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Design refresh will simplify Outlook on Windows and Mac

Microsoft is working to simplify its desktop Outlook apps with a refreshed design. As recently shown off in a session at Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft is looking to simplify Outlook with a focus on "a cleaner, more modern way to do email." (via MSPU

As part of that redesign, Outlook is borrowing some of the design DNA from its mobile counterparts on Android and iOS. That's in large part due to the redesigned sidebar, which gives quick access to different accounts and folders. The app will also feature a simplified ribbon, which can be customized with your own preferred default buttons.

Microsoft also says that Outlook on Mac will receive a bit of extra attention to make searching and creating Calendar appointments faster and more reliable. The goal is to create an experience that feels "authentically Mac," Microsoft says.

There's no word from Microsoft on when to expect the updated Outlook. That said, Microsoft did announce Office 2019 at Ignite, noting that it will arrive in mid-2018. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to expect the Outlook revamp to arrive alongside the latest Office release.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • Authentically Mac, and Authentically Android. What exactly is authentically Windows at this point when it comes to UWP? We now have Fluent Design but what's the best expression of the UI/UX at this point that represents Windows 10?
  • For now, Authentically Windows is a bit complex, the modern 'UWP' app UI is (arguably) a mix of Android and IOS UIs with a hint of 'classic' windows UI. 'Metro' Apps are Microsoft's first shot at flat UI (which failed horribly) and finally the 'classic' apps which have the look of good old Windows XP/Vista/7.
  • Right, it's confusing and aggravating that they can point out and pin down styles of other platforms while not realizing that they need to do the same for their platform and stop changing things so often. They don't seem to know which areas of Windows need to be flexible and evolve quickly where others need to be rigid yet extensible.
  • I hope its not buggy and stripped down version, we all have seen how Microsoft has been updated (more like downgraded) apps lately!
  • Reading pane at the bottom not there or I just didn't find where to set it up?
  • No thanks! Usually “cleaner and modern” means they make it less functional. The screenshot above looks like a dumb down web version. Waste of space on the right with those big icons. Navigation is fine where it is now, compact in its own area the bottom right. We already spent months training users for 2016, now they want to change all up again? How about they fix the depth for the UI. Many users going from 2010 to 2016 complained everything is too flat and white. They need to focus on the bugs they bring every patch Tuesday rather than redesigning the look.
  • I like the new design for the Outlook app but not for Outlook in the browser.
  • Notice how many times was changed so far :/ I have to admit that I loved the most UI/UX of just after switch from Hotmail. Same with apps - Mail app from Windows 8/8.1 was so amazing and ahead of its time, still using it on first Surface. 
    IMHO it's all downhill since first big Metro/Modern redesing made by Zune and Nokia teams.
  • The focused inbox is a dumb idea,  however I do laugh that MAC and Android have it before windows and windows feature phone.
  • Well, Microsoft needs beta testers on those platforms to. You did not figure that out? Haha
  • Will they or will they not support My People?
  • no. No. NO. No thanks! "cleaner" now means a "dumbed"-down feature-lacking app. I'm already getting tired of the Package delivery thing that takes up 40% of my email message reading pane and has no way to toggle On/Off. Outlook (desktop) is the only serious desktop email client, there are PLENTY of dumbed down clients (I'm looking at the Mail app--or is it now called Outlook too? Mail and Calendar...but with the Outlook logo? while called Outlook on Android? ugh...the naming mess).