003 to use RPC over HTTP, see Exchange Server 2003 RPC over HTTP Deployment Scenarios.

To reduce the amount of information that is sent between the Outlook 2003 client and Exchange 2003 servers, Exchange 2003 performs data compression. Exchange 2003 also reduces the total requests for information between the client and server, thereby optimizing the communication between the client and the server.

Outlook introduces a new file format for personal folder (.pst) files that offers greater storage capacity for items and folders and support for multilingual Unicode data.

A file created with the new Outlook .pst file format is not compatible with earlier versions of Outlook. For compatibility with earlier versions of Outlook, create files by using the .pst file format for Outlook 97 through Outlook 2002. Outlook 2003 can view and create files of either type.

Exchange 2003 allows Outlook 2003 clients to authenticate to Exchange 2003 servers by using Kerberos authentication.

The addition of Cached Exchange Mode, combined with the synchronization and optimization improvements, significantly enhances the remote end-user's experience with Outlook. For example, in earlier versions of Outlook, dialog boxes would display requests for information from an Exchange server; however, in Outlook 2003, these requests no longer appear on a user's Outlook client because the user works primarily from their local Exchange mailbox data file (this functionality also reduces the total load on your Exchange servers). More importantly, if network connectivity is lost between the Outlook client and the network, Outlook 2003 will operate without interruption.