Microsoft has announced that it is rebranding the Outlook Web App service as ‘Outlook on the web’ and introducing several new features.
“The email subject line is larger and more prominent, and messages in the reading pane are now indented for easier reading. In Calendar, more prominent buttons make creating a new meeting request straightforward and navigation of your calendar simpler,” it said.
Changes to the Inbox are also coming, such as a way to pin key emails to the top of the list, and a ‘sweep’ function that helps maintain control of emails with settings that allow certain types of email, such as regular marketing messages or newsletters, to be removed or archived as required.
Another notable change is the introduction of tools to make it easier to add images and even emojis to emails (shown below).
“Outlook on the web now provides the ability to easily resize images, add custom borders, apply shadow effects, rotate images and more. We’ve also added a full set of emojis to help you better express yourself,” the team said.
Another simple change, but one that users may welcome, is an overhaul of the Calendar app to include more information such as weather forecasts, as well as the use of ‘charms’ to represent certain types of event.
“Calendar now supports charms - icons you can apply to Calendar items as visual cues that help you quickly identify specific types of event. Add an airplane charm to an upcoming flight, a knife and fork for a business dinner, or a music note for a piano class," said the blog post.
“There are a number of charms to choose from and, once added, each charm appears in the lower right corner of the calendar event.”
As well as these changes to the desktop version of Outlook for the web, Microsoft has updated the mobile browser version to more closely resemble the app layout on iOS and Android.
This includes improved navigation for switching between the Mail, Calendar and People tabs, better search commands and a better scheduling assistant in the Calendar.
The changes being introduced across Outlook for the web will go live from 4 August for those on Office 365 plans with Exchange Online on the First Release programme. Everyone else will start seeing the changes from the first week of September.
Microsoft also said that the changes cannot be held back or rolled back once installed.
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