Software

Looking back at Microsoft Outlook Easter Eggs

By Greg Shultz

If you’ve been using computers for a long time, you know that an Easter Egg is a small program that is hidden deep inside of an application and is designed by the application’s developers as a way of displaying their names—very similar to the credits that you see at the end of a movie. However, uncovering the Easter Egg is tricky as it almost always involves performing a series of very intricate and non-intuitive steps.

Because of the increase in malware, Microsoft now officially bans the practice embedding Easter Eggs in their software as part of their Trustworthy Computing initiative. However, in their heyday, Microsoft’s developers created some really elaborate Easter Eggs. In this gallery, I’ll show you the Easter Eggs that they embedded into the Office versions of Outlook 97 and Outlook 2000.

In case you may be wondering, Office 95 did not include a version of Outlook since Windows 95 already came with an email client called Microsoft Exchange, which did not have an Easter Egg. Now, there was an Outlook 98 that was released as a free download upgrade for Outlook 97 but it was completely impendent of Microsoft Office and I no longer have a copy. However, from what I remember, its Easter Egg was identical to the one in Outlook 97.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

8 comments
garyb
garyb

This seems to have been patched out. Gary Bridgewater 9/7/7

JJPEngr
JJPEngr

This really sucked. I didn't see anything elaborate. Typical Microshaft hype.

davidfitton2002
davidfitton2002

Where are the pics of the MS outlook team on th wayback machine site? (Image 7)

usbpforever
usbpforever

I would like to know if you have published Windows 98 Easter Eggs so far?

YetAnotherAdmin
YetAnotherAdmin

I've got version 9.0.0.2711 and it works, not the most exciting easter egg ever but that's not Gregs fault.

YetAnotherAdmin
YetAnotherAdmin

It's not exactly Spyhunter from Excel but remember, it's not an MS publicity stunt, it's the guys who sat down and coded the program looking to get a bit of recognition. It's not meant to be great, just what they could get away with before their bosses realised they weren't working. It was a sad day when MS banned it!

ChrisTOTG
ChrisTOTG

...I would say instead that it was a sad day when security concerns forced MS to stop easter eggs.