Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Suggested Contacts in Outlook 2010

So I realized today that I still have the Windows 7 Release Candidate installed on my main workstation at church. I got the friendly little two week warning. I have been meaning to do a fresh install of the actual production build, but never quite got to it!

The next step is to pull any data off the computer that needs to be saved before I wipe it clean. A crucial piece is the pesky NK2 file in Outlook that saves the auto-complete for email addresses that I type in the TO line of a new message. This important data is synonymous with Contacts for most users. I learned long ago to grab it during every computer transition if I want to avoid an irritated customer. Every time I move that file I secretly wish that it could some how be saved server side since it is such a crucial piece for the user.

I was confused when I could not find a current NK2 file in the usual path for Vista and Windows 7 (C:\Users\Home\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook). Luckily I had a relatively new copy backed up from when I did the Office 2010 beta install a month ago. But it got me thinking that maybe there was a new location for it in Office 2010. A short search and I discovered a really nice surprise!

Office 2010 has a new feature called Outlook called "Suggested Contacts". Apparently during the upgrade, Outlook read my NK2 file and turned all the data into contact entries in Outlook. It put them in a new Contact folder in my mailbox. Better yet, they are saved on the server so now they will follow me around and be available if I install on a new workstation. A very nice addition.

There is a downside for some, however. The "suggested contacts" folder shows up in your mobile phone if you sync with Exchange. Here is one user who didn't like the extra clutter. I still use a Blackberry, but have an iPod touch that I do email on. I was wondering where all those addresses were coming from. Seems handy to me.

Thanks, Microsoft!


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