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Is there a lightweight desktop application to connect to an Exchange server to just get mail? Ideally, the app would be free.

I am looking to replace Outlook for something that loads quicker and takes up less memory, etc.

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closed as off-topic by slhck Apr 25 '14 at 8:40

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think you can use just about any mail clients to connect to Exchange and utilize POP3 or IMAP, but I don't know if you would get the full array of Exchange features.

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Exchange only has IMAP and it has to be turned on. – Daniel A. White Jul 17 '09 at 13:06
@Daniel Since When? I have used Exchange for years both for POP3 and IMAP? We are even using it at work in testing on the Exchange 2010 Beta's? – BinaryMisfit Jul 17 '09 at 13:08
@Daniel By default exchange only does its native MAPI, but it will certainly do both POP3 and IMAP, but you admin has to configure it. – prestomation Sep 18 '09 at 12:16

Exchange provides IMAP access to a nice client, Mozilla Thunderbird. It even has a calendar plugin, lightning (not directly usable with exchange).

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I've tried Thunderbird before, but our company mailserver seems to use some evil Microsoft-specific protocol for doing something that Thunderbird can't seem to handle. – Jason S Jul 17 '09 at 13:51
You can enable IMAP and SMTP on exchange - convincing the administration is a social task. – gimel Jul 17 '09 at 14:08
@Jason S: Evolution can do appointment/calendar handling with exchange, even over a standard IMAP connection, if that's what you're after. There's a separate Exchange connection method which takes an OWA URL; I haven't managed to get that working yet though. The Microsoft-specific protocol you're talking about is MAPI, as far as I know. Evolution has a separate, newer MAPI plugin for exchange, too. That crashed badly for me, but it's still experimental, so give it some time. – Lee B Oct 27 '09 at 21:12

You can connect to Exchange using POP and IMAP, so therefore you can use any mail client. I use Apple Mail on my Mac personally and still use Outlook on Windows, but I also use Thunderbird on occasion.

If you want something completely free and have access to Exchange from the outside you can also use Outlook Web Access.

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POP and IMAP have to be enabled by your system administrator, and I've worked at more than 1 company where they are both disabled. Outlook uses something different to connect, and sometimes that is the only thing allowed. :( – Jon Tackabury Jul 17 '09 at 14:02
@Jon Agreed. However it can be done and with good motivation some administrators will allow it. – BinaryMisfit Jul 17 '09 at 14:17

Just a cheeky answer, You could go for Gmail and POP into your Exchange server. ;)

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Now that would be excellent! I can't stand Outlook! – Steve Melnikoff Jul 17 '09 at 18:07

I don't know the memory usage of this, but Zimbra Desktop

If your Exchange server has OWA/Webmail access, you can use the OWA plugin.

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Evolution (for GNOME) works very well with Exchange.

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How about just using the Web Access on the exchange server?

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OWA, in Exchange 2003 at least, is pretty horrible for anyone who really needs to manage their email folders, read state, search old emails, etc. – Lee B Oct 27 '09 at 21:13
If it makes you feel any better, I used to work for a company that used OWA 2003 exclusively. Everyone. Not kidding. – rodey Feb 3 '10 at 20:57

This looks promising:, according to the website, it has calendar and contacts support.

I will publish a follow up when I try it later today.

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There is a port of evolution for windows.

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Ugh - have you actually used it - very buggy. – Linker3000 May 4 '11 at 21:47
No. That explains why it has not been updated. – Justin Dearing May 4 '11 at 22:04

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