Microsoft is rolling out an updated version of the Outlook desktop app for Windows to Office Insiders enrolled in the beta channel. To be clear, this is an update to Outlook itself and not yet a replacement for the Mail app built into Windows 11. The new app is nearly identical to the version that leaked a few weeks agobut there are some notable differences.
Being based on the web version of Outlook means you get many features that are also available on the web. For example, the new version of Outlook supports Microsoft Loop components (formerly known as the Fluid framework). It’s information that can be shared across different surfaces, like Outlook and Teams, with real-time editing support that persists across those surfaces.
Other new features coming from the web include calendar and task views. With the calendar view, you can easily see all your upcoming events, organized by day, week, or month. There’s also the all-new Table View, which lets you organize important items in a way that works best for you to stay on top of your tasks. In the Board view, you can have your calendar, multiple to-do lists, and notes all visible so you can stay on top of your tasks. Your calendar and to-do lists are also accessible via a side panel so you can quickly create tasks or events based on an email you’ve received.
The new Outlook app also makes it easier to attach files and documents using @mentions, much like you might add someone to the conversation. There is also a smart feature where if you receive an email that is considered important and you forget to reply to it, Outlook will remind you to check it. And if you need to remind yourself of something important, the new Outlook app also supports pinning messages to the top of your inbox. You can also now respond to top meeting requests by letting people know whether you’ll be attending in person or virtually.
As we mentioned, most of these features have just been inherited from the web version of Outlook, and it’s becoming clear that the “One Outlook” we’ve heard about is coming to fruition. This web interface will eventually become the default experience for all desktop Outlook clients, including the built-in Mail app on Windows 11. This leaked app always showed you were looking at a webpage due to the bar at the top. of the application window, but in this version this bar blends much better into the title bar, so it looks like a normal application.
Similar to the app leaked a few weeks ago, this new Outlook for Windows experience is still only available to enterprise users, and you’ll need to be in the Office Insider program beta channel to even try it out. If you are, you’ll see a toggle near the top of the window allowing you to try out the new experience, and you can always go back if you don’t like it.