09 August 2017

Microsoft is slowly rolling out a faster and smarter Outlook.com

Microsoft launched a new Outlook.com email beta on Tuesday. The upgrade claims to use a more responsive web development for a better and faster search interface, along with other frills.

One of those frills is a conversation-style inbox. The new layout makes it easier to keep track of a longer string of messages and everything that was sent previously. This is a much-needed change for Outlook, which has garnered a reputation for being a a stodgy, older email service.

The Outlook.com beta includes a conversation-like inbox.

The Outlook.com beta includes a conversation-like inbox.

The upgrade will also save time with its photo aggregation. Outlook.com will bring all of the photos you’ve sent or received together in one place, so you don’t have to waste your time looking through every message for the one picture you need. 

Another addition to look forward to is Quick Suggestions. This brings up nearby locations of restaurants or bars you type out in your email. So, if you’re sending a message to a friend to get drinks after work, the nearest location of that chain will pop up in the email. It won’t just show you the location, but will give you the rating, the phone number, and business hours. These Quick Suggestions also work for flight info and your favorite team’s schedule. 

Let Quick Suggestions do the hard work for you.

Let Quick Suggestions do the hard work for you.

And Microsoft also wants you to feel like you’ve got a personalized email account. Users can now mark contacts and folders as favorites to make them easier to find in a search. As if it wasn’t good enough, Microsoft is adding the holy grail of online conversations — emoji and GIFs. 

The Outlook.com beta includes emoji and GIFs.

The Outlook.com beta includes emoji and GIFs.

If you’re not in the initial beta group, Microsoft says to look for a ‘try the beta’ toggle in the next few weeks to give it a try yourself. To go back to the old Outlook.com, just switch the toggle back to turn it off. 

Since it’s just a beta, there is a chance Microsoft will change some of new updates you’re seeing in Outlook. Microsoft announced it might even include changes to Calendar and People before the beta period is over. But, from what it looks like so far, this update could finally make emailing less of a dreadful experience.

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