Microsoft has cleaned up the user interface on its Office 365 browser-based email service Outlook, because we're all superficial and like looking at pretty things. Oh, and some new tools have been added.
Here's a list of changes to the way Outlook looks:
- Most importantly, a new unified Action toolbar has been added to provide quick access to common commands
- Email subject line is larger and more pronounced
- Messages are indented in the reading pane for easier reading
Here's a before and after shot for your viewing pleasure:
From my work email
From Microsoft's Office blog
The visual changes apply to crafting emails as well. With the new Outlook on the web, you can edit images in the body of an email. Expect to see more emails of pictures drop shadows and custom borders. Microsoft has also added a full set of emojis "to help you better express yourself." Now you can send love hearts to your boss. Nice.
To the more functional features:
- The Pin feature lets you pick messages to stay at the top of your inbox so important emails aren't buried under a torrent of junk.
- Sweep, which is already available in the consumer version of Outlook, lets you sweep your emails for reoccurring emails and you can delete or move them in one fell swoop. I've been using it on my own personal Outlook acccount to delete all the random emails I've (regretfully) signed up for.
- One-click archiving
- A dedicated Undo button
Calendar has also been given some love with improvements made to help you manage appointments. Microsoft has even included a weather forecast feature so you can see which days you'll be stuck in the office when it will be bright and sunny outside. Bless.
Users on an Office 365 plan that includes Exchange Online and signed up for Microsoft's First Release program will already have the updates. For those not on the program, they will experience the changes in the first week of September.
You can find out more about all the upcoming changes to Outlook on the web on Microsoft's Office Blog.