Microsoft is testing an updated Mail app with Fluent Design with Insiders

Microsoft appears to be rolling out a new update to the Mail and Calendar apps with a small group of Insiders in the Skip Ahead ring that introduces Fluent Design and a brand new layout for Insiders to test and provide feedback on.

The version in question is 8700.40315, and appears to be an A/B test scenario. We too have this version of the Mail app, but we're not seeing any of the new design changes that are in testing with some Insiders. Regardless, those that do have the new design will see many changes are currently in the works.

For example, the apps now features Fluent Design effects such as reveal, and the window itself is now chromeless with the titlebar now being integrated seamlessly with the rest of the app. It also appears Microsoft is redesigning the email list UI too.

Hopefully this design will roll out to Insiders more broadly over the coming weeks. In the meantime, are you excited about these new changes? Let us know in the comments!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Now this looks like the kind of transparency people want. I like it!
  • Oh yeah MS this exactly what is wrong with your OS the mail app....
  • I know right.  Their one developer who is assigned to Windows 10 should be spending their time better than redoing the mail app.  /s
  • At least, where it's actually transparent. The black block looks out of place, should be at least 10-20% transparent so it isn't so jarring whilst still readable.
  • That's nice!!!!
  • I'm more interested in whether it can send group emails yet than I am in fancy graphics features.
  • This is the "light" mail app. For Pro-features like this I would recommend to use full outlook.
  • Group emails are hardly "pro" features. And doesn't the full Outlook cost a lot of money? My parents are still hanging onto Windows Live Mail 2012 on Windows 10 because Mail doesn't have the features they need.
  • I see it as a pro-feature. I don't know of any free mailing program for non-pros which does support that.
  • I still do not understand why the f*ck do people need transperancy, animation and effects, etc. As the main player in operating systems for 40 years, Microsoft should have understood something fundamental that Linus Torvalds defined long time ago - You don't have to see your OS, it should provide resources to the prorgams you use and just be there when needed for usage. Simplicity is absolutely enough when operating with a machine. It's like you sit and stare your desktop, translucent apps with fancy effect and so on. Why should the OS eats these resources when they can be allocated for the software people use. And no the argument that its 2017 and resources are cheap doesn't matter. Every technical person on the planet that has written a single line of C++ code knows what I mean. I guess marketing and bs > intelligence and productivity. Nobody is talking about black terminal with text, but come on already! OSes became race of who would bring more stupid effects and animations over functionality and usability, UX, arrangement, update, etc. Microsoft almost understood this with Windows Phone 7, by stressing on content and typography (which was the main effect). Windows 2000 was also on point. Then it all went downhill with effects and bs
  • I still do not understand why governments are wasting money on parks and stuff. Cities aren't supposed to be pretty, they just have to provide you with work. It's not like you sit and stare at the city. We should just pour concrete everywhere, that's way cheaper. In case you didn't get it: it's not 'marketing and bs'. People are becoming more and more aware of concept called aesthetics. It makes life nicer.  You may think it's not worth it, but you'll find plenty people who think it is.
  • ...Options - deactivate, done
  • I was also a little confused by the need, particularly the reveal effect. But as soon as you see it in VR the need becomes very apparent. Gaze is your pointer. The extra light effects make the app way easier to use because targeting becomes easier, even without the precision of a mouse.
  • I hope they learned a lesson from past. Windows 8 design was inspired from a design made for mobile and was a failure, now they try to develop a design language having in mind VR/MR, even if most of the people are using Windows on laptops/desktops.
  • You're right, I'm using MacOS and Kali Linux and I like them more than Windows 10, also I like Windows Vista than Windows 7, 8, 10
  • I don't think macOS fits Linus Torvald's philosophy. It's pretty much famous for it's shiny colorful UI.
  • Who say that I don't like colorful UI? I love it, take a look to Windows 10 black and white taskbar, and remember colorful taskbar in Vista
  • You know there's a checkbox to make the taskbar use your theme color, right?
  • It's not about the taskbar itself, it's about the taskbar and icons on it and all things on it, remember the colorful icon for mail that introduced in early build? where it is now?
  • Yeah, but colorful UI's are pretty much the opposite of what the guy you replied to was arguing for. So it doesn't make sense to me that you'd say that you agree with someone who says they dislike fancy UI's, and yet also say that you like them. That's like saying you agree that God doesn't exist, but that you're also a Christian. Unless of course I misunderstood your comment. In which case you may ignore me :)
  • Look, I mean I hate "effects everywhere" that make Windows looks like a toy. you must understand me now.
  • Esthetically pleasing design greatly enhances the satisfaction users have with a product.  Microsoft can't afford to let users slip away to other options.  Windows has to be a pleasing experience overall in order for it to continue to be successful.  If you don't get that, then it's a good thing you're not making the decisions over there.
  • Windows has so many architectural goddamn problems that lay for almost 30 years that I think aesthetics is the last one in MS' list of priorities
  • On the contrary.  Because aesthetics are consumer facing, and the first thing the consumer notices and remembers about the product, they are arguably more important to the consumer and therefore at least equally important for Microsoft. You must never have been involved in consumer product development.
  • The last I knew, Email is considered an App, not part of the OS.
  • Would be great if the calendar could show more than 4 things a day in month view... That would be a noteworthy improvement
  • A. HOW!?!? there is not enough space. If you want to drill down to a particular day use the week or day mode.  That is a monthly overview and it makes sense there are not many details.  B. Why noteworthy? It would probably create visual clarity issues. 
