- Microsoft is expected to transition to the new Outlook mail app in August.
- The new app is based on the Outlook.com web app and has a more modern appearance.
- The old Mail and Calendar apps will be discontinued at the end of 2024.
In August, Microsoft plans to switch Windows 11 users to the new Outlook app. After testing the redesigned version of the email client for over a year, the company is ready to change from the legacy Mail app original releases in the Windows 10 era to the new version based on the Outlook.com web app with a more modern appearance.
According to a report from Bleeping Computer, Microsoft is already communicating to administrators that the team will start the transition from the Mail (and Calendar) app to the new Outlook app at the end of August 2023. The company will also bundle the app as the default email client for every installation. The Mail and Calendar apps will continue to be available through the end of 2024 but as an optional download through the Microsoft Store.
The new version of Outlook is identical to the web version of the service for mail and calendar but with some additional features, such as a single view for email, calendar, people, and tasks. In addition, the new app includes support for the mica material to match the design style of Windows 11.
The email client supports multiple accounts, including Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. Support for iCloud and IMAP will be coming in future updates. In the new experience, the company has confirmed that users can write better emails with new AI features to help users write impactful, clearer, mistake-free messages. Furthermore, some other changes include integrating the Microsoft Editor for rich editing, spelling, auto-complete suggestions, and sending emails with polls to help make quicker decisions. (This last feature is only available for work and school accounts.)
In the Calendar experience, you will find new improvements, including support for Google Calendar when adding a Gmail account, multiple time zones, daily weather, and you can add multiple shared calendars.
The new version of Outlook is currently available as a public preview, and anyone can switch to it by turning on the “Try the New Outlook” toggle switch from the top-right corner of the Mail or Calendar apps. Although the experience includes a process to transfer your accounts and settings over to the new application, you will need to sign in again on all your accounts.
In this new version, Microsoft will be keeping some of the previous features, including tracking packages and checking in to flights directly from your inbox, reminders for important messages that require a reply, search folders, and the ability to customize your email density and views.
The new app is not a complete replacement for the current legacy app. It is possible that some features are still missing from the new app, such as offline support, but the feature is still under development.
Overall, the new Outlook app is a significant improvement over the old Mail and Calendar apps. It is more modern, integrates better with other Microsoft services, and offers more customization options.