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Free/Busy Differences in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2002

Why do Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2002 show different free/busy information for the same users? In Outlook 2003, many users show the hash marks and the no free/busy information could be retrieved message. In Outlook 2002, I don't see the hash marks or the message for those users.

Most likely, Outlook 2003 shows the no free/busy information could be retrieved message because the user never created an appointment. Why Outlook 2002 doesn't show a problem (only no appointments), whereas Outlook 2003 notifies you of one, is a separate question and one I can't explain.

For a straightforward walkthrough of how free/busy publishing works in Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), check out the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog post "Free Busy generation process" at Note that for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 clients running against mailboxes on Exchange Server 2007, free/busy information will come from a Web service—pulled in real time from the mailboxes—not from a free/busy public folder. For more information about free/busy information, see "The Free/Busy Map," September 2004, InstantDoc ID 43152.

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