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Windows 10 Gems: Refuel your day with Starbucks

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Venti half-caf vanilla no foam latte with soy and two pumps of Outlook.

Starbucks

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Coffee is one of the hottest drinks on the planet — particularly in western nations who rely on it for work. Over 54% of Americans over 18 drink coffee every day and over 18 billion is spent annually on the tasty caffeinated beverage.

Microsoft is a well-known company that focuses on productivity, so why not hook up with one of the world's largest purveyors of coffee for that ultimate expression of work synergy?

This week Microsoft released a free Starbucks add-in for Outlook and Outlook.com that is sure to bring a little perk to the lives of Office users.

Coffee just a click away

The new Starbucks add-in is available at the online Office Store as a free download for your Outlook account (you need to be migrated to the new Outlook.com experience). Log in Office online and just click 'Add'. The add-in installs to both your Outlook.com account and Outlook 2013 or later for PC (mobile and macOS support is in the pipeline).

There are two main features of Starbucks for Outlook, and they're both quite intelligent:

  1. Buy Starbucks eGiftcards to send to customers, friends, family, or co-workers
  2. Meeting requests for a local Starbucks

If you ever wanted a quick way to say 'thank you' to someone, sending them $20 to use at Starbucks is one way to do it. It's like buying them a coffee without having to actually be there to buy them the coffee!

With Starbucks for Outlook, you can begin writing an email, tap the Starbucks icon and log into your Starbucks account (free). From there you can choose the occasion such as Thank You, Birthday, Workplace, and more. Then you select the amount of money for the card in $5 increments and have the generated Starbucks eCard inserted right into the email. The gift can be charged right to your Starbucks account, so no credit card information needs to be entered – just click away.

Transactions are saved to your Starbucks account online, which is useful for record keeping and company expense reports. The lucky person who receives the eCard has the option to print and scan the barcode, have cashier scan that barcode off the phone, add the gift card to their personal Starbucks Rewards account, or to join Starbucks Rewards.

Overall, the experience was extremely fast, simple, and tremendously convenient — especially if you need a last-minute gift for someone.

Coffee meeting

The Meet at Starbucks function works when you try to set up a meeting with partners, co-workers, friends, or potential clients. In the Outlook desktop app, the user can click the Appointment icon to organize a meeting. When they do this a Meet at Starbucks icon appears in the Office Ribbon and engaging it opens a paned window to the right.

Entering in your location — or where you want the meeting to be — will surface a list of local Starbucks stores. You then choose the store in which you want to meet and insert it directly into the email, complete with Order ahead options and a quick link for Directions. Click send and you just set up a meeting that should make everyone in your party happy.

Office add-ins are the future

Working with productivity tools like Office is a requirement for many employees around the planet. Being able to streamline your workflow is always desirable, and with these new Office add-ins Microsoft and its partners are taking it to the next level by mixing in modern consumer-forward features.

Starbucks is a massive company that resonates with many people. Every day, millions of people meet there for convenience, general atmosphere, and to get a quick jolt to help stimulate creativity. By mixing Starbucks right into your email you can now do what many we already doing, but much easier. Why leave Outlook, go to the web, search, copy, paste the info into a new message when you can just click a button?

The Starbucks for Outlook add-in makes all of this a breeze and I have to admit, a little bit fun too. Who says Microsoft Office can't be your next go-to social tool? Grab the Starbucks for Outlook add-in and – for a limited time - when you send a Starbucks eGift Card using Outlook, you are eligible to get a FREE $5 eGift card in return. Not a bad deal!

Day 9 Sweepstakes:Win a Keurig 525 Brewing System!

How to Enter: Log into Windows Central and leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite item to order at Starbucks. At the end of your comment you must also indicate you are posting as an entry into the sweepstakes, or use #sweepstakes.

Full rules and regulations can be found here, but please note that due to sponsor restrictions, the sweepstakes is only open to Windows Central readers in the US and Canada.

The sweepstakes is open until July 15th, and winners will be announced on the blog shortly after the close date.

The Prize: One super lucky Windows Central reader will take home a new Keurig 525 Brewing System and $100 Starbucks gift card! Additionally, five runners-up will receive a $50 Starbucks gift card!

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Twitter: @Daniel_Rubino

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Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

