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Understand OWA Premium vs. Basic

The Exchange 2003 version of Outlook Web Access is vastly improved over older versions and, in some cases, has been justification enough for an organization to upgrade. There are actually two different versions of this tool. Here are the differences between the Premium and Basic versions.

The Exchange 2003 version of Outlook Web Access is vastly improved over older versions and, in some cases, has been justification enough for an organization to upgrade. There are actually two different versions of this tool. One is called Premium and the other Basic. Both are installed and work, but there are feature differences between the two. The Premium edition of the product is used under Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher, although IE 6 is generally preferred. The Basic edition, which provides a subset of Premium's features, generally works in all other browsers, including those on Macs and Linux machines. Here are the differences between Premium and Basic.

Premium mode-only features

Interface

  • Reading mode layout
  • get address properties from Reading Pane
  • Reminder window

Messaging

  • Folder hierarchy in Navigation Pane
  • Attachments can be opened from Reading and Preview Panes
  • Information Bar available in Preview and Reading Panes, Spell check,
  • Create messages from Address Book
  • HTML editing, Insert signature on demand
  • Message sensitivity
  • Default font for new messages
  • New mail notification
  • Search capabilities (including folder search)
  • Quick Flags and message flags
  • Drag and drop messages
  • For Follow-Up folder
  • Mark message as read or unread
  • Calendaring & Meeting Management: Meeting reminders
  • Contact Management: Use e-mail properties to add Contacts data, View contacts by follow-up flag

Task Management

  • Task reminders

Other features

  • Digital signatures & encryption
  • Single sign-on

Features available in both modes

Interface

  • Help
  • shortcuts

Messaging

  • Navigate hyperlinks in messages
  • Insert hyperlinks in message text
  • Send and receive attachments
  • Request read or delivery receipt
  • Receive HTML mail
  • Set message importance
  • Multiple views, Group items
  • Public folders
  • Sort message list by standard fields
  • Display custom views
  • Recover deleted messages
  • Messages saved to Drafts folder
  • Drafts folder
  • Address Book
  • Access to general GAL properties

Calendaring and Meeting Management

  • Calendar views of different time periods
  • Calendar preferences
  • View other user's free and busy information
  • Invoke calendar from meeting request to see full schedule
  • Include attachments in appointments and meeting requests
  • Use Address Book to pick attendees
  • Free and busy view
  • Forward or reply to a meeting request

Contact management

  • View by company
  • Multiple addresses in Contacts items
  • Add and edit contacts
  • Send new message to contact

Task management

  • Create and manage tasks
  • Simple and Detailed task views
  • View by active/completed/overdue status

Other features

  • Out of Office Assistant
  • Read-only Delegate Access to messages and other information
  • Junk E-Mail folder
  • Trusted Senders and Trusted Recipients lists
  • Block external content & attachments
  • Automatic logging off after inactive period
  • Integration with Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server
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