The Out of Office feature is so much better in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 than previous versions

*Amendment - thanks to those of you who commented that you require Exchange Server 2007 to take advantage of the functionality I discuss in Outlook 2007*

I'm about to head out on holiday for a couple of weeks and have used the Out of Office feature of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. It's hardly a new feature but it's implementation is so much better in this version than previously - as you can see below there are far more useful options:

I really like the "only send during this time/date range" as I can set up the Out of Office (OOF) when I remember rather than as the last thing I do before leaving. I also like the nice clear way I can set the message for "inside my organisation" and "outside my organisation"

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mark posted an interesting comment on my post regarding " Outlook 2007’s Out of Office " feature stating

  2. Steve Lamb says:

    Mark> I have some thoughts on this but do not know the entire answer so I’ll write another post to see what other readers think…

  3. Tim Toennies says:

    Does this also require Exchange 2007?  I have Outlook 2007 with Exchange 2003 & don’t see this screen when I enter the Out of Office Assistant.  Thanks for your help.

  4. AdamV says:

    Steve, I think you will find that the added feature-rich options you are looking at are by virtue of _Exchange_ 2007 at the back end rather than just the upgraded client. I am using Outlook 2007 running against Exchange 2003 (actually SBS, but same core featureset) and I don’t get this functionality. 🙁

    Of course, Lotus Notes has had this in for quite a while now and it prefixes (optionally) with a context-based sentence along the lines of “I am out of the office from foo until bar” so you can write a generic message and leave this core part of your OOF reply alone, just turn it on or off when you want to and it does the rest.

    The flaw with the Notes implementation is that you _must_ put an end date, so it is not much help for people using this function to reply after they leave the business (“I’m no longer here, please call Alice”). The version you show has the date range as optional which is much more sensible.

  5. stodge says:

    You need to add a feature that will realise that I’ve forgotten to set my out of office message. It should know from my calendar that I’m on holiday.

    Actually, why not have it automatically scan the calendar each day for out of office appointments, and set the out of office message automatically?

    Yes, I do forget to set mine and return to my desk with a nice email from the admin that I’ve exceeded my quota. Yummy, 150 emails to read!!!

    That’s not many I know, but it’s enough to cause me confusion as I have to waste time working out what issues are unresolved or really need my attention.

  6. carl says:

    I’m summising that this is when coupled wth Exchange 2007. My OOA in Outlook 2007 with Exchange 2003 still looks as it has in previous versions.

  7. Mark Wilson says:

    Hi Steve,

    Any thoughts on the security of publishing out of office replies outside the organisation?  I know of several companies and government departments that prevent such messages from passing the corporate firewall… I just struggle to see their logic and would appreciate a view from a security expert!

    Cheers, Mark

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