Microsoft Outlook for Windows offers a thoughtful way to organize your inbox and ties into the power of Microsoft's formidable email services.
Nicely arranged inbox: Outlook uses what Microsoft calls the "Focused Inbox" to help you sort through your emails. The Focused Inbox gathers email into two tabs: Focused (of course) and Other. The Focused tab shows email from coworkers, family, friends -- email Outlook thinks you need to respond to. The Other tab holds email from mailing lists, social apps, marketing messages -- anything that Outlook thinks doesn't require a response.
Manage your calendar: From Outlook, you can view your linked calendars. Schedule meetings, see available meetings for others, and get reminders. And you can sync Outlook with other calendars, such as Google Calendar.
Outlook is part of Microsoft Office 365: Microsoft Outlook fills the the email slot in the Microsoft Office suite. For $69.99 a year, get the Office 365 Personal edition, which along with Outlook, offers Word, the word-processing workhorse; PowerPoint, the cross-platform slideshow app; OneNote, for note-taking; Excel, the industrial-strength number-cruncher; OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service; and Skype, for voice and video calls.
For $99 a year, subscribe to the Office 365 Home edition to share Microsoft's productivity apps with four other family members. Or, for $149.99, you can just buy outright the Office Home and Student 2016 for PC edition, which includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Or available all by itself: If you don't need the other Office apps, you can download Microsoft Outlook 2016 separately for $129.99. The standalone Outlook for Windows includes bug fixes and improvements but not the next major edition of software, like you get with the subscription. The standalone version also doesn't include OneDrive services and Skype. But, really, for 20 bucks more, why wouldn't you just buy the whole Office suite?
Works with Microsoft Exchange: The Outlook app can sync your email, contacts, calendar and all your files from Microsoft Exchange servers, Exchange Online, Office 365, and Outlook.com. And it can even handle your Hotmail, Live, and MSN email accounts. Setup is easy for a personal account. For a work or school account, you may need to do a bit more to get the email account set up, so have your server setting details handy when you start.
Syncs across Outlook platforms: You can access your Outlook email anywhere you can find Microsoft's email app: On your Android phone and iPhone, through the Microsoft Office 365 suite, or via outlook.live.com.
The desktop version is pricey: If you need the official Microsoft software for Exchange, Outlook is it. And if you want a standalone email app instead of using your browser, Outlook is a solid choice. Otherwise, it's hard to justify spending $129.99 on an email program. The good news is, the Outlook apps are free.
Microsoft Outlook does a great job of organizing your email messages. If you are looking for a full-featured desktop email app, Microsoft Outlook may be just what you're looking for.
10+ things you should know before buying Office 365 (TechRepublic)