Compare Outlook to Thunderbird


  • Forgive me, but I am a email novice.  In comparing Thunderbird to MS Outlook (we're using Outlook 2003/2007 and Exchange 2003), I was reading about synchronization options with Thunderbird.  The article stated that the option was available to download all email to the local host, or just the index files for the email keeping the content on the email server.  I've always presumed that Outlook works this way, that if local email storage was not selected, the email was housed on the server; when you read the email, moved the email, deleted the email, you where doing so to the stored email on the server. 

    Reading further, the Thunderbird article stated that when you don't have emails stored on your local machine, and you click on the email to read, it would then download the email to the local machine.  The gave me cause for thought, again I'm not an exchange or outlook administrator.  Is this actually what happens with outlook, does it bring down the email and store it on the local machine when you click on the email if you don't have local storage set, and removes it at some point, operating with tempory files?  Or does it operate the way I described in the first paragraph above and Thunderbird is limited on its ability to manage storage of emails?

    A third possibility is the writing of the article was done poorly and Thunderbird operates just as Outlook.  But I would like to know just how Outlook operates when communicating with the exchange server.

    Wednesday, May 09, 2012 8:56 PM


  • By default, Outlook 2003 and later will cache the Exchange mailbox on the local client to save bandwidth and resourcess on the Exchange server. It also allows the client to work with the mailbox data when the Exchange server isn't available.

    All changes are synced between the Exchange server and Outlook clients.

    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more:
    Outlook Quick Tips:

    Wednesday, May 09, 2012 9:07 PM