Back in September, Microsoft started testing a new version of Outlook on the web, which brought a series of improvements to the experience, such as smarter search. Over the past few months, the company has been testing the update with those that chose to enable the experimental toggle on the website, and adding more improvements as time went on. Today, the Redmond giant says that the new experience is finally ready to be rolled out to everyone.
The new experience includes improvements to both e-mail and calendar aspects of Outlook. On the e-mail side of things, messages can now be marked with categories that make it easier to know what they're about when you see them on your inbox. You can also set favorite contacts, groups, or categories, and they'll show up in their own folder and with their own message count.
When you get an e-mail but don't have time to address it right away, you can also snooze it so it'll be brought back to your attention at the desired time. And if you switch between messages often, you'll see that for every new e-mail you start, a tab will be created at the bottom of the reading pane, leaving your drafts available as you navigate your inbox.
The new Outlook e-mail experience also now includes a dark mode, which has been making its way to more and more products lately. Finally, you can now add emoji and GIFs to your messages directly from within Outlook, if you're looking for that kind of flair in your e-mails.
There are also a ton of improvements to the calendar side of things to help users manage their time more easily. A new search experience can find people, locations, or keywords in events across multiple calendars. The weekly calendar view now gives more room to the present day and the next one, allowing users to focus on more imminent events, and the monthly view saves some room on the side to list your upcoming events.
Creating events should also be simpler now, with a new flyout that opens right on the calendar to let users choose a time, location, and participants. For businesses, online meetings have a few new options, too. Outlook will now display options for meetings - Skype, Teams, or both - based on your organization's settings. You can join meetings directly from the event flyout on the calendar view, and it's also possible to see the responses of the meeting attendees from the flyout if you organized the event.
Finally, the new Outlook.com has made improvements to Tasks, which have been talked about before. They now sync with Microsoft To-Do and Planner. Flagged e-mails are also sent to their own list on Microsoft To-Do.
The new experience will be rolled out to Targeted Release customers starting later this month and should make its way to everyone in the following weeks and months.