Microsoft offers more info on how Outlook.com works with Mail app in Windows 8.1

Microsoft clearly wants Windows 8 users to know the Mail app that's included with Windows 8.1 will be a huge improvement over the current version. Microsoft has offered some information on the new Mail app in the past few months, and today the Windows Experience blog offers up some additional info on how the app will work with an Outlook.com account.

The blog states that 68 percent of Outlook.com users access their email on a mobile device and that more people have been using Outlook.com in that fashion than from accessing it from a web browser. Because of the substantial mobile usage, the Mail app in Windows 8.1 has been optimized for touchscreen use. Microsoft states:

There are easier ways to select one or more messages by using checkboxes in the message list. You can also drag-and-drop messages into folders—one of the most common requests we’ve had from consumers. You’ll also notice that the app bar now has a visible preview, which makes it easier to access with either mouse or touch. And the app bar is now organized more logically so you can more quickly access new features.

The app has also been designed to make it easy to switch from work email accounts to personal email messages. The new mail app allows users to change the return address of an email if a previous message was sent to the wrong email account (and we have all done that at one time or another).

The Mail app in Windows 8.1 is supposed to figure out which email accounts you communicate with the most, placing those accounts in the "Favorites" menu, as shown above. It's supposed to adapt over time so people who are labeled as Favorites now might disappear if you don't email them as much as time goes on.

The app will also incorporate many of the features in Outlook.com including moving newsletters and social networking update messages to their own separate folders. Again, the new Mail app will be included when the final version of Windows 8.1 is released on Oct. 18.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Just one of the core apps that they've improved, I think also the one that's improved the most. If MS can nail down the experience on the core Windows 8.x apps like Mail and so on then that's a huge improvement and what users notice right away when they start to use their new tablet device.

Second most. Xbox Music needed the performance boost it received even more. They are so close, it really is almost there (finally!).

I'm using Windows 8.1 RTM.
The mail app is better.... but still a very limited mail client. The Outlook and Gmail web pages are better / faster / more complete

Now we just need Outlook.com's Google Talk Integration into some official Windows "Chat" app (similar to Messages or iChat). A official first party chat app, that works with many services. IM + is not that great in the metro environment!

I've been using it and it's a MEGA improvement over the previous version. Love it. Though, it's still missing a lot of functionality from the web version. However all in all, it's a really sweet and great free client. Love it.

I thought that was one of it's best features to be honest. I can check through my mails, checking out links without be dragged out of the mail app. It only takes a swoosh of the finger to them maximise one side or the other. I like that.

lunamonkey said,
I don't like the way it opens links in snap view though.

Really? It's a fantastic feature IMO. And if you have IE up on another screen it will open there and leave your mail up, the way it should be. It's awesome.

lunamonkey said,
I don't like the way it opens links in snap view though.

Agreed. They REALLY need to add an option to go back to the old behavior.

siah1214 said,

Really? It's a fantastic feature IMO. And if you have IE up on another screen it will open there and leave your mail up, the way it should be. It's awesome.

I think that generally I open up the webpage deal with it in full size and then close it. On my laptop it's a fairly small screen, so I haven't made use of snap view at all.

Also if a website hasn't been designed for respsonsive CSS it will in some cases just shrink the window too small.

I would like it as an option that knows what I want it to do before I click on it.

(this doesn't quote in the right place) oh well.

Great improvement, I wish they would start paying attention to contact management and email groups or contact categorizing next, something the Outlook 2013 seems incompetent at lately.

I've been using it. The app is a substantial improvement over the version from 8.0.

That said, the improvements do not make it a good mail checking program that can compete with Thunderbird or Outlook. Searching is also slower than the online Outlook whether you choose to download all messages or not.

To be fair though, it's not supposed to compete with Thunderbird or Outlook. Its purpose is to compete with the mail app on iOS and Android really

TCLN Ryster said,
To be fair though, it's not supposed to compete with Thunderbird or Outlook. Its purpose is to compete with the mail app on iOS and Android really

And a replacement for Windows Mail/ Windows Live Mail/ Outlook Express.

Stoffel said,
Has anybody on Win8.1 RTM tried this app yet?
Is it better than the web version of outlook.com?
Yes, and I like it prety much, however, if it's better than Outlook.com? It depends on the situation you're using it in.

I use this app on my PC... it's no Outlook 2013... but it's a massive improvement on the previous version of the app, and it does now rival the website for functionality.

Stoffel said,
Has anybody on Win8.1 RTM tried this app yet?
Is it better than the web version of outlook.com?

While I personally use Outlook 2013 I have used both the original (W8) and this version of the app (W8.1) which is way better than the previous one.

I still like Outlook.com far more, and still use it with Windows 8.1 RTM. This Mail app still lacks a dedicated Archive button, and when you open the first message in a mailbox, it doesn't automatically mark it as read anymore (which was the old Mail app behavior pre-8.1). Overall, it's a big performance upgrade, a small UI upgrade, but those nagging issues still make Outlook.com better.