Microsoft Announces New Outlook for Windows

Posted on May 17, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 37 Comments

After years of leaks, Microsoft is finally ready to go public with Project Monarch, er ah, One Outlook, oops, the new Outlook for Windows!

“An early preview of the new Outlook for Windows is now available to Office Insiders in the Beta Channel to try,” Microsoft’s Margie Clinton writes in the announcement post. “The new Outlook for Windows [is] designed to help you be more productive and stay in control of your inbox. This version has new intelligent features like message reminders and a new calendar board that puts your email, calendar, and To Do in the same view. In addition, with Microsoft Loop components, you can collaborate across Outlook and Teams while staying in the flow.”

The new Outlook is currently available via a toggle in what I’ll call classic Outlook for those in the Beta channel of Office Insiders. When enabled, you’ll get a new version of the app that looks and works a lot like the web version—as noted by the recent leak—and with the following new features:

Microsoft Loop components. These components can be copied and pasted across Outlook emails and Teams chats and they always stay in sync so everyone can stay up to date wherever and whenever they work, Microsoft notes. You can learn more here.

More efficient attachments. In addition to supporting @mentions (“at mentions”), the new Outlook also supports @files and @documents for files you store in the cloud, making it easier to find what you need.

Intelligent assistance. As with other email solutions, the new Outlook will automatically remind you about missed messages that need replies and ask if you need to do so. This message reminder will also be pinned at the top of your inbox until you dismiss it.

My Day pane. The My Day pane lets you drag and drop email messages as tasks to your To Do so you can return to the message later. You can also use My Day to reserve time in your calendar to complete tasks by dragging and dropping a task into the calendar.

New Calendar board view. The Calendar board lets you organize calendars, files, To Do lists, goals, and more and manage it in a single view.

New Outlook RSVP. The new Outlook helps you communicate how you plan to attend a meeting, either in-person or virtually.

Pinning. A new pinning capability lets you “stick” emails to the top of your inbox so they won’t be forgotten.

Because it’s still a preview, the new Outlook has some known issues that you should check out before diving in. You can learn more here. The biggest one, of course, is that it only works with commercial and education Microsoft 365 accounts, meaning that those with a Microsoft account (Microsoft 365 Family or Personal) cannot test this app at this time.

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Comments (37)

37 responses to “Microsoft Announces New Outlook for Windows”

  1. digiguy

    I guess this does not have the most important feature that IMO Outlook (whatever version) is missing, a unified inbox for multiple e-mail accounts

  2. behindmyscreen

    I have been using this view on my Mac for a while. The lack of groups for emailing is a bit obnoxious. I like everything else about it though.

  3. matsan

    Since new mode doesn’t work with AWS WorkMail we started using macOS native apps for contacts, calendar and mail and haven’t looked back at Outlook. It was Office that made us move to Mac instead of Linux but with the decent web apps both platforms are viable alternatives.

  4. wright_is

    I've been using the new look since around October/November last year on the Beta channel. It has nice rounded corners around the ribbon, but not much else really "feels" different.

    It looks like the currently newly added features are the Loop & other office application integrations.

  5. ralfred

    After forcing an update of my beta channel Office 365, I had to restart Outlook several times, before the "Try the New Outlook" toggle appeared. Toggled the switch and now I'm stuck in "Thanks for trying the New Outlook. We're downloading the latest version and will switch you over when the download is finished".

    Anyone else stuck here?

    • ralfred

      After around two hours, it finally worked. Download took around 2 seconds and then I could switch.

      First impression is positive. It looks a little different than the "Old Outlook" but opening OWA (haven't done that in some weeks) reveals that OWA also has been updated in it's looks and now looks a little more like desktop Outlook, making my transition to the New Outlook a lot nicer for me.

    • Thretosix

      I have a client that has this problem. She just deals with it. But you aren't the only one.

