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I was wondering whether Mail.app is able to send read receipts (or maybe it does silently?) or create emails that require those?

I know such a feature is available in Outlook.

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I tested this using Mail on Snow Leopard connected to Exchange 2005.

There is no ability to set a request to receive read receipts.

Reading an email sent from Outlook in Windows to mail on Snow Leopard with a read recipt requested, does not send a read receipt.

Lion may vary.

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I have tested with newer Exchange servers on Lion and it seems to be consistent across the range - Mail.app neither request nor sends back read receipts. –  Michal M Mar 21 '12 at 9:36

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