Microsoft Issues Major Update to Mail and Calendar for Windows 10

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 26 Comments

Microsoft Issues Major Update to Mail and Calendar for Windows 10

The Mail and Calendar apps that come with Windows 10—and are bundled and delivered together in the Store—are getting a major refresh today, Microsoft says.

“We know how important it is you to stay on top of your emails and manage your time well,” Microsoft’s Lynn Ayres writes in a new post to the Windows Experience Blog. “On the Windows 10 Mail & Calendar team, we’re working hard to come up with new ways to make this possible. Along with architectural improvements that enable enhanced performance and faster innovation, we’re excited to announce several new features today.”

Some of these features have actually quietly debuted in previous builds of the apps. (See Focused Inbox is Finally Coming to Windows 10 Mail for an obvious example.) But here’s what all users of Mail and Calendar can expect to see, starting today.

Focused Inbox for Mail. Starting today, the Mail app will divide the inbox view into two tabs, Focused and Other, so you can keep the important mail separate from the mailing lists and other email-based nonsense. Don’t like Focused Inbox? No worries, you can turn it off.

@ Mentions for Mail. Microsoft has been making Twitter-like “@ mentions” available in its cloud-based email services and email clients since last year. (For example, Outlook 2016 got this feature last July.) And now it’s in Mail for Windows 10 too. You just use the @ symbol in email messages to make people in your address book part of the message. Doing so will add them to the To: line of the message as well.

More colorful Calendar. Now, calendar events can be color-coded by category so you can more easily scan your schedule and see what’s coming up.

Interesting calendar support in Calendar. As with Microsoft’s cloud- and mobile-based calendar solutions, Calendar for Windows 10 can now access so-called Interesting Calendars from the cloud.

Better travel reservation and package delivery support. This one works across both Mail and Calendar. “We are adding simplified summary cards in your inbox and calendar enabling you to quickly get to travel reservations and package delivery details, check in for flights or change hotels and rental car reservations or track the latest packages delivery status at the touch of a button, and stay on top of these events with reliable reminders,” Microsoft explains. This feature is on by default, but you can disable it if you’d like.

Calendar invite improvements. Now, when you invite someone to join a calendar event, you will see a Bing-powered location suggestion, an option to add Skype for online meetings, a scheduling assistant for Office 365 accounts, a fun emoji picker, and a people picker to help you quickly browse and select contacts.

Good stuff. I’ll start playing around with these new features today after Windows Weekly.

 

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