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Outlook.com Adds Support for IMAP
Outlook.com Adds Support for IMAP

By Barry Levine
September 13, 2013 12:23PM

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The move to support IMAP is part of Microsoft's upgrading of Outlook.com, as the company tries to better position it as a worthy competitor to Google's Gmail. Outlook.com will also support the OAuth authentication standard. Other recent improvements to Outlook have included Skype integration, an enhanced calendar, and two-factor authentication.
 



At last, Microsoft's Outlook.com has been IMAP'd. On Thursday, Microsoft announced that its e-mail service is now supporting the popular protocol.

In a posting on the Outlook Blog, as well as in a question-and-answer session on Reddit, representatives from Microsoft noted that Outlook.com "already supports the industry's best e-mail conductivity with Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)." EAS is utilized by Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices, as well the Windows 8 Mail app. IMAP can be used by, among other clients, Mac Mail and Thunderbird on a Mac.

While Microsoft pointed to the EAS protocol as being the "most robust" for e-mail, providing near real-time syncing and "superior battery and network efficiencies," it acknowledged that the older IMAP is widely supported on feature phones and other clients. Outlook is supporting IMAP version 4 rev 1.

App Updates

Apps such as TripIt, Sift, Slice, motley*bunch, Unroll.me, OtherInbox, and Context.IO issued updates Thursday that include the new IMAP support.

TripIt, a travel planner, can now detect e-mail confirmations in an Outlook.com inbox, and then import them into a TripIT itinerary. Sift, a product finder, can now use shopping content in an Outlook.com account to help create a personalized shopping experience.

Slice helps keep track of everything bought online, including e-mails about package tracking, and motley*bunch can now sync with an Outlook account to organize packages and shipments into a personal catalog. Unroll.me provides an easier way to unsubscribe from e-mail subscriptions, OtherInBox offers tools for keeping the Outlook inbox organized, and Context.IO is an e-mail API for building apps that integrate data from e-mail.

IMAP allows an e-mail client to access messages stored on a remote e-mail server, which means that updates to an inbox will appear on devices across platforms. An e-mail that has been read in one device, for example, will also show up as read on another. Before this IMAP support, Outlook.com users without EAS support in their e-mail clients needed to use the Post Office Protocol (POP) that requires messages to be downloaded in order to be managed.

Competing With Google

EAS is a protocol intended for syncing e-mail, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes from a server to a mobile device. Originally, it only supported Microsoft Exchange Servers and Microsoft Pocket PC devices. In addition to Windows Phone devices and the e-mail app in Windows 8, EAS support is also available on the BlackBerry 10 smartphones, on the iPhone and iPad, and on a variety of Android smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft has also announced that Outlook.com will now be supporting OAuth, the authentication standard, thus assisting in secure interactions with third-party software.

These steps are part of Microsoft's upgrading of Outlook.com, as the company tries to better position it as a worthy competitor to Google's Gmail. Other recent improvements to Outlook have included Skype integration, an enhanced calendar, and two-factor authentication. Google has been removing support for EAS from its services.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Mimosa:

Posted: 2013-11-19 @ 11:39pm PT
Thanks for this support! Now I can use Outlook Express as mail client, AA Mail Server as email server, and they worked well.

la:

Posted: 2013-09-23 @ 2:34pm PT
I have not been able to log onto outlook for a week now , what is happening

Vimlesh:

Posted: 2013-09-18 @ 12:46am PT
It is hard to defeat Google. Lets see what will happen next!



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


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