Set default folder in Outlook 2003 to be an Exchange public folder

I've just set up a few computers & SBS2003 system, with 2 shared calendars and 1 shared contacts folder. When a user clicks on the 'Contacts' side task item in Outlook 2003, I don't want them to see their own contacts folder; I want it to default to the public Contacts folder instead.
Also, when clicking the Calendar side task item in Outlook, I want it to default to showing the two public calendars side-by-side and to not show the user's calendar. Is this possible, because I am getting complaints from the users forgetting to de-select their local folders and select a public folder when they want to add a new item.
smickellAsked:
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The_KirschiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Maybe you have a chance by using group policies. I have never used it yet, but you might have a look at this link:

http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/policies.htm
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SembeeCommented:
Can't be done.
Outlook is a PIM, it will always default to the user's own calendar and contacts folder.

Simon.
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smickellAuthor Commented:
Ok.
Are there any workarounds, e.g. a macro that I can set on their toolbar that will open the Calendar Outlook tab, show two public calendars and deselect the user's personal one? Is this even a possibility I could read up about?
Or, is there a way to have a list of shortcuts to contacts, calendars and mail items in one place in Outlook 2003, rather than having to click the Mail/Calendar/etc tab to get the shortcuts for each type? This was a handy feature in Outlook XP, so handy for one of my customers that they switched back to XP after trialling 2003.
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SembeeCommented:
If you right click on an email address and choose Add to Contacts, it will go in to the personal contacts folder. That cannot be changed.
You get a meeting in your email and accept that meeting, that will go in to your personal calendar. That cannot be changed.
You cannot arrange meetings with public folders, as they don't publish free/busy information.

The shortcuts was dropped in Outlook 2003. I haven't had a single client want to go back to Outlook XP on that basis. They have learnt to live with Outlook 2003 due to the additional benefits it brings.

Simon.
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The_KirschiCommented:
There is a way to do this if you have Outlook Web Access running:

Go to http://yourexchangeserver/public. Then copy the link location of the contacts and calendars.
Go to the appropriate folder in the users Outlook profile (maybe create new folders for these contacts and calendars; actually I don't know if it will work with the default contacts and calendar folders), go to folder properties and under the homepage tab copy the link to the before mentioned public contacts and calendars. Select the check box below. When a user now clicks the folder he will see the public folder in the right window pane. Its in OWA view but I also don't know how to do it otherwise.

Good luck.
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smickellAuthor Commented:
Kirschi - your solution is smart but the customer does greatly prefer the 'fat-client' functionality in the Outlook application view, particularly more so since they spend the whole of every working day using Outlook. If there's no genuine solution it will have to do, thankfully it's not the most major of problems but it just seemed like such a simple thing to fix - similar to how one can set the default folder that opens when Outlook launches.
I will look a little further into it and see if there are any other workarounds, and if so will post info here.
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smickellAuthor Commented:
Kirschi - Good find sir.
I installed the group policies according to that page, and within User Configuration\Administrative Templates\'Folder Home Pages for Outlook special folders,' and within that page it is possible to enter the Outlook path to any folder, e.g. "outlook:\\Public Folders\Favorites\Company Contacts."
You will get the points, Kirschi, but I have just one further question - is it possible to open two folders side-by-side by specifying a path, e.g. "outlook:\\Public Folders\Favorites\Schedules - PersonA; outlook:\\Public Folders\Favorites\Schedules - PersonB" ?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyConnect With a Mentor Principal ConsultantCommented:
You really need to install Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 (http://www.microsoft.com/office/outlook/contactmanager/prodinfo/default.mspx)  which provides a much better way to manage this stuff centrally and also gives you much more functionality.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
P. S.  Sembee... I agree about not going back to XP, but there are Shortcuts in Outlook 2003 (and 2007 as well).  Just click on the Arrow icon at the bottom of the left side panel and you'll open the Shortcuts menu.  :-)

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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SembeeCommented:
When people mention the shortcuts they usually mean that big bar down the right hand side that created large icons. That was dropped, thankfully, it just took up too much screen real estate and was the first thing I would turn off.

Simon.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Yes, true... especially since it's easier to pop something into the "Favorite Folders" now.  Although it's kinda come back in 2007 with the To-Do Bar... but since both right and left columns now fold back out of the way and everyone has much larger screens... all is good in Outlook-land (in my opinion).

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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The_KirschiCommented:
I don't know if it is possible to open two folders side-by-side, sorry.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Yes, of course it's possible to see two calendars side-by-side.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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