Microsoft One Outlook is the new Outlook client for Desktop that Microsoft has been working on for more than a year. The client leaked recently but remained inaccessible to users. But now Microsoft has made the announcement on May 17 2022 about the release of new Outlook for Windows clients as a tester for Office Insiders Beta Channel. But many users are confused about what is Microsoft One Outlook all about, and that if it’s similar to Outlook web, then why not opt for the free Outlook web version? Let’s explore these elements in detail in this article.
Microsoft One Outlook – A Brief Overview
Microsoft One Outlook or Project Monarch is a unified Outlook client that is meant to unify web, Windows, and Mac Outlook codebases. So, the first glimpse of the new Outlook client looks a lot similar to Outlook web. Besides that, it offers many new features, such as a unified view of email, to-do, and calendar, message reminders, calendar board, Loop test version, etc. However, many Outlook features are missing in the current preview build of One Outlook. For example, offline support, multiple accounts use, IMAP mail accounts support, Outlook.com support, search folders, quick steps, and similar others are in the development stage.
Currently, the users of Office Insiders Beta Channel with Microsoft 365 work and education accounts can access the new Outlook for Windows client. If you fulfill this criterion, then you will be seeing a message “Try the new Outlook” in the top right corner of your Outlook for Windows app. Toggle the button to shift your Windows Outlook to One Outlook.
Key New Features of Microsoft One Outlook
Microsoft One Outlook is not just focusing to set a unified user interface, it is also coming with new/enhanced features to elevate the user experience. Some of the key features of One Outlook worth knowing are as follow:
Find Documents by @
Just like when you type “@”, Outlook gives you the option to add someone to the email, you can now also use it to find documents and files that are stored in the cloud. For example, when you type @thefilename, Outlook will show you the list of files that are stored in the cloud. This way, you can instantly add files and save a lot of time.
In case you unintentionally skipped a message that the Outlook thinks is important for you, you will receive a reminder automatically that asks if you like to respond. Moreover, the reminder is also pinned at the top of the inbox till you respond to it.
Drag and Drop Emails to your To Do List
One Outlook unifies email, calendar, and To Do list into one view. Therefore, it makes it easy to drag and drop emails to your To Do list so that you can review the email at some other time. Similarly, you can also drag and drop the emails to your calendar.
Calendar Board View
One Outlook provides a calendar board view that makes you organize your meetings and other plans from one single view. You can add goals, To Do lists, files, emails, etc.
Microsoft Loop Components
The new Outlook for Windows now supports Microsoft Loop components that empower everyone to edit and share their viewpoints while remaining in the workflow and the app they are using, such as Teams or Outlook. You can copy and paste loop components to Outlook emails, while still keeping them synced with everyone.
The new Outlook is coming with more rules that can help you better manage your inbox in an automated way. One such rule is Sweep, which allows you to automatically move messages from a specific sender to a specific folder.
In short, One Outlook is meant to enhance productivity with its intelligent assisted features, making it easy to do things faster and efficiently.
The Main Purpose of Microsoft One Outlook
Microsoft has been working to unify its separate Outlook clients for Windows, macOS, and web for many years now. There is a prominent difference in user experience when you compare Outlook for Windows, macOS, and web. In fact, the Outlook client for Mac is a lot different from Windows or the web version of Outlook and comes with limited functionality.
Therefore, it was the goal of Microsoft to unify this experience and make all versions of Outlook a lot similar both in terms of interface and functions. So, that’s what Microsoft One Outlook is meant to serve. It is in development for more than a year and the internal testing is undergone for many months now. Still, it might take a few more months till all the personal and business users of Outlook get access to One Outlook.
Microsoft One Outlook vs. Outlook Web – Which one to Pick?
Now that we know what’s the main purpose of Microsoft One Outlook, here’s the question: if One Outlook is meant to make Outlook for Windows and Mac similar to Outlook web, then why not just opt for free Outlook web instead of subscribing to Microsoft 365?
It’s true that the interface and core features of One Outlook and Outlook web looks a lot similar, but still, you get a lot of additional functionalities with One Outlook, specifically if you are a part of an organization. For example, One Outlook offers a rich set of rules that you can use to make the management of incoming emails streamlined and automated. Similarly, One Outlook offers more integrated support for scheduling, task management, etc. To sum up, One Outlook does provide a similar interface look as Outlook web, but it is feature-rich and provides integrated support with other Office apps.