Windows App of the Week: Outlook on the Desktop

David Murphy

I am going to bet that you know what the application “Outlook on the Desktop” does without me even having to describe a single byte of it. Congratulations; You win. Good day sir, ma’am.

You might be able to guess the app’s overall purpose, but I think you’ll be even more interested once you actually get the nitty-gritty of what it does. Let’s hit the big question first, though. Why would you even want to slap a widget-like implementation of Microsoft Outlook on your desktop to begin with?

Here’s my answer. I love Outlook on the Desktop for two main reasons: I like staring at my desktop as much as possible (especially during that half-hour in the morning when coffee is beginning to work its magical effects on my tired brain), and I like being able to quickly glance at my calendar while I’m in the process of doing other things.

You just don’t get that kind of functionality in Outlook as-is: If you want the calendar, you’re going to have to pull up the program and go to it. End of story.

Now, consider the features offered by Outlook on the Desktop which, I should add, can run at the exact same time you’re using your normal Outlook application. Not only does Outlook on the Desktop give you the on-the-fly ability to resize your Outlook-desktop window to any width and height you want, but you can also adjust its transparency to fit your need to read information versus your desire to stare at your pretty wallpaper.

For those of you lucky enough to sport a multi-monitor setup, Outlook on your Desktop works perfectly on either display. The app is like having a perfectly customizable widget that’s an exact replication of Outlook’s essential screens. About that: I should note that you can Configure Outlook on the Desktop to display almost anything the program offers. This includes your Inbox, your Calendar, your Tasks, your Notes, et cetera. If you’re a compulsive Outlook user, switching between each view is but a few mouse-clicks away. And yes, you can edit every screen as if you were doing it within Outlook itself. Your changes will show up in your primary Outlook instance immediately.

According to the developer, Outlook on your Desktop works on any version of Outlook 2000 SP3 or higher. So what are you waiting for? Clean up some desktop real estate, find an awesome piece of wallpaper, and get to it!

Sorry, Thunderbird users.

(blur intentional)

Download Outlook on the Desktop here!

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