Microsoft is rolling out an updated version of the Outlook desktop app for Windows to Office Insiders enrolled in the Beta channel. To be clear, this is an update to Outlook itself and not yet a replacement for the Mail app that's built into Windows 11. The new app is nearly identical to the version that leaked a couple of weeks ago, but there are some notable differences.
Being based on the web version of Outlook means you're getting a lot of the features that are also available on the web. For example, the new version of Outlook comes with support for Microsoft Loop components (formerly known as the Fluid framework). These are bits of information that can be shared across different surfaces, like Outlook and Teams - with support for real-time editing that persists across those surfaces.
Other new features coming form the web include the calendar and To Do views. With the calendar view, you can easily see all your upcoming events, organized by day, week, or month. There's also the brand-new Board view, which lets you organize important items in whatever way makes the most sense to you to stay on top of your tasks, In the Board view, you can have your calendar, multiple to-do lists, and notes all visible so you can stay on top of your tasks. Your calendar and to-do lists are also accessible via a side panel so you can quickly create to-do items or events based on an email you received.
The new Outlook app also makes it easier to attach files and documents using @mentions, similar to how you might add a person to the conversation. There's also a smart feature where, if you get an email that's considered important and you forget to reply to it, Outlook will remind you to take a look at it. And if you need to remind yourself of something important, the new Outlook app also supports pinning messages to the top of your inbox. You can also now RSVP top meeting requests by letting people know whether you'll be attending in person or virtually.
As we mentioned, most of these features are just being inherited from the web version of Outlook, and it's becoming apparent that the "One Outlook" we've heard about is actually coming to fruition. This web-based interface will eventually become the default experience for all the desktop Outlook clients, including the built-in Mail app on Windows 11. That leaked app still made it apparent you're looking at a webpage due to the bar at the top of the app window, but in this version, that bar blends into the title bar much better, so it looks like a regular app.
Similar to the leaked app from a few weeks ago, this new Outlook experience for Windows is still only available for enterprise users, and you'll have to be in the Beta channel of the Office Insider program to even try it. If you are, you'll see a toggle near the top of the window allowing you to try the new experience, and you can always switch back if you don't like it.