Despite the best efforts of companies such as Slack or HipChat to replace email workflows for offices, most businesses still rely heavily on traditional forms of communication and have only supplemented or augmented email with real-time messaging services. With that being said, Microsoft is attempting to tackle the perceived shortcomings of email by doubling down on it by extending its capabilities through partnered integration.
Windows Office Insiders have been privy to a steady stream of Outlook integrations since Microsoft’s March developers conference which includes ride-hailing, location scheduling, payment options, Trello support, and connectors. Now it seems, Outlook’s Mac counterpart will be receiving similar much-needed attention as the Outlook team highlights some of the upcoming partner integrations hitting the platform.
Get more done with add-ins in Outlook for Mac 2016
Whether it’s scheduling a meeting at your favorite coffee shop, updating a CRM entry or paying your friends, you will soon be able to accomplish all this and more right from your inbox through add-ins in Outlook for Mac 2016. In the coming weeks, add-ins in Outlook for Mac 2016 will begin to roll out—starting with Office Insider Fast. All existing add-ins for Outlook on the web and desktop—including Boomerang, Dynamics 365, Evernote, Giphy, Nimble, PayPal, Starbucks, Yelp, Uber, Wunderlist, and Zomato—will be available as part of Office Insider Fast access."
Among the list of early supporters for Outlook Add-Ins for the Mac are Bitbucket, Github, Twitter, Trello, Yammer, Wunderlist, Asana and Bing News. The Office team promises more app support in the future.
In other news, starting today, Outlook on the web users with Office 365 will now have access to 'Connectors' which add the ability to deliver relevant interactive content by using popular apps such as Twitter, Trello, Wunderlist, and more.
However, the new Actionable Messaging service and new Connector features appear to be only being rolled out to Outlook on the web for Office 365 user's, meaning Mac, Windows, Android and iOS users using Outlook on the web will see the added benefit in their browsers (when set to desktop view presumably) when the full rollout of the updated mail service is final.
Microsoft has yet to put an ETA on the Outlook on the web for most users, but the platform overhaul is set to bring a plethora of new features for all users. For more information on the upcoming features or details on how to become an Office Insider, visit the Office blogs. An additional Q&A can be found on the blog site that covers when Connectors for the inbox will come to all versions of Outlook and how developers can participate in expanding Outlook’s capabilities.
Being one of Microsoft’s flagship services, it is no wonder the company would choose to expand its capabilities with partner support rather than replace it with a new instant messaging-like service, hopefully transitioning the large email-first user base into a more fluid communication future. Let us know in the comments if you think Microsoft is taking Office in the right direction.