Microsoft adds IMAP support to Outlook.com

Microsoft adds IMAP support to Outlook.com

Summary: Microsoft has added IMAP and OAuth support to its Outlook.com email service.

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Microsoft has just added one of the most, if not the most, requested features to Outlook.com: IMAP support.

outlookimap

Microsoft officials used an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit to announce the IMAP -- and OAuth -- additions to Outlook.com.

In a post to the Outlook blog on September 12, Microsoft execs provided more as to why they added IMAP alongside Microsoft's own Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol support. For those devices that still haven't (and may never) support EAS, there's now IMAP.

From that post:

"Outlook.com already supports the industry's best email connectivity with Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), which is available on the majority of smartphones and tablets, including Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices, as well as the Windows 8 Mail app and Outlook 2013. With today's announcement, we now have a richer email experience across devices and apps, including those not using EAS, such as Mac Mail and Thunderbird on a Mac."

TripIt, Sift, Slice, motley*bunch, Unroll.me, OtherInbox, and Context.IO are rolling out updates today that integrate with the new IMAP support in Outlook.com. Microsoft is expecting other new ISV-developed integrations to follow.

Outlook.com IMAP supports IMAP version 4 revision 1 as defined by RFC 3501, according to the new blog post.

Topics: Unified Comms, Enterprise Software, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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16 comments
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  • Hurray

    At last.
    Alan Smithie
  • And now

    I'm sure that everyone that was complaining about a lack of IMAP support will be rushing over to get an Outlook.com email address.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • why now?

      I have one. I did it only to "experience" the thing and reserve the label. I did not use it, because it didn't have IMAP support.
      Now, I might. IMAP alone is not enough, but lacking it is surely a big NO for me.
      danbi
      • I was more joking

        because there are 50% of people who honestly wanted IMAP support, and there are 50% who have the "Microsoft is wrong" mentality and just repeat any mistake they make indefinitely.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • good news

    It seems the new Microsoft indeed attempts to change.
    This feature will surely attract more users to outlook.com
    danbi
    • Exchange support attracts even more people

      What would I possibly need imap for, since I am using exchange ?
      dcdavy
  • good to Add IMap but ...

    In my experience outlook.com/hotmail.com works far faster than gmail or yahoo mail that work on imap. When somebody sends me an email on outlook.com platforms it immediately shows up on my mail client. That is a mail client that would run on Android or Just Desktop outlook.

    I never thought I would say this. but today outlook.com is the best free email provider.
    Ehsan Samani
    • Ironically...

      ...my experience is not as good as yours, despite the fact that I use a Windows 8 phone to access all my 4 Outlook.com accounts. I rarely get perfect synchronization between my phone and laptop. Many messages that I finish reading and permanently delete from my laptop still show up on my phone.
      jaykayess
  • I am using a mail service that has supported IMAP for years.

    It's called Gmail (maybe you've heard of it?) and I use it at home in conjunction with Outlook 2010. I cannot believe that Outlook.com is only supporting it now. Welcome to the 21st century, Microsoft.
    techvet
    • If you using outlook

      there wouldn't be many reasons to force the use of IMAP with an outlook.com email.
      Sam Wagner
      • I use Outlook at home with Gmail.

        Therefore, IMAP is the best option for me.
        techvet
  • IMAP?!

    IMAP?!

    I may re-think using Gmail. I *do* have a Microsoft account, but the email part of it is unused.

    Yeah, okay, EAS is a nice enterprisey thing that many larger clients support.

    However - there's still a lot of stuff that *doesn't* support it, and likely never will because:

    * It's proprietary. It's not open to everybody. Want to implement it? Plead and beg to Microsoft.

    * It's complex. More than just email, it's got calendar, notes, etc. It's probably overwhelming to implement for small time developers.

    * Even some of the big players (Google) don't support it.

    Frankly, it's about time. EAS is horribly locked to Microsoft. Sure, it works fine for people who never want to buy a non-Microsoft product - but honestly, some of us *DO* live cross-platform lives, and EAS support is really a "your mileage may vary" thing outside of Microsoft products.

    A lot of Email apps and Email related apps support IMAP, however. This could open up a lot of possibilities for a lot of people.
    CobraA1
    • I'm pretty sure that Google licensed EAS

      I thought the server side of it was implemented in GMail. I remember it was a big thing when it was announced.

      I just did a search. Yes, Google implements EAS, but they dropped support for their non-paying customers back in December.

      I believe that there are a fair number of EAS implementations. I'm back at school these days and I was pleasantly surprised that the University's (non-Exchange) email supports EAS. It works like a charm on my Lumia 920.
      Flydog57
    • Outlook Mac

      Even Microsoft products like Outlook for Mac don't support eAS. So indeed at last there is IMAP support on Outlook.com
      cropr
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  • Outlook email backup

    Beyond Inbox announces its new version which comes with support for all the operations like Backup, Download, Restore, Copy and Move emails with Outlook, Yahoo and Gmail accounts.
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    CloudCompExp