Outlook 2007 beta 2 may be a more convenient tool for communications and time management than its 2003 ancestor. Microsoft is aiming for this new e-mail app to resolve some longstanding bugaboos. These vary from small changes, such as the ability to color-code messages, to interface renovations that display to-do lists and calendar items in one place.
Overall, the main interface of Outlook 2007 beta 2 looks largely the same as version 2003's, without a top-heavy Ribbon of features being applied to the rest of the Office 2007 system. The most noticeable change is the To-Do bar along the right edge of the screen, which users can hide or expand for a small summary of latest appointments and chores.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.