Microsoft is making the new Outlook available free of charge, regardless of the Office package. You do not need a Microsoft 365 subscription or a Microsoft Office licence. It can be installed on Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well as in macOS.
Anyone using Outlook 2021 from the Office package can switch to the new version via the slider “Test the new Outlook.” However, classic Outlook will remain on the system and can continue to be used in parallel. If you do not use Office, you can install the new Outlook free of charge. Although this is publicly available, it is still undergoing major development as many functions are still missing. New functions are therefore constantly being added.
The term “The new Outlook” is therefore somewhat misleading. Although Outlook is new, it will not replace the classic Outlook from the Office package in the near future. The initial aim is to replace the classic UWP apps Contacts, Mail, and Calendar in Windows 10 and Windows 11. In the future, however, it is not unlikely that the desktop version from the Office suite will also be replaced. However, this is not yet clear.
Many functions that professionals use are still missing and in various places the operation is not as skilfully solved as in desktop Outlook. Examples of this are categories, search folders, and flags for emails. There is also currently no offline support, no POP3 support, and no option to integrate PST files.
This is set to change in the coming months. Microsoft 365 accounts from Exchange Online can be connected to the new Outlook, but this does not work with all subscriptions. In our tests, Microsoft 365 accounts with their own domains could not be connected, but test accounts could.
It can therefore happen from time to time that an account cannot be connected. However, there are usually no problems with IMAP accounts, iCloud, Gmail, and Microsoft accounts.
The new Outlook replaces apps in Windows 10 and Windows 11
The new Outlook allows you to manage emails, calendars, and contacts in a centralized interface. These three apps will therefore be removed from Windows and merged in Windows 10/11. Outlook will no longer be used for task management, where Microsoft has long offered the To-Do app, which is also available for iOS and Android.
The To-Do app is also able to integrate tasks from Exchange and Exchange Online. The new Outlook is based on WebView2, i.e. a browser-like view. Put simply, the new Outlook is a web app.
New Windows 11 devices will automatically receive the new Outlook from 2024. Windows 11 computers that are already installed will receive the product via Windows Update or via the Microsoft Store. The UWP apps Contacts, Calendar and Mail have not (yet) been removed.
As soon as the new Outlook is installed on a PC with Windows 10 or Windows 11, the icon “Outlook (new)” appears in the Start menu. The new Outlook app can also be downloaded as “Outlook for Windows” from the Microsoft App Store.
There are discussions about data protection in the new Outlook
The new Outlook synchronises all email accounts in Outlook with Microsoft servers. This also applies to email accounts that are not hosted by Microsoft. This is not only about the content of the messages, but also about the user name and password for all accounts. Of course, this raises some discussion and anyone who doesn’t want this should stay away from the new Outlook.
Setting up the new Outlook
After installation and startup, you can enter the first email account that you want to connect to Outlook. Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Microsoft 365 (Exchange Online), and IMAP accounts are no problem.
It doesn’t take long to set up a new account and requires you to confirm a few windows on data protection. You will then receive a summary and tips on the options you have with the new Outlook.
The interface is easy to understand and much clearer and simpler than the desktop Outlook. You can access the Outlook settings via the cogwheel icon at the top right.
Under “Accounts” you can see the accounts already connected. Use “Accounts -> Email accounts -> Add account” to add further email accounts to the new Outlook. You can customize existing accounts with the “Manage” button for the respective account. Here you can remove the account or set an account as the primary account. You can use the primary account to send emails if you have not selected any other account.
You can also make changes to the calendar and contacts here. Microsoft has renamed the contacts in the new Outlook to “People.” After setting up Outlook, it makes sense to work through all the settings one after the other and adapt them to your own requirements.
Outlook creates a separate area in the inbox for each email account, which you can expand and collapse. Favorites can be found at the top. Here you can pin folders, such as the inbox of the individual mailboxes. This means you don’t always have to scroll through the entire window if you use several mailboxes.
The context menu is supported throughout. Here you will find various actions for managing emails. Examples of this are categories and flags. Although these do not work as comprehensively as in desktop Outlook, they still offer an important option for managing emails.
You can use the icons “Calendar” and “People” to display and manage the appointments and contacts of the currently open email account in Outlook. You can also use the Office apps icons on the left-hand side to switch directly to the web-based Office applications. These are available if you have logged in with a Microsoft account or use a Microsoft account as your email account.
You can also customize the view of the ribbon using the small arrow on the right-hand side. If you select “Classic ribbon,” you will see more commands and have access to the commands available for the selected folder or calendar.
This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.
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