  6. huddie

    I've not had a chance to try One Outlook out yet. What I want from this is not specific new features but just three things: design, reliability and performance. None of these feature in any of the existing Outlooks that I've used - Win32, Android, On the Web. Barely a day goes by now where my work isn't affected by Outlook problems and having to deal with them disrupts my workflow. And boy do Microsoft love to harp on about how much their software helps you with your workflow. It doesn't. For them to address these problems they'll have to reverse their decision several years ago to get rid of 5,000 odd QA testers by hiring again. They'll also need a more focused, consistent design across platforms - something they are promising with One Outlook once it's multi-platform. I'll believe it when I see it.

  7. cac303

    I had to switch back after about 60 seconds. I heavily use the advanced features of Outlook, including custom macros that I have shortcuts to on the toolbar. I really hope they don't shove this dressed-up OWA version down our throats at some point and hamstring power users.

  8. hlbuck

    Interesting that this appears as a beta update to Outlook for desktop, after reports said MS was positioning it as a successor to the Mail and Calendar bundled apps, with replacing Outlook for desktop a more distant goal.

  9. ebraiter

    They should really create a stripped down version of the fat client removing features that aren't needed for home users like tasks [can be put in the calendar], Exchange mail server connectivity [i.e. leave just IMAP and POP3] and a few other areas. Put this in as part of Windows, replacing the current garbage included.

  10. Breaker119

    We've all got different needs I guess. I made the switch to OWA a couple of months ago and rarely open the desktop client. However, One Outlook is missing some very important things that OWA provides for me as an M365 admin for a multi-national:

    1. Right-clicking links to open under different Edge profiles
    2. Right-clicking in the message body to translate to English (I know I can use the add-in)
  11. lindhartsen

    I'm really confused about one thing here - is this a replacement for big Outlook only, or is this something that'll be provided in-box with Windows 11 at some point to replace the in-box Mail/Calendar apps?

  12. red.radar

    I like the vertical dock on the left side of the screen for the major office applications. Now if only the windows team would take the hint….

  13. omen_20

    I already use the ToDo integration, flagging emails in Outlook and then adding to My Day. This new pane will be more conventient.

    One thing I'd like to see is Outlook adding events to the system tray Agenda view. I currently have to sign into Windows 10's Calendar app. Not sure if Windows 11 even has Agenda view but I'd hate to give that up. Also Calendar allows for lock screen info where Outlook doesn't.

  14. winner

    My outlook is that I used a different email system.

  15. TallGuySE

    Is this like new Outlook mode that’s been available on Mac Outlook for a while now? I like it but stick with classic Outlook so the interface is consistent across the office apps.

    • will

      This is what’s confusing as it looks different than the macOS version but the features are different as well. For the same code base the features are all over the place depending on the so you are using.

  16. dougkinzinger

    I'm running it now. It's...a decent web wrapper? 365 OWA is great, but Outlook Desktop has some features I use that OWA doesn't. But 95% of Outlook Desktop users don't use the features I use, so I'm good with it. Maybe they'll co-exist for a time too.

    • wright_is

      I just updated, it doesn't look any different, at first glance, to the beta that I've been running since the end of last year.

      For the last few months, the assistant has also been complaining that the emails might not be easily readable. In a mixed language environment (I write mainly German emails, but also several in English), it seems to get easily confused.

      I'm not seeing any differences in calendar view. "Calendar board view" is not an option I am seeing. The same with pinning emails.

  17. dougkinzinger

    Edit - look at the processes when New Outlook is running. Lots of WebView2 (which I believe is an Edge component) in use. So it's just a wrapper for now it seems. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, just observing.

  18. bluvg

    Obviously COM add-in support is not possible with this web-wrapper, so unless Microsoft decides to provide a way to act on multiple items at a time (and not via some clunky Power Automate workflow one has to build), many, many companies have no option but to stick with "classic Outlook" (sounds a bit like Coke Classic vs. New Coke).

  19. LordPhantom

    I'd like to try this out myself so I can figure out how much drama there will be when it finally ships, but I cannot figure out how to get into the Office Insider program. There seems to be half a dozen different ways to do it but none of them work. Does anyone have a link to a simple process to get onboard?

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