Office Internet free/busy features are removed when you install Outlook 2003 Service Pack 1

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

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All the Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 features that access the Microsoft Office Internet Free/Busy Service (OIFB) are no longer available after you install Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
This problem occurs because the OIFB service is going to be deactivated in 2004.

Time frame for deactivation of the OIFB service

The estimated date for deactivating the OIFB service is by the end of 2004. You will receive a notification that the OIFB service is being deactivated in the following way:
  1. You will receive an e-mail message if you are a current registered user of the OIFB service.

Both notifications will advise you that you can use the following workarounds or alternatives after the OIFB service is deactivated:
  1. You can publish free/busy information to any server where you have read and write permissions.
  2. If you have an MSN Premium account, you can share free/busy data by using the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector for MSN.

For additional information about the Outlook Connector for MSN, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
287604 How to Configure MSN to Work with Outlook 2002 and with Outlook 2003

User interface changes

After the OIFB service is deactivated, all the entry points for this feature will be removed or disabled in Microsoft Outlook. If you scheduled a meeting with someone on the Internet when you are not using the OIFB service, you no longer receive the following message in the Microsoft Office Internet Free/Busy dialog box:
Schedule information for some attendees may not be available. To view each other’s free and busy times, you and your attendees can join the Microsoft Office Internet Free/Busy Service.

Additionally, the following options in the Free/Busy Options dialog box in Outlook 2003 are removed after you install Office 2003 SP1:
  • Publish and search using Microsoft Office Internet Free/Busy Service
  • Request free/busy information in meeting invitations

After you install Office 2003 SP1, the Free/Busy Options dialog box will still contain the Publish at my location option. You can use this option to publish your Outlook free/busy information to an File Transfer Protocol (FTP) location where you have read and write permissions.

For additional information about using the Publish at my location option, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
827775 How to use the Internet Free/Busy feature in Outlook 2003

After the OIFB Service is deactivated

If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2002, or if you have not yet updated Outlook 2003 with Office 2003 SP1, you receive the following message when you try to use the OIFB service through the entry points that are still available in Outlook:
The Microsoft Office Internet Free/Busy Service has been discontinued. Click Turn Off to stop using the service from Microsoft Office Outlook.

In the message, you have the Turn Off option and the Cancel option. If you click Turn Off, the following registry data is configured on your client:

HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Options\Calendar\Internet Free/Busy

Value: NoService
Data: 1 (The OIFB service will be disabled on the client)

After this registry key is configured with the previously mentioned data, Outlook is essentially configured as if you installed Office 2003 SP1 (whether the OIFB service was still operational). The entry points for the OIFB service in Outlook are either unavailable (shaded) or non-existent because the OIFB service is no longer available in this situation. We recommend that you click Turn Off when you receive this message.

Article ID: 842166 - Last Review: 01/12/2015 23:39:10 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition

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