New Update New Outlook for Windows will start to replace the Mail and Calendar apps in Sept. 2024

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Microsoft reveals future plans for updating the new Outlook for Windows app​

Today, Microsoft posted a blog update with a long list of features that it says will be added to the new Outlook app over the course of the next year. A few of these upcoming features have already been revealed including offline support for the app.

Here is the list, which Microsoft says is just some of the new features they are working on for Outlook updates:
  • Auto capitalization
  • Collapsible headers in the message list
  • Conditional formatting
  • Copilot
  • Drag and drop emails and attachments to the desktop
  • Dictation
  • Preserve declined meetings
  • EML file support
  • File tab in Outlook search
  • Folder reordering
  • Inking (Draw tab) while composing an email
  • MSG file support
  • Offline support
  • Outbox folder
  • Picture formatting
  • POP3 account support
  • PST file support
  • Message Recall
  • S/MIME
  • Save as for attachments (choose folder to save to)
  • Share local files from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Shared calendar notifications for work accounts
  • Teams tab in search

The blog also points out some recent improvements that are already in the new Outlook for Windows app:
  • Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and IMAP account support
  • ICS file support
  • Message list selection improvements
  • Quick steps
  • Sort by sender or subject line
  • Scheduling across different time zones
  • Table styling improvements
  • Folder list experience improvements
  • Search folders (unread mail, flagged, or sent directly to me)
  • Reminders window
  • Find related messages (from this sender, in this conversation)
 

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You can now use your voice to dictate emails in the new Outlook for Windows and web apps​

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced a ton of features it plans to add to the recently launched new Windows version of its Outlook email client. One of those features was labeled "Dictaction". Today, the company revealed that the Dictate feature is now available in both the new Outlook for Windows app as well as the web version.

In a post on the Microsoft 365 Insider site, the company stated:
The Dictate feature removes typing constraints and harnesses the power of AI-backed voice commands to help you effortlessly articulate your messages. It currently supports over 50 languages and ensures your thoughts flow freely, transforming the way you communicate.
 

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Windows 11 users who use the Mail and Calendar app and have steadfastly refused to switch to the new Outlook app will be redirected to the new Outlook app forcefully. Microsoft announced plans to retire the Mail and Calendar apps in mid-2023. It created a new Outlook app for Windows and began tests in 2022.

In 2023, Microsoft announced that it would redirect the Mail and Calendar app to the new Outlook application. It allowed users to go back to the Mail and Calendar app for a while but noted that this option would become unavailable in 2024.

Reports suggest that Microsoft has now started the migration of users from Mail and Calendar to the new Outlook app.

A short notification is displayed to users who launch Mail and Calendar on their devices. This notification is removed automatically and users are redirected to the new Outlook app afterwards. There appears to be no option to stop the redirection or do anything about it.

Not all users are redirected at this point. A test on two Windows 11 systems was unsuccessful. Mail and Calendar opened as usual on these systems and there was no redirect. It is likely, however, that Microsoft is rolling out the change over time to the entire population.
 

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Thanks to new EU privacy regulations, the new Outlook displays a disturbing disclosure there that users elsewhere never see: Microsoft is using the app to harvest personal data and selling it advertisers that use it to display targeted ads both inside and outside the app.

“It looks like Outlook is no longer simply an email service,” Proton’s Edward Komenda writes in a new post to the privacy focused company’s blog. “It’s a data collection mechanism for Microsoft’s 772 external partners and an ad delivery system for Microsoft itself.”

This disclosure explains that Microsoft and 772 of its partners are scanning the PC on which the new Outlook runs specifically to identify the user, storing and/or accessing information on that PC, delivering personalized ads and other content, and otherwise deriving “audience insights.” A separate “Choose your ads layout” window, also shown only in the EU, explains that Outlook will display dismissible ads in your mailbox by default, but that you can move the ads into a banner above the mailbox instead. Some ads from Microsoft and its partners literally appear as if they were new emails, confusing users.

“Thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, Europeans are at least informed that a small village of third parties will be able to look at their data,” Komenda explains. “UK users can explore a ‘List of Advertising Partners,’ which shows the disturbing number of ad companies working with Microsoft. Americans, thanks to their government’s refusal to pass privacy legislation, are never even informed this is happening.”

To be clear, Microsoft does not use personal data in email to target ads. But Microsoft’s privacy statement explains why it doesn’t need to do that to build a profile of you, as it targets ads based on “your interests and favorites, your location, your transactions, how you use our products, your search queries, or the content you view.” It then sells that data to advertisers and other online entities, including service providers.

Microsoft’s expanded push into advertising was no doubt triggered by Google’s successes in this market, and the firm announced in 2021 that it wanted to double the size of that business to $20 billion. But Microsoft is now “addicted” to these revenues, Komenda charges, which is why it has expanded its customers exposure to advertising.

Yes, Proton sells privacy—I wrote about the release of its native email client recently—and so you may view these charges as self-serving. That’s fine, but be sure to read the Proton blog post in full, including the many links it has to other examples. I’ve made this point about Microsoft Edge, in particular, but it’s pretty clear that Microsoft today is, in Komenda’s words, no different than the Googles and Metas of the world. And that is a problem.
 

ErzCrz

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It's annoying when they push their products, particularly when they contain ads like the new Outlook does. So, I use Thunderbird for mail and calendar and usually Firefox for browser and Libre Office. It's obviously punishment for us not paying for 365 :S I mean I have Office 2013 but not supported so safer for me using 3rd party open source.
 

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Microsoft has been slowly but surely adding features to the new Outlook for Windows app since it launched in the fall of 2023. Today, the company revealed it is rolling out a new feature for the email client that should make it easier to enter a Microsoft Teams meeting.

In a blog post, Microsoft stated that if an online meeting is created from either Outlook or Teams, but with Microsoft Teams as the option, Outlook users will be able to join that Teams meeting without having to leave the email app.
 

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