The Outlook client is a staple of productivity applications, allowing end users to interact with their enterprise emails with rich features and functionality. Microsoft has revealed the next version of Outlook, featuring many new capabilities, a modern, streamlined look, and a focus on productivity.

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.

Viewing the new Outlook client interface

Viewing the new Outlook client interface

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.

Intelligent file attachments in the new Outlook client

Intelligent file attachments in the new Outlook client

Intelligent assistance

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.

Intelligent assistance with new Outlook client

Intelligent assistance with new Outlook client

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 Todo has deep integration with the new Outlook

Microsoft Todo has deep integration with the new Outlook

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.

Outlook Calendar board view

Outlook Calendar board view

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.

Virtual and in person options for accepting meetings

Virtual and in person options for accepting meetings

Email pinning

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.

Email pinning in the new Outlook client

Email pinning in the new Outlook client

Sweep messages

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.

Sweep message functionality in the new Outlook client

Sweep message functionality in the new Outlook client

Availability ^

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.

Switching on the new Outlook client experience

Switching on the new Outlook client experience

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.

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4 Comments
  1. Robert 3 months ago

    Anyone who has had to support New Outlook for MAC will be looking at this with a degree of worry. A lot of core functionality was missing (and some still is years after introduction)

    • Michael Pietroforte 3 months ago

      Do yourself a favor and use the built-in apps (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders etc.) instead of Outlook on a Mac. It is not just that Apple’s apps are by far better than Outlook, Outlook is full of bugs and very unreliable.

      When I was still a Microsoft MVP I had countless discussions with Microsoft’s official Outlook support. They only have very basic macOS knowledge and use hopelessly outdated macOS versions for their tests which in my view is very unprofessional. And even after they officially confirmed the existence of a serious bug, Microsoft often didn’t fix it for years. They just don’t care. Outlook on Macs is a total mess, really!

      I also recommend to work with Google Workspace instead of Microsoft 365 on a Mac. It is a much more reliable combination and after working with both solutions for a long time, I have no doubt that Google’s service is far superior than Microsoft’s.

      It is hard to believe, but since I switched to Mail + Google Workspace years ago, I didn’t encounter any problems. Before I moved, I had at least one serious issue every month (missing emails and tasks, countless crashes, etc.). It really drove me crazy!

  2. Paolo Maffezzoli 2 months ago

    I see some interesting features, a nice one is email spinng. About Outlook on Mac I agree with Michael,there are different alternatives more realiable.

  3. Vignesh Mudliar 2 months ago

    Thank you for covering all the points in this post. Integration with To Do and new calendar options are good to have.

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