Microsoft Expands Testing For its Web-Based Outlook For Windows

Posted on September 28, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Cloud, Microsoft Consumer Services, Office 365 with 26 Comments

Microsoft is making its new web-based Outlook for Windows app available for more testers. Office Insiders on the Beta channel have been able to opt-in to test it since May, and starting today, testers on the Current Channel (Preview) will also start seeing the new “Try the new Outlook” toggle in the classic Outlook for Windows app.

Additionally, Microsoft also announced today that it will soon make this new web-based Outlook app available for Windows Insiders. A similar toggle will appear in the UWP Mail app, allowing Windows Insiders to replace the neglected UWP client with this new Outlook for Windows.

This is quite a big deal, as this means this new web-based Outlook may eventually replace the dedicated Mail and Calendar UWP apps that have been around since the launch of Windows 10. However, this new Outlook for Windows still isn’t as full-featured as the classic Outlook desktop app, which isn’t free to use.

As of today, Office Insiders can use the toggle in Outlook for Windows to switch between the classic app and the new web-based version on the fly. If the new web-based Outlook still doesn’t support multiple accounts, the app can now be used with personal Microsoft accounts in addition to work and school accounts.

“We’ve received valuable feedback from Office Insiders on Beta Channel about how to create a more consistent, feature-rich experience,” the Outlook team said today. “We’ve taken this feedback into account and incorporated updates into this most recent rollout.”

There’s still a long way to go before this new web-based app becomes a viable option for Outlook power users. The app still can’t work offline, and it also lacks support for third-party web add-ins from Salesforce, Zoom, and other services.

However, those who prefer using Outlook.com or Outlook on the web (for work on school accounts) may find the experience very familiar. Moreover, if you use Microsoft To Do for managing tasks, this new Outlook app lets users easily drag and drop emails to the “My Day” section of To Do.

All in all, the UWP Mail app still has something that both the classic Outlook and the new web-based Outlook lack: A unified inbox for multiple email accounts. This is a “basic” feature that Outlook does already support on macOS and mobile devices, but there’s hope on Windows as well.

“In the future you will be able to access multiple email inboxes and calendars (including both work and personal) in the same Outlook experience, just as you can today on Outlook mobile,” the Outlook team said today.

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