Microsoft is making its new version of Outlook for Windows available to all Office testers this week. The new Outlook for Windows app will make the desktop email client a lot more like the web version. Microsoft has been working on this redesign for months, and originally released a semi-public beta earlier this year.
“Since then, we’ve received valuable feedback from Office Insiders on Beta Channel about how to create a more consistent, feature-rich experience,” explains Margie Clinton, group product manager on the Outlook team. “We’ve been listening to feedback since May and our team has been working diligently to improve the new Outlook for Windows.”
The new Outlook for Windows app now includes support for personal Outlook.com, Hotmail, or Windows Live email accounts — something that was missing in the early betas. Microsoft has also added a simplified Ribbon to improve the interface, alongside dynamic calendar column widths for more customizability.
Office Insiders will be able to access the new app on the Current Channel preview, and Microsoft says in the coming weeks the same experience will also roll out to Windows Insiders with a toggle in the Windows Mail app.
While this new Outlook for Windows certainly improves the UI and design of the app, there are still a lot of features missing from the existing email client. Microsoft says it’s working on supporting multiple email accounts within the same app, and even support for third-party email accounts like Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud. Offline support is also on the way, alongside search for folders, web add-ins support, native ICS support, and more visual updates and personalization options.
Microsoft is planning to eventually replace the Outlook for Windows email client with this updated app, once it’s at feature parity. That swap could take many months or even years yet, but now all Office testers can get an early look at Microsoft’s planned changes.
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