Outlook on the Web is Becoming a PWA

Posted on November 25, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Dev, Office 365 with 21 Comments

It’s finally happening: Microsoft’s web-based email app for commercial Office 365 customers is becoming a PWA, or Progressive Web App.

News of this change comes via a reader, Nick DeLena, who noticed that Outlook on the Web displays a PWA “Install” button in the Brave address bar. And sure enough, I’m seeing the same. I was able to view the site’s manifest file (accessed via the F12 developer tools) as well.

I don’t see an Install button when I use Microsoft Edge Beta. But the new Edge does see the manifest file, while noting that it couldn’t find a matching service work. Peter Whitehouse tweeted that does he sees an Install option in the menu of Canary version of the new Edge. So it’s coming to Edge as well.

What’s missing there, of course, is offline use. But just meeting the minimum requirements of a PWA is the first step. And as I theorized the other day about Outlook.com, the consumer version of Outlook on the Web, there are other indications that Microsoft is—finally—embracing PWA technologies in its main web applications. Hopefully, this is the start of something big.

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