Microsoft appears to be developing a new and lightweight email client that can be used in tandem with its Outlook app. The app, called Flow, is apparently in internal testing among Microsoft employees for the iPhone.
The information comes from noted Microsoft leaker "WalkingCat" (also known as "h0x0d"), who posted an image of a download page with information about Flow on his Twitter account. The description reads:
"Use Flow with anyone, it's email: Reach anyone with an email address and all conversations for you and others are also in Outlook. Together, you can use Flow and Outlook interchangeably to participate in the same conversations.
"Fast, fluid, natural conversations: No subject lines, salutations, or signatures. Flow is designed for fast, light-weight conversations in real time.
"Focus on what's important: Only conversations started in Flow and their replies show up in Flow, not your whole inbox. Focus on your most important person-to-person conversations without the noise."
From the above description, Flow sounds like a combination of a messaging app with an email client, but how it all works is unknown. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley notes that Flow could be like Microsoft's Skype Qik app, which tries to eliminate the jargon in communication.
Like other Microsoft technologies and services, if Flow comes to be it will likely also launch on Android and Windows 10 sometime down the road - in fact, there could be internal 'dogfooding' of such apps in Redmond. Of course, at this time, Microsoft's actual plans are unclear making this app a possible Garage experiment, or perhaps something more substantial.
Update: Brad Sams over at Neowin claims to have received a bit more information on the current state of Flow and how it will work. From Neowin:
The app works with more than Outlook as well, currently you can use a Gmail email account too; our sources did not agree on what was powering the backend, it could be IMAP or POP3. The interface of the app looks like a traditional chat application and at this time supports group chat and sending of pictures too; video chat is not supported at this time.