464 Comments
  • Vanilla Latte! #sweepstakes
  • Scone #sweepstakes.
  • Spinach feta wraps are delicious #sweepstakes
  • Worse house coffee ever . . .
  • Never order the Pike Roast... for something smooth and with the highest caffeine order the Blond Roast (Veranda Blend is best) or for less caffeine but more body go with any dark roast. My favourite is the French Roast #sweepstakes
  • Hot chocolate #sweepstakes
  • I've never actually had any starbucks products before.  I might have to start if I win a gift card.  #sweepstakes
  • Americana decaff. #sweepstakes
  • Venti mocha chip frappachino #sweepstakes
  • Never had Starbucks. This sounds like a good first try #sweepstakes
  • Nothing, not worth a visit #NotSweepstakes
  • Black Coffee #sweepstakes
  • Now just waiting for the app. Iced Caramel Macchiato #sweepstakes
  • Here to win a phone #sweepstakes
  • and still no Windows app from Starbucks lmao  
  • Small cappuccino 2 shot. I need to setup my band 1.  #sweepstakes
  • Their cup of water is amazing! I prefer my coffee black. #sweepstakes
  • Cafe Americano #sweepstakes
  •   COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEED A NEW Coffee Maker!         #sweepstakes    
  • frappuccinooooooooooooooooooooooooo #sweepstakes
  • French Vanilla Breve, Yum! #sweepstakes
  • I don't really go to Starbucks normally. If I do, I tend to default to hot chocolate because I don't know what most of the other words mean. #sweepstakes
  • vanilla latte #sweepstakes
  • I'll never forgive SBUX founder Schultz selling out the Sonics.  Haven't gotten anything there since. #sweepstakes  
  • Turskaaaa
  • Well, you showed him.
  • Definitely an Iced trenta very berry hibiscus refresher
  • Coffee! (I'm not up with whatever terms they use - I just want a large coffee, preferably not from a roast that tastes burnt.) #sweepstakes
  • When I first heard about this plugin I thought "what's the point?", but this is actually quite clever.
  • Grande Soy Mocha, no whip! #sweepstakes
  • Cafe Mocha with coconut milk substitue. #sweepstakes
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuchino. #sweepstakes
  • Starbucks and Costa are an insult to decent coffee
  • Caramel macchiato! #sweepstakes Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • French Vanilla!!  #sweepstakes
  • "French Vanilla" is when you want to order for Tim Hortons French-Vanilla flavored "Cappuccino" , there is no "French vanilla" in Starbucks, you could however order a cappucino with Vanilla flavored syrup in, and that would be real cappuccino with real espresso and milk, not the fake powder mixed drink from TIm Hortons.
  • Venti Caramel Frappechino no whip extra caramel syrup​. I am posting as an entry into the sweepstakes.
  • Tall Blonde Roast in a Grande cup (I like some coffee with my creamer) #sweepstakes
  • Cool Lime Refresher.   #sweepstakes
  • Unsweetened passion tea! #sweepstakes
  • Short pike on ice to which I add my own goat milk, sweetened with stevia! Mmmmm delicious! #sweepstakes
  • I love the hot chocolate!   #sweepstakes.
  • I tried this plugin the other day and it works great. Got myself a venti soy chi latte. #sweepstakes
  • I'm a grande latte kind of guy! #sweepstakes
  • LOOK GOOD
  • Iced Americano. Pump of mint when I want to get wild with my order. #sweepstakes.
  • Quad Vente White Chocolate Mocha, No Whip, 3 pumps of syrup #sweepstakes
  • Hot chocolate #sweepstakes
  • There's no Starbucks application, so forget about it.
  • heard it would come "soon" , but again been several times already . but for now I sideload a app called BuckStar which pretty good.
  • My wife always loves her pumpkin latte but for me(in Germany at least) they have this pretzel bagel with creamcheese chives and chicken strips that is surprisingly good and therefore my favorite thing to order when we go to Starbucks. #sweepstakes
  • Cafe Mocha. #sweepstakes
  • Tazo Iced Chai Latte #sweepstakes
  • Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.....  Venti Americano wih sugar-free vanilla syrup to sober up after #sweepstakes
  • Venti Mocha Chip Frappachino with lots of Whip! #sweepstakes
  • Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte, No Foam, No Room.  I suppose I could call it a SVLNFNR. #sweepstakes
  • While I visit Starbucks often, I normally just get a plain coffee. Sometimes I'll get whatever the special is. I find coffee shops to be very useful to get some work done. I use a pair of Beats put on some soft music and work away. #sweepstakes
  • Over the summer order only iced drinks to keep cool and energized. A frozen s'more latte it's pretty good #sweepstakes
  • Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate  #Sweepstakes
  • Unfortunately, we don't have too many Starbucks around where I live, but maybe with this Keurig and some gift card money I could make a trek to discover something to drink. #sweepstakes
  • I like Black Coffee #sweepstakes
  • Carmel macchiato sweepstakes Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice, unsweetened. #sweepstakes (PS: I hope mobile app is coming soon!)
  • To be honest, I'm more of a tea person. I like hot chocolate though! #sweepstakes
  • Grande black coffee - usually just the pike place - sometimes I feel like a dark roast - if I'm feeling rich I'll get a Reserve Sumatra! #sweepstakes
  • White Chocolate Mocha #sweepstakes
  • Can't wait to be able to actually order and pay for my Latte at Starbucks from my Lumia, after I schedule a meeting there. #sweepstakes
  • Ancient royal trivia: What is more valuable, a mango seed or coffee bean? #sweepstakes
  • I tend to avoid Starbucks (not really my cup of tea), but when I do find myself there, I order a chai latte. #sweepstakes
  • Dunkaccino! #sweepstakes Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The wife buys me a Venti Caramel frap since she controls the money in this household. #sweepstakes