Microsoft is rolling out new Outlook features following Gmail redesign
Microsoft has recently announced new features for Outlook, including better calendar functions and more extensive Office tools integrations.
The list of new features, which Microsoft announced via blog post, comes at a pretty suspect timing. Just days ago, Gmail has rolled out a redesign overhaul for its interface, ushering in welcome, new features like in-app Google Calendar and Google Tasks integrations. Whether this is a product of hot competition or pure coincidence, I’m all for it.
Plenty of the feature upgrades Microsoft is rolling out seem poised towards business owners, similar to Google’s trajectory with G Suite. Chief among these changes are the smarter calendar functions and a better, cohesive integration of other Office apps on Outlook.
Smart calendar functionalities
Outlook is adding to its roster some pretty sweet calendar functions, including bill payment reminders, multiple time zones support, event and meeting venue suggestions, and—perhaps most amazingly—meeting RSVP tracking and forwarding. This is all well and good. There had been little development on Outlook’s in-client calendar since Microsoft bought Sunrise Calendar, from which many of Outlook’s calendaring features are lifted from; it’s great to see Microsoft’s finally doing something about this.
All of these features are baked into the Outlook ecosystem, so expect that they may be used at an automated (or at least integrated) capacity.
Better integration with other Office apps
Microsoft is baking in some interesting Office integrations into Outlook, chiefly an in-app Office Lens support for its mobile apps, Office 365 for OneNote, and reinforced security for corporate Office 365 accounts. The one with Lens is of particular interest to on-the-go workers who want a quick-and-easy solution for scanning documents to send via email.
Other great features
Apart from those mentioned above, Microsoft is also rolling out some small but useful features, including “show organization” functions and Bcc warning notifications. The latter, I imagine, will come in handy, as it will always warn the user to not “reply all” on emails on which they’re only bling copied. Nifty.
Some of these features are already available on some Outlook platforms, while many are still in development and are due to roll out at different times of the year. Click here to read more about said features and when they will become available.