  • It really isn't that big of a deal to make that work. They've done it in the online calendar and several 3rd party app makers have done this just fine!
    If you like using calendars for family and work activities, then having to navigate from one view to another via toggles is just a pain. Of course if you dont have anything to put in a calendar then this isn't a problem for you, but for people who use it, this really is a problem. MS can't even get this right in Office Outlook...
  • Ah yes, your beloved "information density." Why don't you just use full outlook, and keep your information density away from the lightweight, basic and simple to use app?
  • If you'd read my comment you'd know that its the same problem in the full Office version of Outlook....
    Luckily there are clever ways to get more information through and MS uses one such way on the online calendar. Just not anywhere else....
  • wow
  •  If it means I can put more items into dark mode, yes.    
  • I used this twice since the update and didn't even notice the difference. :D   Set a more appealing background image, and it looks great!
  • Zero Chrome and no title bar, finally 😎
  • Personally I'm not impressed about this new design language until now, maybe because it's barely implemented into Windows or is not ready yet. One of the most weird thing is the click effect with that circle. I think they should develop fluent design only with insiders and bring it to public only when it is ready. Maybe they will dedicate a RS for design, because right now we have so many DLs and until they will implement the FD everywhere, they will bring another DL. Inconsistent.
  • Absolutely agree.
  • I call BS. 
  • They should finally add link To-Do with Outlook and People. And off topic, I don't know why team working on To-Do is taking tooo long to get some basic things done.
  • I agree re To-Do along with Outlook and People. I would also appreciate To-Do having a context function to corral various tasks in a different way, eg Airport, Flight, Train, Hotel, Eatery, Home.
  • Perhaps they lack leadership, OR perhaps they are too few, OR perhaps they are trying to delay the death of Wunderlist until something else happens and it is avoided?   It would definitely be nice to see these apps working close together.
    I know To-Do works perfectly fine with Outlook. (The actual outlook app that comes with Office)  The only app I see as genuinely problematic in terms of limited use cases, lackof features etc. is People. It doesn't even allow you to do groups. 
  • Yeah, this showed up on my tablet. I turned that garbage off immediately. It's very annoying when you're trying to actually SEE and READ.
  • New features are always welcome, but how about spending more time fixing bugs.  The Feedback Hub has a large number of bugs listed for the Mail app.  Many of these bugs were reported up to 12 months ago and still not fixed.  Microsoft says they value our feedback.  They should prove it by fixing the bugs we report in a timely manner.  Perhaps some of their program managers need to be reprogrammed.
  • I use mail daily and heavily. The best light mail app I have used ever.
    Few tiny complaints only. No big deal.  
  • For me personally, it would be nice if outlook looked more like the mail app.  Actually, all of the Office 365 apps could use a nice refresh in appearance to blend in with Windows 10.. much like the mail app does.  
  • I am sucker for anything Fluent design related
  • the translucency may be neat, but the full package as shown in the image looks terrible.
  • It probably looks better in light mode. I really like the Mail and Calendar apps but unfortunately I find them rather hideous in dark mode.
  • I only use them in Dark mode. It is awesome. I gues it is just a matter of preference. 
  • Yes, of course. :)
  • The only thing stopping me from using Mail is the lack of signature support (the way Outlook does).
  • how about fixing cooy and paste with Mail first -- that has hundreds and hundreds of comments in feedback!
  • I do not have a problem with it.  And I suspect so do millions of people who use it. Some configurations may have a problem or maybe a glitch that presents such teemporary issues.  Do you have problems with copy/paste in the mail app? 
  • my mail app is not syncing anymore, even after pressing the sync button
  • Its looks nice, but i preffer more stability, this new version and before, its close alone after few minutes that i open, its happend almost all days...Very strange...after open again and again...the app work fine..(sometimes). I Used this app all days, with 7 mails accounts...
  • It actually is very stable. i am using it. In general, stability is NOT an issue with the mail app.
    There are a few minor issues. Most of them resolved with tiny workarounds.  The Windows Mail app is one of the most reliable out there. And I am using all top mail apps across all platforms. 
  • Will they finally let you create a signature with a bit of style? Then i'll go back to the Mail app.....
  • It becomes more and more like my Gmail. I like it. However, I need HTML signature support before I can use it daily.
  • Your gmail is nowhere near it really. HOW does it become more like it?  In fact "your" gmail would do well to copy some features from this.  
  • Ehh people are again 'sold' just by nice photo and something new (way to often in this case). There is no logic in transparency for ACTIVE windows, same with transparency for notification bar, start menu, wifi network etc. - it would be more logic if everything else would be a bit blurred.
  • I still can't belive Desktop apps are not picking up accent colors on tiles nor you can manually add one. Windows 8.1 did many things right that got removed just because it was associated with 8.1 branding. Windows 8.1 app screen was a hell lot better than Folder click to reveal in W10 Start Menu/Screen. One more action that is completely unnecessary. Tiles worked with colors for faster recognition instead of hunting it by the grouped letter and so on.  
  • I agree with you that 8.1 did many things better and they just removed them to avoid any assosciation with it.  But i got over it and moved on. I love Windows 10. They are not as optimized as 8 but still light years ahead of Windows 7. I suggest you stop dragging yourself back to the old days and enjoy what great new things are in offer. 
  • Weird, I'm seeing this on my laptop even though I took it off of the Insider program to stay on FCU.
  • Looks bad. Needs the blur behind it.
  • Didn't we call this aero glass in Windows 7?
  • I love how angry folks get about a visual update, as though they do not receive weekly updates designed to tackle backend issues and everybody at Microsoft is working on Fluent design.
  • CLUELESS angry folk  :D you forgot an important factor.  :D 
  • It's nice. It's fine. Not exactly brand new and not exactly fluent design but it is definitely a welcome refresh.