Microsoft Begins Working on new Features for To-Do

Posted on February 1, 2018 by Brad Sams in Microsoft Consumer Services with 19 Comments

Todoist Launches on Windows 10

Microsoft To-Do, which will eventually replace Wunderlist, is getting a few new features. Well, it will eventually get new features as Microsoft has indicated that work has begun on adding new functionality to the bare-bones task-management application.

The UserVoice page for To-Do was updated a few weeks ago to indicate that the company is now developing sub-tasks and shared lists. For those that use the app, this is good news, but if Microsoft wants to truly grab market share in this area, they need to speed up the development ten-fold.

Wunderlist, which the company said was going away only to later backtrack and extend the life of the app, was acquired by the company a few years ago and has been sitting somewhat-idle while To-Do is slowly brought up to speed. And that’s my main issue here, Microsoft has been moving too slow on the development of this application and clearly has indicated, by its actions, that this is not a priority for the company.

Other third-party apps, like Todoist and Any.Do have blown past what To-Do offers and unless Microsoft tosses To-Do some additional dev resources, it will take years to catch-up. Even Wunderlist, despite being on ‘death-watch’, has more features than To-Do.

Further, Wunderlist is a confusing story because even though Microsoft said it would be moving away from the app, the app was updated four times in the last year. For any new user looking to dive into a to-do style app, using Wunderlist is foolish as you know that it has a limited shelf-life and To-Do is half-baked compared to the other options which have free variants.

If To-Do would pick up the development pace, it could be a serious alternative to the now established players as the advantages are significant; baked into Outlook, Cortana, and every other Microsoft service. But at the current rate of development, by the time it offers features comparable to other services and even Wunderlist, it will be 2025.

Thanks for the tip Merlin!

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Microsoft Begins Working on new Features for To-Do”

  1. Passinttd

    I have a feeling this is taking so long because of Cortana. In the insider fast ring Cortana's Lists feature really acts and feels just like a non-work/school account To-Do. Going off memory, you have to have a work / school account to use the actual To-Do app itself. Nice work around would be to use the same exact engine and bake it into Cortana for consumers. This of course would derail what plans they had towards the start and account for their lost time in development if they did switch gears. While it would take a little while to bear fruit this could actually be a wise idea to hold back and bake it right in to Cortana. Allowing the consumer side to have it cross-platform AND always available plus a reason to actually use Cortana some. Have never looked forward to making a grocery list before...


    Also, first time poster. My bad for the full paragraph of rushed thoughts. Just got to work and feel like I'm running behind so I threw it together. Back to stalking twitter and lurking around.

  2. wolters

    "they need to speed up the development ten-fold."


    Absolutely...there has been no reason why shared tasks hasn't come yet. I used Wunderlist but decided to embrace To-Do when it came out and I've been so patient with the lack of no shared tasks.


    And I'd like the ability to use both my personal and Office 365 Business To-Do.

  3. ejryder3

    How stupid can Microsoft get? Wunderlist just works. Rename it Microsoft Wunderlist and be done with it. To Do sucks and just copies Wunderlist in a childish, incompetent way.

  4. IanYates82

    I've been using Wunderlist because it's tied in with MS Launcher on Android and even Cortana makes its tasks there. The integration with Launcher, back in the Arrow Launcher days, came about even when ToDo was something that I think was in early access. I really don't understand why they're going down this road of a new ToDo app...


    a) They've got Wunderlist which works well already. Shared lists, etc just work.

    b) Wunderlist actually has some third-party support - Microsoft ToDo will get zero of that

    c) Their own first-party apps - Cortana & MS Launcher - don't integrate with ToDo but do integrate well with Wunderlist

    d) Microsoft making a ToDo app is apparently so hard despite being literally the demo thing done by the JavaScript UI frameworks for devs to compare how each framework functions


    The only complaint I've got about Wunderlist is that their UWP app for Windows 10 takes a long time to refresh the list of tasks when it starts. It looks identical to the Android app but the app on Android is very responsive - some would say "fast and fluid" - whereas the app on Windows 10 can sit there for a minute refreshing what would be at most 10-15kb of data, seemingly located on servers at the far side of the moon.

