Microsoft to Improve Gmail Support in Mail and Calendar for Windows 10

Posted on April 22, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows 10 with 11 Comments

Microsoft to Improve Gmail Support in Mail and Calendar for Windows 10

Microsoft has announced that the Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 10 will be updated with enhanced support for Gmail and Google Calendar.

“Over the past year we’ve introduced many new features in Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps for users with Outlook.com accounts,” Microsoft product marketing manager Vivek Kumar notes in a new post to the Windows Experience blog. “We’re now excited to bring these features to our users with Gmail accounts, so you can enjoy the best of what Windows 10 Mail and Calendar have to offer.”

Microsoft delivered a major update to these apps back in February, adding Focused Inbox, @mentions, richer experiences for travel reservations and package deliveries, and several other new features. But as Mr. Kumar explains, they were only available to those with Outlook.com (really, Microsoft accounts) or Office 365 accounts.

But time marches ever on. And now Microsoft is doing the work to bring these features to those who use Gmail and Google Calendar as well. New versions of the Mail and Calendar apps will begin rolling out to a select group of testers in the Fast ring of the Windows 10 Insider Preview “over the next several weeks.” So these new app versions and capabilities should head out to others–others in the Fast ring, and then those in the Slow ring or on the production versions of Windows 10—after that.

There is one weird bit, however.

Instead of natively supporting Gmail-type accounts, Microsoft requires users to sync a copy of their email, calendar, and contacts to the “Microsoft Cloud” in order to access these new features. “This will allow new features to light up, and changes to update back and forth with Gmail—such as creation, edit or deletion of emails, calendar events, and contacts,” Kumar writes. “But your experience in Gmail.com or apps from Google will not change in any way.”

 

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft to Improve Gmail Support in Mail and Calendar for Windows 10”

  1. Avatar

    RamblingGeek

    The weird bit, you refer to, how else would they add outlook.com features to another companies service? They are really creating a outlook.com account (behind the scenes) and syncing it, thus the user gets all off the features of outlook.com and any more that are add in the future...

  2. Avatar

    SherlockHolmes

    The weird thing to me is: Why are the mail and calendar app and the people app still two seperate apps and not one app? Also: Why isnt it possible to set a default font and font size?

  3. Avatar

    Darmok N Jalad

    The syncing to the cloud is odd. More telemetry harvesting, or is this to keep Google from changing some server settings and breaking sync?

  4. Avatar

    SvenJ

    So if I don't do the cloud sync thing, does my GMail account continue to work as it always has? I don't use Google calendar or contacts, just mail. I don't like, and turn off, focused inbox. What Mail, and Outlook 2016 do now is just fine with me.

  5. Avatar

    Care

    I wonder if the new syncing bits will get Outlook contacts to work properly on android?

  6. Avatar

    Toddard

    I just wish outlook on Android would stop hiding my Gmail shared calendar. Have to turn it on manually every time I open the app.

  7. Avatar

    Starzuft

    Would be nice if you could decide which of your contacts were shared with other devices and which ones were private to one device. If you have hundreds of contacts that might not be that useful on portable devices it sure would help to simplify the search for a contact if you did not need so many. Unclear also is whether contacts are or will be shared with google , apple, other.

  8. Avatar

    RobM

    The lack of support for the Gmail primary/promotions tabs in Windows mobile was one of the reasons I moved to android. Maybe it's now time to move back? :-)

  9. Avatar

    skramer49

    So instead of Google alone having your data, MSFT will too. Cool.

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