Microsoft has been publicly testing a rewritten Outlook for Windows application for over a year now, and apparently, it’s close to being finished. The company has now confirmed a timeline for the full rollout, and how it will replace Windows’s deprecated productivity applications.

The new Outlook for Windows is based on the web app, with an overhauled design compared to the legacy Outlook application and improved integration with other Microsoft 365 services. It was lacking many crucial features when the first test builds were released, such as support for personal Microsoft accounts ( addresses), offline support, POP account support, and multi-account switching. Most of that has been fixed, though Microsoft’s feature tracker hasn’t been updated since September. It’s also completely free, unlike the current Outlook for Windows, which is available in paid Microsoft 365 plans.

Microsoft has now confirmed that the new Outlook will be installed on new Windows 11 PCs “beginning in 2024” as the default email application. On existing PCs, there will be a toggle in the Windows Mail and Calendar applications to switch to Outlook. Finally, at the end of 2024, the deprecated Mail and Calendar apps will be removed from the Microsoft Store. It’s not clear when the older apps will stop working entirely, but presumably, that will be around the same time they are pulled from the store.

The new Outlook Microsoft

There’s no official timeline right now for when the new Outlook will replace the current Outlook for Windows. That’s likely much further off, considering how many features are still missing compared to the current version. That migration could be a few years down the road, or Microsoft might just maintain two versions of Outlook for the foreseeable future — just like how Adobe updates Lightroom Classic in addition to the newer rewritten Lightroom application. We also don’t know if, or when, the new Outlook might arrive on Mac or other platforms.

You can try out the new Outlook application now by clicking the “Try the new Outlook” toggle in the upper-right corner of the Mail or Calendar apps on Windows. The same toggle is also visible in the current (legacy) Outlook application.

Source: Microsoft Support

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