  5. rvanallen

    Have used Wunderlist for years along with my clients. It just works. Maybe the only thing needing changed is the name to "MS-Wunderlist" and be done.

  6. edboyhan

    It's easy to say that they ought to develop faster, but we (not being in the room) don't know what the constraints/options might be. As other commenters have mentioned here, there are too many task management possibilities in the MS space -- this dilutes focus (this is a problem across many MS product offerings -- not just task management). Also it may be that the relevant teams may be physically in Germany -- this can only add to a complex situation.

  7. Winner

    Microsoft's to-do list:

    • Focus on usability in Windows 10
    • Win 10 get rid of control panel, clean up settings
    • Give up on Edge
    • Dump HoloLens
    • Dump Cortana
    • Admit that your "Mixed Reality" is mostly talk and hype
  8. will

    If you look at the User-voice page the request list is PAGES and PAGES. For the past year all you see with updates are "We have fixed some bugs and polished some rough edges!" Nothing has been added feature wise in over a year and the app is just a cheap knock off of things that are more powerful (no pun intended, but Things is good, only Apple based though)


  9. MrDean0

    The "baked into Outlook" aspect is/was the deal-breaker for me. It took a good cross platform tool, that I could use anywhere, and pulled all of the notifications and tasks into my Outlook tasks (o365 account) in addition to being in the App. I don't want my to-dos tied to one Outlook profile and listed as Tasks in Outlook. I also don't want to have to switch profiles or contexts between my work Outlook (O365) and my Outlook.com account tasks. I want one bucket that I filter.

    Perhaps they have addressed this in subsequent releases, but I jumped ship after trying out the initial beta.

    I have found ToDoist a more than adequate replacement, and it's Outlook plugin works very well to give me the integration I was looking for.

  10. Rcooper81

    My fear is that To-Do will become Sunrise 2.0. Sunrise Calendar was fantastic. Microsoft bought it and stated that they would take all of the "best features" and incorporate them into Outlook Calendar before shutting Sunrise down. That never happened. I'm afraid that To-Do and Wunderlist will face the same fate. Microsoft will leverage their reach to put out a lesser quality product, To-Do, then shutdown the better app, Wunderlist. I hope this won't happen, but I'm not yet convince that this won't happen.

  11. djncanada

    Hi,


    I am an avid task manager user.


    I am also a contractor who works with colleagues and clients.


    Problem:


    Microsoft has too many task manager solutions:


    MS Project (very cumbersome)

    MS Planner (internal users with O365 Business)

    Outlook

    Outlook Customer Manager

    Dynamics

    To Do

    Wunderlist



    I think the dev team for To to is based in Germany (ie Wunderlist Team), if they are splitting time between 2 apps, that would be less resources for To Do


    My question is why did they not look at moving Wunderlist to Azure?


    I am wondering if there are grand plans for To Do.


    For example, if the service could be used as simple front end for MS Project, that would simplify for non Project Manager being able to view and update tasks.


    I think Microsoft has too many apps looking at same problem, they need to simplify and/or provide a matrix on what type of person should use what app/service.


    They should also understand that many people want one app for work and personal.


    Thanks

  12. SvenJ

    So, no features are on their To Do list?

  13. hometoy

    I use Wunderlist because it is easy for myself and my wife to add, edit and view items. I use my phone and she uses the browser. If sharing is easy and allows notification of when things are added then that is a start.


    Reminders are handy, though I haven't used them all that much.


    I really hope that they don't force the issue, or shut off Wunderlist too quickly or I will have to teach my wife another system. In that case, it may be worth switching her to Google Keep since at some point I will have to replace my Windows phone and go with an Android anyway.


    Then again, why not go one step further and implement a single Task manager that works the same through the browser, can see in the calendar and can get through the apps. Last I looked, things like Tasks were available on Outlook.com but it doesn't show on the Windows 10 calendar and doesn't tie in with ToDo, Wunderlist or any other list. Kudos if it ties into Outlook 365's tasks!

  14. KhalidAljabi

    I tried To-Do a couple of months ago. I tried to set recurring reminders the same way in Wunderlist, I just couldn't. There was a workaround after I investigated but it felt like too much and the app wasn't working as Wunderlist for me.

  15. Brian Hodges

    What's the point of To Do when the same capability is in OneNote?

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