Microsoft Unveils New Features For Outlook To Compete With New Gmail

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Revelations made earlier this week stated that Gmail upgraded its service with a renewed design. Following the redesign of Gmail, Microsoft has rebuilt outlook into quite a competitor with upgraded features. Microsoft has recently unveiled a series of new features for Outlook. These new features are primarily for Outlook desktop app, Outlook for iOS and Android mobile apps. Although some of these updates are available now, few more will be released in the month of June.

Redesign of Microsoft Outlook: A Face-lift

The revamped Outlook is primarily aimed at business customers. The new features will include bill pay reminders received in an email, better calendar features, allow tracking responses and RSVPs for your meetings and much more.

On the basis of a quick juxtaposition, possible conclusions so as to how necessary this renovation was, can be drawn –

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Outlook, Then:

Using a basic three-panel design, Outlook had different folders and categories to navigate through on the left side. The list of emails in a particular folder was shown in the middle panel. The third panel on the right enabled a user to read the mail.

Outlook Now:

The new interface focuses more on the email in your inbox. The sidebar and title bars are slim and clutter-free. The ads remain subdued and are in the grey shade. Contact information and photos from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be gained without much hassle since Outlook can sync them with the most up-to-date input. The inbox incorporates a feature “Quick Actions” which provides actions like reply or delete and shortcuts can be customized too. The incoming newsletters are automatically labelled and again, an unsubscribe button is also added up in case it’s not included in the newsletter. You can preset the number of new messages you want to receive from a particular sender. This, substantially, decreases the inbox clutter.

Feature: Outlook Calendar

Bill Pay Reminders will help identify and track bills when they come in the form of an email. The summary of the information will be tagged on the top and a calendar event will be organised on the due date. Again, to ensure the payment of bills before time, emails will be sent two days prior the due date.

Adding event or meeting locations is faster. Location after being set is directed via emails. These notifications inform you about the time.

RSVP can be tracked. Microsoft is also improving RSVP and tracking meeting attendees in Outlook’s calendar. Tracked responses of meetings and their attendees can be shown.

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Multiple Time Zones helps to reduce the complexity of managing event across different time zones. One can simply understand what’s happening around the globe with Outlook, and easily enough since you just need to define the start and end time across the time zones.

Feature: Outlook Mail

Show organisation directory provides you with details of your organization directory that is added to the Outlook contact information. These details help you deduce the profile of a person in your organisation.

Proxy Support has been improvised in the New Outlook. Now it supports companies that use SOCKS proxies for better protection of data between the company and the internet. This feature will be available in Outlook for iOS and Android users.

Bcc warning protects you from replying to a blind-copied message. Sometimes it so happens that in a rush to respond to an email, we ignore the subtle addressing of being blind copied. Herein you’re alerted about the same and you can choose to reply only to the concerned sender and not all the other recipients. This feature will be available in Outlook for Windows.

Features that are coming soon:

Syncing draft folders on one device and completing it on other.

Office Lens technology helps you capture and share details in the form of an image, for instance as a whiteboard, or document.

Quick reply makes it easier to respond in Outlook. A new reply box is displayed at the bottom of the screen with the received content still in view.

Favourite people can be identified and tagged along over folders in Outlook.

External content can be blocked. New Outlook now helps to protect your inbox by blocking harmful external content.

Back In The Game:

Microsoft’s Outlook.com has been building itself into quite a competitor and is not far behind the race. This neck-to-neck competition is all a fair game where there’s a constant striving to get better. Apart from all above features, Outlook for iOS version will include Office 365 Groups support in June.

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