What you need to know
- Microsoft shipped a new version of Outlook for Windows recently.
- The new Outlook brings together some of the best features of the Outlook web experience and the Legacy Mail app.
- There are, however, key features missing from the new Outlook.
- Microsoft outlined its plans for new features that should ship to the new Outlook in 2024.
Microsoft released a new Outlook app in October 2023. The app is essentially the web version of Outlook wrapped into a desktop application, but it has some additional features. The new Outlook is here to replace the Legacy Mail and Calendar apps on Windows and will eventually replace the desktop version of Outlook from the Office suite.
Our guide on what's new in the Outlook app for Windows 11 runs through everything that's already here for the application. A new blog post from Microsoft outlines many of the features that are still in the works and scheduled for release in 2024.
Microsoft emphasized in its post that these are just some of the features and changes on the way to Outlook next year:
- Auto capitalization
- Collapsible headers in the message list
- Conditional formatting
- Drag and drop emails and attachments to the desktop
- Preserve declined meetings
- EML file support
- File tab in Outlook search
- Folder reordering
- Inking (Draw tab) while composing an email
- MSG file support
- Offline support
- Outbox folder
- Picture formatting
- POP3 account support
- PST file support
- Message Recall
- Save as for attachments (choose folder to save to)
- Share local files from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Shared calendar notifications for work accounts
- Teams tab in search
Microsoft also highlighted some recent improvements to the new Outlook:
- Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and IMAP account support
- ICS file support
- Message list selection improvements
- Quick steps
- Sort by sender or subject line
- Scheduling across different time zones
- Table styling improvements
- Folder list experience improvements
- Search folders (unread mail, flagged, or sent directly to me)
- Reminders window
- Find related messages (from this sender, in this conversation)
What happened to Outlook?
Outlook saw a complete overhaul on Windows 11 earlier this year. The design of the new Outlook is entirely different to the old Mail app that was preinstalled on Windows previously. While new to Windows, the interface will look familiar to anyone who used the Outlook web client. That's because the new Outlook on Windows is the Outlook web experience wrapped within an app plus some added functionality.
The main addition seen in the new Outlook when compared to the web experience is that the Outlook app supports multiple accounts. That means you can sign into your Gmail, iCloud, and other accounts, such as those that support IMAP.
The new Outlook also has AI tools through Microsoft Editor if you're a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscriber.
While the new Outlook combines many features seen in the web version of Outlook and the old Mail app, it's still missing quite a few features. Most notably, the new Outlook requires an internet connection to work at all.
Microsoft is working to add missing functionality over time. For example, ICS support, which is important for sharing and coordinating events, was not supported at launch but has since been added.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
what about background notifications? the Mail app doesn't require you to open it every time to receive notificationsReply
What about Linked inboxes? That is the main reason I refuse to stop using the legacy appReply
At last check (month or two ago), the new Outlook was missing a bunch of basic Windows and Office standard keyboard features. For example, if a word is misspelled and gets a red underline in a message or meeting composition, I expect to be able to hit the Menu key on the keyboard (Shift+F10 on laptops) to get the list of alternatives. Optionally, I should also be able to right-click on it for the correct alternatives. New Outlook discarded both of those near-universal standards and replaced them with a LEFT click on the misspelled word, which has NEVER been the path to fix a misspelled word. This drove me crazy, because it was not just a missing feature (I get it will take them time to add everything), but a feature implemented in a user-hating way that breaks all consistency with the existing UI and expected UX.Reply
Has that been fixed yet?
For missing features, the first few to leap to mind that I need are:
Rules support to categorize incoming messages (or for MS to move more client-only rules to the Exchange Server, but those won't work for users who don't use MS for their server hosting)
Drag and drop of emails onto the calendar icon to create calendar events out of the email
Some way to change the message view list to show: subject, day and time (even when it's a prior week, something current Outlook doesn't do by default, but easy to modify the default view to get that), date, size, and sender in the vertical column view with the reading pane still to the right of the message list
Full support for all fields in the contacts -- including the multiple phone numbers, birthdays, spouse, children, etc.
And 1 new feature I'd like would be better Contact integration with Teams for VoIP calling. Maybe that's more of a Teams function, not sure. Just know that right now, the integration between them is clumsy at best. If I have a contact in Outlook, I should be able to call any of their numbers on the phone from the dialer built into Teams. Even better, let me initiate the call from the Outlook Contacts/People viewer.
No integration with onenote then it's just not going to work for meReply
"Offline support" wow that's revolutionary! no email client did this before! No one expect this feature to be there since the first public preview release!Reply
Do I need to specify that's sarcasm?
All thanks to the AMAZING web tech, instead of native UWP onePaul Daher said:what about background notifications? the Mail app doesn't require you to open it every time to receive notifications
I will never be able to switch to outlook on a personal level because there is no way to import my .eml accounts from the absolutely archaic and fossiled Windows Live mail. When I try (and I have tried everything, nearly) MAPI simply errors out. :)Reply
THIS!chillywilly_69 said:What about Linked inboxes? That is the main reason I refuse to stop using the legacy app
And I'd also like to be able to rename my email accounts to things like "Work" & "Personal" instead of the full email address trailing off in the left panel.