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You will note many differences if you have used the various versions of Outlook over the years, on different platforms, and on the web vs. fully installed Outlook. These differences arose because the various Outlooks were built at different times and using different underlying technologies. Microsoft is investing considerably in unifying Outlook across all platforms and applications to have the same look, feel, and capabilities.
They are now building the next generation of Outlook with a common architecture, using something called Microsoft Sync technology and UI visuals using Node js. This initiative allows for more aggressive release cycles, is less expensive from an engineering perspective, and provides a better overall experience between platforms and applications.
Fresh look and an updated design ^
One of the first things you will notice about the new Outlook client is its modern UI and the elegant design of the interface. Microsoft is making better use of the area to the left of the Favorites and email folders and providing quick shortcuts to other apps in the Office portfolio. For example, above the simplified ribbon in the title bar, they also have program shortcuts to OneNote feeds, Calendar, and Todo, and Notifications.
Features of the New Outlook client ^
The new Outlook client contains many new features and enhancements in addition to its updated look and feel. These include:
- Support for Microsoft Loop components
- More intelligent file attachments
- Intelligent assistance
- Deep integration with Microsoft Todo
- Microsoft Calendar board view
- Hybrid options for meeting attendance
- Email pinning
Support for Microsoft Loop components
The next evolution of Microsoft 365 includes a new solution called Microsoft Loop. It allows inserting dynamic objects into Microsoft Teams chat, Loop workspaces, Loop pages, and other Microsoft apps, including Microsoft Outlook.
With Loop, team members can collaborate in real time, updating tables, lists, and other Loop items from any app, and they always stay in sync. It helps streamline collaboration and communication. The new Outlook for Windows includes support for these new Microsoft Loop components.
More intelligent file attachments
Have you ever wanted to attach a file to an Outlook email, but can't remember where you saved it? The new Outlook for Windows now includes using the "@mention" concept with files, similar to @mentioning a specific user. When typing text into an email, meeting request, etc., you can use @filename to refer to a file stored in the cloud.
The new Outlook for Windows provides intelligent assistance features that bring Outlook items to the attention of end users, including items such as emails that they might not have replied to for several days. Outlook will pin these emails to the top of the inbox and remind you that you may need to respond to the message.
Deep integration with Microsoft Todo
You can easily create task lists in Outlook, including the ability to drag and drop emails into the list to create task items from emails easily. In the Todo list, it will automatically reserve time in your Outlook calendar to complete tasks.
Microsoft Calendar board view
With the new Microsoft Calendar board view, you can add calendars (agenda, day, week, or month view), tasks, notes, and other items to a board view that helps focus on essential items and priorities.
Hybrid options for meeting attendance
The new Outlook for Windows contains hybrid options for responding to meeting requests. Users can respond they will attend in person or virtually.
If you receive an important email that you want to keep on top of the list or prioritize an email with a task and not lose track of the communication, the new Outlook has you covered with email pinning.
The new client contains a Sweep functionality with new options that allow automatically scanning, deleting, and moving email messages in your inbox. In addition, it provides automation for cleaning up unwanted email messages and organizing your inbox.
The next version of Outlook is still in beta and will be available later this year. The process of gaining access to the Preview builds of Office apps, including Outlook, is fairly simple. First, you need to join the Office Insider Beta Channel for updates and select the Beta Channel from the drop-down menu. Now, you can select New Outlook in the upper right-hand corner of Outlook.
Wrapping up ^
The new Outlook client enhances the user experience of working with emails. In addition, Microsoft has introduced a fresh new look with new interface controls.
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Aside from the visual changes, the new Outlook client contains a long list of new capabilities and features that help align Outlook capabilities with new features found in Microsoft 365, such as Microsoft Loop components. You can get your hands on the new Outlook client by opting into the Office Insider Beta Channel builds.