Roughly seven months ago, Microsoft launched Outlook.com beta to help make Outlook inboxes faster, personal, and more efficient. Millions of people enrolled to help shape the experience, and today the new Outlook design will finally be exiting the preview stage (though Calendar and People will remain in beta.)
With the new Outlook.com mail, you can expect all the original features launched in the beta. Microsoft also added an updated Skype integration, easier ways to personalize and access settings, and improved category organization, Here is what you need to know about the new features coming your way:
- It’s easier than ever to chat in real-time right from your Outlook.com inbox and see all your contacts. Start an instant message or a free video call and participate in multiple chats at once. Just select the person you want to talk to and your conversation appears in its own chat window.
- Now you can assign a name and color to each category and apply multiple categories to a single message, for those situations when emails belong in many buckets. Filtering messages by category is now easier than ever—just type the category name in the search bar or add a favorite category to the very top of your left sidebar
- With Quick settings you can access the most popular ways to personalize your inbox in one click. You can change the theme of your inbox, the way conversations are displayed, and manage your Focused Inbox. Click the gear icon on the top right corner of your inbox to display Quick settings.
Additionally, Microsoft has simplified the add-ins experience on the new Outlook.com so you can pin and access them right next to your mailbox. Once a message is open. more add-ins can be found from the drop-down menu in an email by selecting "Get Add-ins." You can see this it in action below.
If you have yet to check out the Calendar and People beta, here is what you need to know: With Calendar beta, you'll notice reduced clutter and faster ways to navigate a calendar. Thanks to new event icons, there is now an extra emphasis on TV shows, sports teams, and other events. You'll also notice simplified event creation, as clicking on "New event" will now allow you to add details without opening a new window.
Lastly, with the People beta, you'll notice a refreshed profile card, enriched people and mail integration, and expanded contact information. Microsoft updated the look of profile cards to make it easier for you to mark contacts as favorites, and edit your contacts and contact lists. You'll also notice that you can now see recent conversations and attachments from a specific contact at a glance.
Please be aware you'll need to toggle the "Try the beta" switch on Outlook.com to try out the new People and Calander experience. Microsoft will roll out the new Outlook.com mail to all users over the next few weeks, so if you don't see it at first, you might need to keep using the toggle switch. Feel free to check out these new experiences, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.