How to Chat in Outlook Web App

You know how efficient working can be when you’re in your office and have access to your Office desktop applications. From Outlook, you can easily instant message your co-workers, make a call, send an e-mail, and simply enjoy the bells and whistles of the rich functionality of desktop apps.

But what if you’re not in your office and you’re using someone else’s computer? What if you need to quickly update a co-worker via IM on the status of a project you both are working on, and he’s not answering his phone?

Worse, you know he’s online because his presence is showing green in Outlook Web App! Does that mean you have to give up productivity and efficiency because you don’t have access to your desktop app? The answer is no.

If your co-worker is already in your Contacts list, starting a chat session by using Outlook Web App is simple. You can either double-click his name from your contact list or from an e-mail to open a chat window.

Type your message in the bottom window and click Send. A chat window pops up in your co-worker’s computer with your message allowing him to respond. When you’re done, close the window by clicking the X button on the top-right corner.

To add a coworker to your Contact list, do the following:

  1. Click Add contact under Contacts List on the left navigation in Outlook Web App.

  2. From the Address Book web page dialog box, double-click the user you want to add.

    The user’s name should appear in the box to the right of the Add command. If you work for a large organization, you can conduct a search for a user in the search box.

    Back at the Outlook Web App interface, you see the users you added to your Contact List.

  3. Your co-worker will receive your invitation and can either accept or decline it.

    After the invitation is accepted, his name will become active and will appear in your Contact List.

In Outlook Web App, you will see two items on the left navigation that look the same: the Contact List and the Contacts folder. Don’t confuse the two, especially because you may see the same contact on either one of them. You use the Contact List for chatting not only with your co-workers but also with Lync 2010 users in other companies, if domain federation is activated in Office 365.

The Contacts folder on the other hand, is where you store information about people and groups.

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