Microsoft Outlook is easily one of the best email services out there, especially if you use email for work – which, well, everyone is.
But the company is not resting on its laurels, especially when Google is constantly improving Gmail, and a newly released product roadmap for Microsoft 365 shows that Outlook is getting some pretty neat upgrades.
After recently teasing the new One Outlook client, which was initially leaked, Microsoft seems to be moving toward a future where everything works in perfect harmony.
Brand New Outlook
Outlook gets a new look and feel, message reminders, a single view for calendar, tasks and emails, among other changes. Things are still being finalized, so check back in the future for more, but it looks pretty good.
And it doesn’t look like Microsoft is stopping there. According to the roadmap, Outlook will be more deeply integrated with Microsoft’s other services starting around July 2022, a big bonus for anyone who subscribes to the suite of tools.
“We are adding a way for users to quickly access To Do, Org Explorer, Yammer Communities and Bookings directly in Outlook,” the company says. “You can also customize this experience by pinning favorite Outlook and Microsoft 365 apps.”
The update is rolling out globally, and it seems that Microsoft must already be fairly far along in development, given the July time frame.
Battle for the office
As the pandemic forced companies to work hybrid, Microsoft’s suite of tools has become even more important , but rivals have also exploded onto the scene.
For its part, Microsoft has been a huge growth driver for Teams – passing 270 million monthly active users in Q4 2021, rising from 250 million by mid-2021 – as Office revenue continues to grow quarter-on-quarter.
But Google has seen a huge increase in the number of people and companies using its Workspace tools, driven by the fact that Documents and many others are available for free.
Slack has also seen usage rise after it was acquired by Salesforce last July for about $27.7 billion.
The winner of the race to external enterprise tools remains to be seen, but Microsoft has put itself in a good position and further integrating Outlook into the ecosystem only strengthens that.