Microsoft’s system has had a built-in email client since Windows 8, but it’s not until Windows 11 that you’re likely to see one that users will want to use.
The arrival of Windows 8 on the market was unique for many reasons, and one of them was certainly the built-in applications. Previously, for example, you could use the Windows Live suite of programs, including mail, but it wasn’t until Windows 8 that Microsoft ushered in the era of system applications along the lines of its competitors and the mobile market. The beginnings were not easy, because users in general not interested in system applications with Windows 8 because of the changing environment and navigation of the system and most of them remained in desktop mode.
Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 10 didn’t make waves
Full-screen apps were changed to windows apps in Windows 10, which could have helped their popularity, but the upcoming changes rather indicate that users are not fond of this form of mail handling in the desktop system. While applications dedicated to specific services or applications that allow you to add multiple mailboxes in different domains are the most popular on mobile devices, on computers we still prefer the classic logging in to mail in the browser window. This takes away some of the functionality known from mobile applications, but in fact just checking mailboxes, reading and writing messages are not so problematic that hardly anyone feels the need to change.
I myself belong to the group of people who rely on web-based Gmail or Outlook, also because I am not afraid of any problems related to synchronization of changes, labels or drafts. The ability to continue working on messages, postponing them, etc. within the official versions of the services without intermediaries has its advantages, so I reached for additional tools only in exceptional cases or out of sheer curiosity about the application.
New Outlook on Windows, macOS and in the browser
Will the new Outlook for Windows 11 change these habits? A public beta of the refreshed Outlook application, which will be based on the web version of the service, is expected to be available in the coming weeks. After we learned that Microsoft will consolidate its efforts in working on OneNote and prepare one version of the app that will replace all others, today we heard that a similar plan applies to Outlook as well. The new app will come to Windows 10 and Windows 11, and will be an integral part of the latter next year as part of the 22H2 update.
Until then, Windows 11 will offer legacy versions of the Mail and Calendar apps, which will get a much-needed update in terms of design – the corners of the windows will be rounded, and the buttons will be consistent with what you’ll find elsewhere in the system. Microsoft’s plan, however, involves much more than just releasing a new Outlook, because as I wrote, it will be the app that replaces all the others (Outlook win32 and on macOS, as well as the UWP version of the Mail and Calendar apps).
Mockups, which can be viewed today may not fully reflect what we will get in the beta version or in the finished version of the Outlook application, but they allow you to preview today what Microsoft is preparing. It’s clear as day that the app will fit in with the general style of Office apps that have already made their way to users in testing, so apparently, Microsoft will finally have a consistent, probably in every way(?), an ecosystem of Office apps for every platform.