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


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


  • 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
  • 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

Other features

  • Digital
    signatures & encryption
  • Single

Features available in both modes


  • Help
  • shortcuts


  • 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
  • Sort
    message list by standard fields
  • Display
    custom views
  • Recover
    deleted messages
  • Messages
    saved to Drafts folder
  • Drafts
  • Address
  • Access
    to general GAL properties

Calendaring and Meeting Management

  • Calendar
    views of different time periods
  • Calendar
  • 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