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Microsoft reportedly replacing Windows 10's Mail and Calendar apps with something good


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Microsoft reportedly replacing Windows 10's Mail and Calendar apps with something good

1602177696_outlook_unified_story.jpg

 

Microsoft is building a new Outlook app for Windows 10 that's based on Outlook on the web, according to a new report from Windows Central's Zac Bowden. This is no surprise, of course, as the company all but said as much at its Ignite conference earlier last year, along with announcing its plans to unify Outlook across platforms.

 

As it turns out, this new app is actually set to replace Mail and Calendar on Windows 10. That's probably good news, since there are already a variety of Outlook solutions on Windows, and the world really wasn't crying out for more. There's the built-in Mail and Calendar, the Win32 Outlook app that comes with Microsoft 365, Outlook on the web, and there's actually more. Luckily, Microsoft is looking at consolidating rather than making things even more confusing.

 

The app is codenamed Project Monarch, and it's going to have a smaller footprint than the existing Mail and Calendar apps. After all, web apps do tend to be much smaller. The difference here is that this is going to have a lot of native functionality, like offline storage and such. It's also going to finally provide a unified experience across Windows, macOS, and even the mobile clients.

 

According to the report, Microsoft will preview the app later this year, and it will ship to everyone in 2022. The existing Mail and Calendar apps are in maintenance mode now, but apparently, they are going to get some UI tweaks for the Sun Valley update this year.

 

Source: Windows Central

 

 

Microsoft reportedly replacing Windows 10's Mail and Calendar apps with something good

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Current Outlook Web app will serve as the basis for Microsoft's One Outlook vision

 

Microsoft is in the process of developing a single version of Outlook for Windows and Mac that will also replace the default Mail and Calendar apps on Windows 10.

 

According to Windows Central, the new client is codenamed Monarch and its user interface is based on the Outlook Web app that can currently be accessed from a web browser.

 

Project Monarch is the final goal of Microsoft's “One Outlook” vision which the company detailed last year. As part of this vision, the software giant will build a single Outlook client that works across PC, Mac and the web in order to replace its existing Outlook clients for desktop including Outlook Web, Outlook (Win32) for Windows, Outlook for Mac and Mail and Calendar on Windows 10.

 

When completed, Monarch will deliver a single Outlook product that has the same user experience and codebase regardless of whether it's running on Windows, Mac or the web.

 

One Outlook


In addition to being compatible with multiple operating systems, Monarch will also have a much smaller footprint and be accessible to both free Outlook users as well as commercial business customers.

 

Microsoft's new Outlook client will feature native OS integration as well as support for offline storage, share targets, notifications and more. The company is also working to ensure Monarch feels native to the operating system its running on while remaining universal across platforms.

 

The new Monarch client will enter preview towards the end of this year and Microsoft plans to replace Windows 10's Mail and Calendar apps with it in 2022. The legacy Win32 Outlook client will also be replaced but this will take some time as it is quite large.

 

You can get an idea for how the Monarch client will feel and operate when it's released now by testing out the current Outlook Web app via your browser.

 

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Microsoft to build cross-platform Outlook from Edge bits

The one-app-for-all Outlook will run within a browser as a replacement for the Windows, Mac, iOS and Android editions of the company's popular email app.

Microsoft's new Outlook app
Microsoft
 

Microsoft plans to produce a one-app-for-all Outlook that runs within the browser as a replacement for the various Windows, Mac, iOS and Android editions of the company's premier email application, according to reports.

 

Code named "Monarch" and part of an already-announced project dubbed "One Outlook," the web-based app would replace the desktop and mobile versions on all platforms, from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone. WindowsCentral, one of the first to report on Monarch, also said that the app will be based on the current Outlook web app at outlook.com and outlook.office365.com.

 

According to WindowsCentral and others, the Outlook web app may reach a preview milestone by the end of this year. However, it will not replace the Mail and Calendar applications baked into Windows 10 until 2022, with the substitution for Win32 Outlook even further out than that.

Been here, done that

The idea of one app able to run on multiple platforms — "write once, run anywhere" was one once-popular description, that one pitched as an edge for Java — has a long history in software development in general, and in Microsoft's specifically.

 

Microsoft has taken more than one stab at this, the latest — before the current one — when it launched Windows 8 in 2012. Largely driven by a desire to meld mobile and desktop, the concept was branded a whole series of names, from "Metro" and "Modern" to "Windows Store" and "Universal." Apps were to run on both Windows-powered smartphones (then a foundational pillar of Redmond's overall strategy) and Windows 8 devices like PCs and tablets. And when Windows 10 loomed, Microsoft started calling them simply "Windows" apps.

 

It was confusing as all get out. And ultimately, all failed to reach the one-for-all app universe goal.

Thus a good question should be: What will make this attempt any different? Earlier goes at Windows universal apps have foundered because the results have been sub-standard compared to a native application (in other words, one written specifically for the OS). Although Microsoft will reportedly build in native OS support for some aspects of email — offline storage and the operating system's own notification system, for instance — such promises have been made before ... and fallen flat.

What's in it for Microsoft?

While the "write once, run many" model — another label for the idea, and ideal, of cross-platform — is a laudable goal in theory, one that could result in enormous gains in development productivity, perhaps also in application reliability and stability, in practice there are also mundane reasons why this makes sense to Microsoft.

By Computerworld's reckoning, the most important is that the "Monarch" Outlook will be based on web technologies and thus either run in a browser or be, for all intents and purposes, a browser on the inside with an outside wrapper masking that fact.

 

Microsoft has a browser fight on its hands after abandoning its own technologies for Google's Chromium to power Edge. By 2020's end, Edge accounted for about 11% of global browser activity, an increase of 57% over the previous 11 months. (Edge went Chromium in January 2020.) During that stretch, Edge, well, edged past Mozilla's Firefox to take second place behind — a long way behind — Chrome. Edge remains Chrome's only legitimate threat.

 

Microsoft will use whatever tools it possesses to push Edge as the browser best suited for businesses, particularly the larger enterprise customers which fuel its bottom line. That includes wiring Edge into business-critical email.

 

(Google has been criticized for building Gmail so that it runs best in Chrome, but it's likely that the pairing helped the latter supersede Microsoft's by-then creaky Internet Explorer (IE) and until this year, keep Edge on, well, the edge of dissolution.)

If Microsoft succeeds in making a new cross-platform Outlook out of Edge, it can boast of the browser's prowess to the crowd that matters, businesses small and large. Better yet would be an app that runs inside a browser, any browser, but which provides the best performance when run in Edge, not Chrome.

 

 

Microsoft to build cross-platform Outlook from Edge bits

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