Web accounts

Advantages and disadvantages of each

Email is part of everyone’s daily life. We need it to perform almost endless personal tasks or, in business, for account statements and other customer communications. If you’re an IT pro, you’ll typically receive a flood of emails containing end-user tickets and complaints about issues, as well as ongoing notifications about your systems and other security-related announcements. ‘business. How do you work with your email on a daily basis? If you’re using on-premises Exchange, you’ll use either Microsoft Outlook or Outlook on the web, which is web-based. Each person has their preference, and we’ll look at both along with some of the pros and cons of each.


Microsoft Outlook

Outlook has come a long way, and each version of Exchange lets you use a certain set of versions. Here is the full list:

  • Outlook 2002
  • Outlook 2003
  • Outlook 2007
  • Outlook 2010
  • Outlook 2013
  • Outlook 2016
  • Outlook 2019
  • Outlook for Mac (various versions)

If you are using Exchange 2016 or higher, you will most likely have clients on Outlook 2010 and higher. Outlook is part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. An application is installed on your machine, allowing you to either configure multiple profiles or open multiple mailboxes at once. If you have shared mailboxes, you’ll also see them in Outlook. The Outlook application does not disconnect like the web version, which we will come back to next. You can also open old archives as one of the main features, which means any PST file you have will be open every time you launch Outlook.

The Outlook application is network sensitive. If you have a drop in connectivity, Outlook will show that it is disconnected and show errors. The same will happen if the main server goes down and Outlook cannot reconnect. Many end users use Outlook; this is the norm for many companies. The versions will be different as each has a different cost associated with it.

Outlook can be configured using MAPI (depending on Exchange version), RPC, IMAP, or POP. Each version of Outlook will support a certain set of protocols. You cannot connect Outlook 2003 to an Exchange 2019 server, for example.

Outlook allows you to configure other accounts such as Gmail or Outlook.com accounts, unlike Outlook on the web because Gmail and Outlook.com have their own web interfaces.

Outlook can be connected in cached mode or online mode, depending on business needs. Note that online mode puts a bit more strain on your Exchange server.

Outlook on the web

If we look at Outlook on the web, also known as OWA, you have a feature similar to Outlook. This includes creating emails, meetings, tasks, contacts, notes, and folders. It works with most browsers, which means you don’t access any apps. Instead, you use a web page defined by your IT administrators, such as mail.domain.com/owa. In Outlook, we can view PST files, but in Outlook on the web, you cannot.

Outlook on the web times out if this feature is configured by your IT department. If you prefer to use it, you may end up logging in several times a day, as the web page will bring you back to log in again if it’s idle for too long. I’ve seen this happen when people wrote these long emails and for some reason it didn’t get saved, and Outlook on the web timed out, and they lost hours of work.

When it comes to customization, you can apply themes to both Outlook and Outlook on the web. If black is your favorite color, you can choose dark mode in Outlook, and it should be related to Windows 10 if you have a system-wide dark mode setup. Chrome has a black theme. You can apply it to web pages, but it doesn’t always look so nice.

Outlook on the web only works with updated versions of browsers such as Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Microsoft has a list of system requirements for supported browsers and operating systems.

Here’s a snippet of what Microsoft Outlook looks like compared to Outlook on the web:

Microsoft Outlook:

Microsoft Outlook looks like Outlook on the web

Outlook on the web:

Microsoft Outlook looks like Outlook on the web

In Microsoft Outlook, your options for Calendar, People, and Tasks are located at the bottom of Outlook:

You can see how clean and easy to access the icons are. In Outlook on the web, you need to click the icon in the upper left corner to be able to view your options as shown below:

As you can see, both have the same options, except Microsoft Outlook has additional notes, folders, and shortcuts. The same with the above also applies to Microsoft 365 if you use the web portal or Outlook to access your email.

Yes you can use both

I use both because I find it easier to work with multiple accounts using both Microsoft Outlook and Outlook on the web. I’ve seen customers prefer one or the other, but maybe you like both or just use Microsoft Outlook because OWA is blocked externally.

Featured Image: Shutterstock