I received an email from one of my friends over in corp that Outlook Web Access has reached the ripe old age of 10. My earliest experience of Outlook Web Access was Exchange 2000, which wasn’t too bad, but in following seven years I have seen it come on from a ‘basic version of Outlook’ to a full featured client in its own right.
A few facts for you…
- OWA was introduced on May 23, 1997
- Originally dubbed “Exchange Web Client,” OWA was the first web email client produced by Microsoft and was in Exchange 5.5
- OWA apparently spawned AJAX, which is a popular Web 2.0 technology and is now used in IE and other popular web browsers; XMLHTTP changed everything. It put the “D” in DHTML.
- The first DHTML prototype for OWA was written on top of a pre-beta version of IE5
- Each version of OWA continues to make huge strides in technology and the user interface experience, increasingly looking more and more like Outlook itself, for example OWA 2007 now include autocomplete, similar to the functionality you get when composing an email in Outlook.
- As OWA turns 10, there is an install base of more than 135 million people who have the technology with Exchange Server; that installed base is predicted to will increase from 135 million in 2007 to 233 million in 2011. This represents an average annual growth rate of 15% (Radicati 2007)
- When the OWA team unveiled OWA 2003—the team decided to show off the features on April 1st and developed a Hello Kitty theme, so as the Microsoft team logged on, they had a Hello Kitty UI set as their default theme. It provided good laughs while also demonstrating the customization capabilities of the service, which is something customers continue to derive great value from
In celebration of this anniversary I have had two slices of ‘Lemon drizzle cake’, feel free to do the same although you will need to fund this yourself 😉