How to Install Lookout on Outlook 2007

I got another request today from an old friend for how to make Lookout run inside Outlook 2007.  I’ve probably received a thousand such requests over the last few years…  Since I recently installed Outlook 2007, I finally was able to test it out. 

This fix should make Lookout work.  However, if you have other .NET addins running in Outlook, there is a chance they will no longer work.  The fix is reversible though, so don’t be too scared.  But this fix is definitely for the tech savvy.  Gory details:


Installing Lookout on Outlook 2007

1) First, you’ll have to find a copy of Lookout.  Microsoft doesn’t distribute it anymore, but issuing this search on Google seems to find it pretty handily.

2) Next, install Lookout.  You’ll need admin privileges (no difference from XP), and the install will go without a hitch.

3) When you next restart Outlook, you’ll probably get this very apologetic-yet-unhelpful error dialog:


4) The problem is that Outlook 2007 ships the Outlook 2007 Office PIAs by default.  Open a command shell (as administrator), and issue the following commands:

  • cd  %SYSTEMROOT%assemblyGAC
  • rename  Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook  Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.OLD

5) Restart Outlook and you are good to go.


If this doesn’t work for you, or it breaks some other plugin, you’ll want to restore the interop library.  Just undo the command above thusly:

  • rename  Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.OLD  Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook


Why does this dialog exist?

Only read this section if you are an Outlook plugin geek!

At the time Lookout was written, Microsoft’s strategy for shipping PIAs hadn’t fully been sorted out.  Prior to Outlook 10, there were no official PIAs.  Outlook 10 introduced official PIAs, which you could redistribute.  Outlook 11 had official PIAs as well (different ones), but Microsoft didn’t permit redistribution of them, and they weren’t backward compatible.  Further, with VS2003, it was pretty easy to create your own PIAs, which were almost identical to the official ones, but not signed.  There were lots of plugins out there, and some of them handled PIAs badly. 

At some point, Lookout ended up requiring that it be able to find the official Outlook 10 PIA installed, or it would assume it would fail.  It wasn’t smart enough to recognize that new versions of the PIA might be legit, and probably should have handled it better.  Who would have guessed that Outlook 12 would introduce yet a 3rd PIA distribution strategy?  OL2007 elects to install the PIAs into the GAC by default; so plugins no longer needed to redistribute them at all.  I do believe this is the best strategy.

What this simple fix does is temporarily uninstall the Office 12 version of the PIA.  As long as no other .NET Outlook addins are running (C++ based addins don’t use PIAs), this has absolutely zero negative impact on your system.  If other .NET addins exist on your system, and those addins are Outlook 11 or 12 specific (I don’t know of any OL12 specific plugins yet?), then you might have a problem with this fix.  These conflicts should be rare, but not zero.

Anyway, search on!

BTW – This fix is thanks to the Wayback Machine!  The original lookoutsoft support article ( is now long gone.  But the Wayback Machine had it!  Otherwise, there is no way I would have remembered what the heck this error was about.

Related Blog Posts:

Thanks to Rohan Deshpande for consolidating updated instructions from the comments posted here. On some systems, the above instructions need to be augmented with two more steps:

 * echo ” > Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook
 * rename Policy.11.0.Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook Policy.11.0.Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.OLD

Internet Panhandling

 When you see a homeless guy on the street begging, you might be inclined to donate (personally, I’m not).  From the looks of him, you can tell if he needs the money or not; if he wears high-priced Nikes and a Abercrombie&Fitch sweatshirt, you probably won’t donate.

Lately we see lots of internet beggars.  Begging is easy on the internet.  You can be anonymous.  You still have to make up some lie (like “will work for food”, or “viet vet has cancer”), but you can use text and pretty graphics.  Fancy it up, it’s still begging.  These guys, hidden behind their internet sob-story, do wear fancy sweatshirts and brand name shoes.

Is begging on the internet any different than spam?  It’s somewhat socially acceptable to help a kid pay for college, right?  Or help a young couple with HIV?  Or bail out a kid who got in over his head in real estate?  There is even a how-to-site to help you setup shop on your local internet offramp.

When you give people money- whether it is on the street or on the net – you are encouraging thousands like them to do it too.  Do we want the internet just filled with “give me money” pages?  Don’t donate.  They are scams.

Democrats Won’t Stop The War

Being in California, there are a lot of Democrats around me.  Most will vote Democratic next year, primarily in hopes that they will end the insanity in Iraq.  Unfortunately, the Democrats won’t do it.

Democrats had the opportunity when they were given the majority in both the house and senate.  Instead of ending the war, they approved Bush’s request for more funds.  What a bunch of wimps.

Here is what will happen if we elect Clinton or Obama. “I’m putting together a plan which will reduce our troops in Iraq by 50,000 immediately, and bring all troops home within 5 years”.  Yes, it’s going to be years.  Both Obama and Clinton have confirmed their intention to reduce troops; both neither will commit to bringing them all home.  These politicians are too weak to actually do what we need.  Worse, they both have said they’d agree to spending billions of dollars for reconstruction in Iraq.  Hello?!  These are people that burn their own libraries.  Why would we build them?

Ironically, the Republicans aren’t any better.  Desperate for Bush’s blessing, and scared to admit “we were wrong”, they take the view of “we need to stay in Iraq”.  Equally insane.

When will one candidate; any candidate – come forward and say “immediate, unconditional, 100% withdrawal”?  The brave candidate that does this will have my vote.