First look at Microsoft's 'Focused Inbox' feature for Windows 10 Mail, now in limited testing

While many of the "big" features for Windows 10 Creator's Update have been revealed, there are many smaller bits that will still delight many that we haven't seen yet. One of those is Focused Inbox, which has been on iOS and Android for some time already. To be fair, Microsoft bought Acompli in late 2014 who originally had the feature and the company has been rebranding and merging it with Outlook for some time now.

All of that is about to change, however, as Microsoft is now "A/B testing" the Focused Inbox feature for Windows 10, finally. Put into layman terms that mean some users – even on Production – have the feature right now while most you do not.

Focused Inbox as spotted by @zool_hilmi who also puts the Start menu on top (shudder)

So far, two users have separately reported the feature. One of those is @zool_hilmi on Twitter, and the other was tipped to us by Debjyoti G. The version of the app is v17.7903.40527.0, which is the same as the one released for Production. This rollout is similar to how some users have the new Share icon in Photos while most do not.

Focused Inbox works on an algorithm that detects frequently used contacts that you respond to often and do not fit the criteria of newsletter format. Focused inbox also pulls in the new "Reminder" feature based on Cortana that can put an email in your inbox based on commitments you have made to others.

The implementation is as expected. In the standard Inbox header, there is now a second pane labeled Focused. Tapping it reveals your prioritized emails and reminders making it easier to manage.

Focused Inbox with light theme tipped to us by Debjyoti G.

Going by Microsoft's past practice, we should be hearing about this feature rolling out to Insiders in the coming weeks for everyone to test out. The feature is expected to arrive on Mobile as well although so far, we have not seen it just yet.

Combined with the new colored contact circles and Windows 10 Mail should be a substantial upgrade from the current version.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.