With Windows 10 Gems!
Venti half-caf vanilla no foam latte with soy and two pumps of Outlook.
Coffee is one of the hottest drinks on the planet — particularly in western nations who rely on it for work. Over 54% of Americans over 18 drink coffee every day and over 18 billion is spent annually on the tasty caffeinated beverage.
Microsoft is a well-known company that focuses on productivity, so why not hook up with one of the world's largest purveyors of coffee for that ultimate expression of work synergy?
This week Microsoft released a free Starbucks add-in for Outlook and Outlook.com that is sure to bring a little perk to the lives of Office users.
Coffee just a click away
The new Starbucks add-in is available at the online Office Store as a free download for your Outlook account (you need to be migrated to the new Outlook.com experience). Log in Office online and just click 'Add'. The add-in installs to both your Outlook.com account and Outlook 2013 or later for PC (mobile and macOS support is in the pipeline).
There are two main features of Starbucks for Outlook, and they're both quite intelligent:
- Buy Starbucks eGiftcards to send to customers, friends, family, or co-workers
- Meeting requests for a local Starbucks
If you ever wanted a quick way to say 'thank you' to someone, sending them $20 to use at Starbucks is one way to do it. It's like buying them a coffee without having to actually be there to buy them the coffee!
With Starbucks for Outlook, you can begin writing an email, tap the Starbucks icon and log into your Starbucks account (free). From there you can choose the occasion such as Thank You, Birthday, Workplace, and more. Then you select the amount of money for the card in $5 increments and have the generated Starbucks eCard inserted right into the email. The gift can be charged right to your Starbucks account, so no credit card information needs to be entered – just click away.
Transactions are saved to your Starbucks account online, which is useful for record keeping and company expense reports. The lucky person who receives the eCard has the option to print and scan the barcode, have cashier scan that barcode off the phone, add the gift card to their personal Starbucks Rewards account, or to join Starbucks Rewards.
Overall, the experience was extremely fast, simple, and tremendously convenient — especially if you need a last-minute gift for someone.
The Meet at Starbucks function works when you try to set up a meeting with partners, co-workers, friends, or potential clients. In the Outlook desktop app, the user can click the Appointment icon to organize a meeting. When they do this a Meet at Starbucks icon appears in the Office Ribbon and engaging it opens a paned window to the right.
Entering in your location — or where you want the meeting to be — will surface a list of local Starbucks stores. You then choose the store in which you want to meet and insert it directly into the email, complete with Order ahead options and a quick link for Directions. Click send and you just set up a meeting that should make everyone in your party happy.
Office add-ins are the future
Working with productivity tools like Office is a requirement for many employees around the planet. Being able to streamline your workflow is always desirable, and with these new Office add-ins Microsoft and its partners are taking it to the next level by mixing in modern consumer-forward features.
Starbucks is a massive company that resonates with many people. Every day, millions of people meet there for convenience, general atmosphere, and to get a quick jolt to help stimulate creativity. By mixing Starbucks right into your email you can now do what many we already doing, but much easier. Why leave Outlook, go to the web, search, copy, paste the info into a new message when you can just click a button?
The Starbucks for Outlook add-in makes all of this a breeze and I have to admit, a little bit fun too. Who says Microsoft Office can't be your next go-to social tool? Grab the Starbucks for Outlook add-in and – for a limited time - when you send a Starbucks eGift Card using Outlook, you are eligible to get a FREE $5 eGift card in return. Not a bad deal!
How to Enter: Log into Windows Central and leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite item to order at Starbucks. At the end of your comment you must also indicate you are posting as an entry into the sweepstakes, or use #sweepstakes.
Full rules and regulations can be found here, but please note that due to sponsor restrictions, the sweepstakes is only open to Windows Central readers in the US and Canada.
The sweepstakes is open until July 15th, and winners will be announced on the blog shortly after the close date.
The Prize: One super lucky Windows Central reader will take home a new Keurig 525 Brewing System and $100 Starbucks gift card! Additionally, five runners-up will receive a $50 Starbucks gift card!