Microsoft’s new Outlook for Windows lacks many features
Microsoft has been working on a new Outlook desktop app for some time, and the company started testing it with work and education accounts earlier this month. Now it’s rolling out more widely for Office Insiders.
Microsoft officially unveiled the new Outlook for Windows app this week, which is now available to test for education and enterprise accounts enrolled in the Office Insiders program – personal Microsoft accounts still can’t join in the fun, unfortunately. The new version can be accessed with a “Try the new Outlook” toggle at the top right of the app.
Just as previous leaks have indicated, the new app looks more like the web-based version of Outlook, with a hint of the “Fluent” design language found on Windows 11 and other recent updates from Microsoft. The company said in a blog post, “This release has smart new features like message reminders and a new calendar board that puts your email, calendar, and tasks in the same view. Plus, with Microsoft Loop components, you can collaborate between Outlook and Teams while staying in the flow.
It’s not just a redesign, however – there are a few new features too. You can attach files and documents stored in the cloud by typing “@” followed by the file name. It’s much faster than attaching a file normally, assuming you remember the document’s name (and it’s already in OneDrive). There are also automatic reminders for new messages, a panel for Microsoft To Do, built-in RSVP functionality for events, and the ability to pin emails to the top of your inbox.
The new Outlook application also supports Microsoft Loop, which is Microsoft’s online collaboration tool for canvas-style workspaces and documents – a bit more like Google Docs or Airtable than traditional Office apps. You could already embed Loop components in Microsoft Teams and other apps, but now they also work in Outlook. Microsoft’s screenshot shows a report review table from Loop pasted into an email, for example.
Surprisingly, Microsoft apparently plans for the new app to eventually replace the current old Outlook app for Windows. The new version is not a separate download and Microsoft plans to reimplement almost everything in the old version. Previous reports indicated that the new app would be primarily aimed at people using personal Outlook.com email accounts, while business and education customers could continue to use the tried-and-tested Outlook client (at least for a while) .
Microsoft has already released a long list of features available in current Outlook but missing in the new version, including multi-account, offline, personal (@outlook.com), non-Microsoft accounts (Gmail, iCloud, etc. ), POP emails, folder reorganization, Outlook Data Files (.PST) and other features. It will probably be a A long time before that replaces the current Outlook application.
It’s also unclear how this will affect the Mac version of Outlook, which was rewritten in 2019. Earlier reports said that Microsoft planned to replace all desktop versions of Outlook with the new version, but so far all we have is an early version of Windows.