But all this happens in a proprietary, not publicly documented format while the one thing computers will hopefully still be able to read fluently twenty years from now is good old plain text. Incidentally, that's also what most emails are: just text.
Fortunately, Outlook lets you save any message as a text file easily. You can even merge multiple emails to a single text document.
Save Messages as Plain Text with Outlook
To save an email as plain text in Outlook:
- Open the desired message in the Outlook preview pane.
- To save multiple messages to one text file, highlight them all in the mailbox.
- In Outlook 2007:
- Select Save As from the message's Office button.
- In Outlook 2003:
- Choose File | Save As... from the menu.
- Make sure Text Only (or Text Only (*.txt)) is selected under Save as type:.
- Type the desired file name under File name: or accept the suggested name.
- Choose the folder to save your emails in under Save in:.
- Click Save.