Microsoft is previewing its new Outlook for Windows experience that the company first teased back during its Ignite 2020 event, with new intelligent features designed to help users be more productive and stay in control of their inbox.
According to the company, the new Outlook for Windows is designed to help streamline and centralize workflows across Microsoft products.
The early preview is currently available to Office Insiders through the Beta Channel for commercial and education customers running Version 2205 (Build 15225.20000) or later.
Support of some features are not yet supported, such as Microsoft Accounts. However, Microsoft is sharing the preview now to get feedback from users to fine tune the Outlook for Windows experience before it reaches general availability at a later date.
Based on what Microsoft has shared, here is what we know about the new Outlook for Windows so far:
Microsoft Loop Components allow for work across Outlook, Teams
According to Microsoft, the new Outlook for Windows features new collaboration and intelligent assisted features that help users be more productive and stay within the context of their work to do things faster.
This streamlined productivity comes via Microsoft Loop components that allow everyone to edit and share their thoughts while staying in the flow of their work in Outlook or Teams. Loop components can be copied and pasted across Outlook emails and Teams chats, and they always stay in sync to keep teams up to date.
Essentially, this allows users to work across Outlook and Teams without leaving their inbox.
Users can more easily find and attach important documents
Similar to how users can currently mention someone to add them to an email with the “@” symbol, the new Outlook for Windows allows users to do the same for files and documents as long as they are stored in the cloud.
To do so, users can add “@” before the name of a file, and Outlook will show them options.
Reminders and to-do lists
Similar to how Gmail reminds users to reply to old emails, the new Outlook for Windows will automatically remind users about emails it deems important and ask if they want to respond. The email will be pinned at the top of the inbox until it is dismissed.
The new Outlook for Windows also includes My Day, a new to-do list feature that enables users to drag and drop email messages as tasks to their To Do so they can return to the message at a time that works for them. The feature can also be used to reserve time in the calendar to complete those tasks by dragging and dropping a task in the calendar.
More control over the inbox
In addition to My Day features, Outlook for Windows will allow users to pin emails to the top of their inbox to keep communication from falling through the cracks. It will stay there until the user unpins it.
In addition, the new outlook for Windows features more rules to automate inbox functions, including Sweep, this allows users to move emails in batches and apply rules to future incoming messages, such as deleting all messages coming from someone or keeping only the latest messages.
Speaking of the calendar, there’s a new unified view. Microsoft says the new Outlook for Windows features the Outlook calendar board view, which allows users to organize and manage it to all-in-one view. They can add calendars, files, To Do lists, goals and more, putting everything in a single view.
Users can share if they are taking the meeting virtually or in the office
It wouldn’t be a new Microsoft innovation it wasn’t designed to meet the needs of hybrid workers, and the new Outlook gives users the ability to share others how they plan to attend meetings, either in-person or virtually.
Read Microsoft’s announcement blog to learn more.