In 2022, Microsoft started testing a new version of Outlook for Windows for Microsoft 365 Insiders. In 2023, it started rolling out this new version as a public preview. Now Microsoft is getting ready to transition users from the older Outlook clients to the new Windows version.
Microsoft Outlook team members discussed plans for the new Windows version in an extended video posted on the Microsoft 365 YouTube channel.
The video featured Robert Navitsky, the Partner Director of Engineering for the Outlook team along with Margie Clinton, who is Microsoft's Principal Group Product Manager for that same team.
One of the goals of the new Outlook for Windows, according to Clinton, is to develop one code base that can be used to cover different platforms, rather than a separate code base for the "classic" Windows 32-bit app, the web version, and the Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 10. Clinton stated:
And that is what an illustration and example of what we envision is a single Outlook that is scalable, flexible and customizable to be one offering that can work for every Windows user and it is consistent across all the different kinds of use cases that we would have.
The new Outlook for Windows will have a number of new features, along with some features that were available in Outlook on the web but were not included in the classic Windows app or the Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps. Clinton stated:
So things like being able to add all of your account types, being able to have the ribbon customization that I was showing you, being able to use categories and other things like calendar layouts to be able to tune how it looks for you as well as productivity. Things that people really love,
For example, schedule, send e-mail, or one of the favorite ones that is called out as people really loving and I personally love it as well. It's being able to pin important items to the top of your mailbox. So it sits up there until you go and get it taken care of.
The feedback from people who have used the public preview of Outlook for Windows is very important, according to Clinton. Much of that feedback will be added to the new app, including features like third-party account support, offline use, and much more.
Navitsky went over exactly when the new Outlook will replace the "classic" Windows 32-bit app. He stated:
We like to give at least one year's notice between the notification and the actual disruptive change.
Right now the Outlook team is getting close to sending out that notification but they are still taking feedback from users. Also, the timeline for replacing the classic Windows Outlook with the new Outlook will be different than the timeline for replacing the Mail and Calendar Windows 10 apps with the new Outlook for Windows.
There's a lot more information in the video so you should check it out to get the full skinny on Microsoft's plans to deploy the new Outlook for Windows app.