Microsoft is making some long overdue and welcome changes to Outlook to include the Windows and the Web-based version.
People who use either one will now see a “Coming Soon” option, allowing users to toggle between their current version and the new and improved version.
As to those changes, they fall broadly into three groups:
Better Organization – The improved Microsoft Outlook offers intelligent technology, specialized icons, visual changes and a “highlights” feature that are all designed to help you manage your time better and provide a greater level of focus on your daily and weekly activities.
Improved Speed and Efficiency – The redesign is sleeker and faster. Using it will allow you to schedule meetings, read and act on emails and write new emails much more quickly than the old version.
More Customization – Hotmail users know only too well that Microsoft Outlook on the web has lagged behind its competitors in terms of customization, and the redesign seeks to change that. Microsoft is playing a bit of catch up here, but any improvements on this front are welcome indeed. Among other things, you can now apply additional themes, personalize your inbox and simplify the ribbon.
There’s no word yet on how long the new features will be offered as an opt-in option. At some point, of course, the company will mandate the change.
On balance, these are good changes. Perhaps more modest than long-time users would like to have seen. However, any changes to one of the oldest email systems still around have to be counted as a positive.
Kudos to Microsoft for keeping Outlook reasonably up to date! Here’s hoping that the user base embraces the changes, which we hope will encourage the company to make additional improvements.