Using Non-Windows Systems to Access Exchange Server 2010 : Outlook Express

2/18/2011 2:23:21 PM
A common client used by many users to access Exchange Server from a non-Windows perspective has been the use of the Outlook Express client shown in Figure 1. However, a few years ago, Microsoft chose to abandon the further development of Outlook Express and focused their support in development of the Outlook client for Windows, as well as a better OWA client for non-Windows users. Outlook Express remains a viable remote client solution for Exchange Server supporting IMAP and POP3 access, and Outlook Express is available for Macintosh, UNIX/Linux, and Windows support.
Figure 1. Microsoft Outlook Express.

With Microsoft not advancing the development of Outlook Express, organizations can choose other IMAP or POP3 clients available on the marketplace, such as the free Mac Mail utility found directly in the operating system on Macintosh systems, or any of a number of IMAP/POP3 clients for Linux (see http://www.emailman.com/unix/clients.html for a series of mail clients downloadable off the Internet).

However, because Outlook Express is still a commonly used client, some features/functions of Outlook Express are covered here in this section. Outlook Express offers support with the basic needs for mail and address books, such as the following:

  • Email support— Access to Exchange Server email using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and Post Office Protocol (POP).

  • Address books— Email addresses are stored in address books locally and within the Outlook Express client.


    Messages accessed through Outlook Express via POP3 are downloaded to the local client and, by default, are removed from the local server. Because client messages, by default, are downloaded and stored on the local client only if a user wants to keep their mail on the Exchange server, choose the option in Outlook Express (varies by Outlook Express versions) that typically resides in the account settings or profile configuration option of Outlook Express to Keep a Copy of Mail on the Server.

  • Contact address list— Outlook Express supports contacts and address lists, which can be used to select addresses when creating and sending messages and to store personal contact information.

  • LDAP support— Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) support enables an Outlook Express client’s access to view information such as the Global Address List (GAL) of an Exchange Server 2010 organization.

  • POP support— POP is the primary method of supporting Outlook Express clients when accessing Exchange Server from the Internet. This option requires POP to be enabled on Exchange Server 2010 and might require additional configuration of the firewall to enable pass-through of POP.

  • Password support— Usernames and passwords can be configured in advance, enabling users to open Outlook Express and access mail with a preconfigured account name and password.

Installing and Enabling Support for Outlook Express

This section reviews the tasks required to configure Outlook Express to support communication with Exchange Server 2010 from the internal network location and the Internet. Although each version of Outlook Express, depending on the operating system, is slightly different, the instructions might also be a little different; however, for the most part, these instructions provide general installation and configuration guidance.

One common task when enabling support for Outlook Express is to enable support for the client to use TCP/IP to communicate with and access Exchange Server mail.


Using TCP/IP enables client access from the internal network and from the Internet. This configuration is not the same as the protocol that will be used to access Exchange Server 2010 mail.

When installing Outlook Express, the installation file can be downloaded free from the Microsoft website at www.microsoft.com/downloads/Search.aspx?displaylang=en.

Configuring POP Access with Outlook Express

In this scenario, you can configure the Outlook Express client to connect to Exchange Server 2010 through an Internet connection using the Post Office Protocol. This enables Outlook Express to access the Exchange Server 2010 server and authenticate downloading messages.


Before configuring client connectivity to Exchange Server 2010 using POP, additional configuration of the Exchange server is required to enable the protocol for the individual mail and server. In addition, if accessing with POP from the Internet, the network firewall should be configured to enable POP access, and the domain name for the Exchange Server 2010 POP server should be populated to the Internet.

For information on configuring your firewall and security best practices when enabling support with POP, consult the firewall manufacturer’s product information.

To configure Outlook Express to connect an Exchange Server 2010 server using POP, begin by opening Outlook Express and follow these steps:

From the Tools menu, select Accounts.

On the Internet Accounts tab, click the Mail tab and select New.

To create a new email account, enter the name for the account in the Display Name dialog box, enter the name for the account being created, and click Next.

On the email screen, select the I Already Have an Email Address That I’d Like to Use option, and enter the email address for the user being configured. Click Next to continue.

At the Email Server Information page, type POP under the My Incoming Mail Server selection.

Enter the fully qualified mail server name as listed in the following example; then click Next to continue.


Incoming Mail Server = Mail.CompanyABC.com

Outgoing Mail Server = SMTP.CompanyABC.com


The incoming and outgoing mail server names should be added and populated to the Internet for proper DNS name resolution.

When configuring this option for Internet access, the outgoing mail server might need to be configured to point to the outgoing mail server of the Internet service provider (ISP) being used.

At the authentication screen, enter the logon name and password for the account accessing the Exchange Server 2010 POP server, as shown in the following example.


Account Name = User@CompanyABC.com

Password = ***********

To enhance security and limit the ability of others to access the Exchange Server POP account, uncheck the Save Password check box and click Next to continue.

Password and Best Practices

To enhance security, leave the password entry blank; this requires users to enter the password each time they access Exchange Server.

In addition, when accessing Exchange Server through POP, it is best practice to use strong passwords to enhance security. Use the Active Directory Users and Computers management console to create a strong password for accounts using this method of access.

Complete the installation by entering the account name for the account being used, and then click Next to complete the installation.

Test accessing the Exchange Server 2010 POP services by selecting Send/Receive on the Outlook Express toolbar.

Migrating and Backing Up Personal Address Books

One of the most common tasks when managing Outlook Express clients is backing up the contacts from the Outlook Express 5 client. When performing this task, administrators can export contact information and create comma-separated files for import into other mail programs and Outlook clients.

To complete the export of contact information for backup and migration reasons, follow the example in the next section. In this scenario, you back up the Outlook Express 5 contacts to a comma-delimited CSV file.

Backing Up Outlook Express Contacts

To begin, open the Outlook Express 5 client and complete the following steps to create a full backup of all the contact information:

From the File menu, select the Export Contact option.

In the Save dialog box, select the location where the export file will be saved by modifying the default Desktop location.

In the Name dialog box, enter the name for the Export file to create.


By default, export files are created as comma-delimited files only and are placed on the desktop.

Click the Save button to create the export file and back up the Outlook Express contacts.

  •  Using Non-Windows Systems to Access Exchange Server 2010 : Understanding Non-Windows–Based Mail Client Options
  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Deploying with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Pushing Outlook Client Software with Group Policies
  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Installing the Outlook Client for Exchange Server
  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Preparing the Deployment
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  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Planning Considerations and Best Practices
  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Understanding Deployment Options
  •  Deploying the Client for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Outlook 2007 Auto Account Setup
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