Microsoft has started rolling out the new Outlook for Windows client to Office Insiders beta channel testers. Microsoft announced on May 17 the availability of the new Outlook for those with Microsoft 365/Office 365 work and education accounts – one week after the new “One Outlook”/Project Monarch client leaked.
Company officials said only testers who are paying customers, have their business or education mailbox as the default sender account in classic Outlook for Windows, and are in the beta channel will see the “Try the new Outlook” toggle in the upper right corner of the Outlook for Windows application.
The new client, as expected, looks a lot like the current Outlook for the web/Outlook.com clients. It also has new features as message reminders; a calendar table; a single view for emails, calendar and tasks; and support for a test version of the Loop components. The new Outlook client also allows users to quickly attach files and documents stored in the cloud to their email messages using the “@thenameofthefile” convention to view options.
Loop components are the renamed and updated Fluid Framework components — boards, notes, tasks, or even a customer-sales record in Dynamics 365 — that can be embedded in chats, emails, meetings, documents, or pages. The calendar table is the evolution of technology that was once known as “Outlook Spaces” and codenamed Project Moca.
Most expected new Outlook features are still missing in this preview version; multi-account and offline support is “in development”. Support for Outlook.com, Gmail, iCloud, and other iMAP accounts are all listed as “in development,” along with existing Outlook features like Quick Steps and Search Folders. POP support is listed as a feature under investigation, while US government cloud, Outlook data files (.pst), and folder reorganization are listed as planned.
The new Outlook, known during development as “Project Monarch” and “One Outlook” is intended to unify the Windows, Web, and Mac codebases for Outlook. This new version of Outlook has been in internal testing at Microsoft for months.
Earlier this year, my contacts told me Microsoft would announce the new Outlook this spring and would get a test version of it for Windows Insiders in the Dev and Beta channels by the end of March or the beginning of April 2022.
Microsoft has made available to testers the new Outlook for Mac preview at the end of last year.