Closer look at Windows 11’s new Outlook email app with Mica design and more

Windows 11 Outlook hands on

Microsoft successfully solved the web browser issues on Windows
by migrating EdgeHTML-based Edge to the Chromium engine. The
company is now employing a similar strategy for the Outlook app
and it has
started rolling out the new email client for both Windows
11 and Windows 10 via Office Insider channels.

For those unaware, Windows currently supports two desktop email
clients – the UWP-based Mail app that comes pre-installed and
the Outlook Win32 that’s bundled with the Microsoft Office
productivity suite. It’s not a secret that Microsoft is
struggling to maintain two versions of Outlook for Windows and
other platforms.

The UWP version, for example, is lacking too many features as
compared to the full version of the email client. According to
sources, Microsoft has already moved the UWP Mail app to
maintenance mode, which means users shouldn’t expect any
improvements to the old app now.

Hands on with new email client for Windows 11

Outlook’s new app for Windows 11 is apparently based on
Chromium-based Edge WebView and it’s a web wrapper. However,
Outlook is a very well designed web app and the majority won’t
even notice that it’s a web app.

It comes with all features you’d expect from a modern app,
including the ability to locate documents with @files and
@documents. This is similar to the existing feature that lets
you @mention someone to add them to an e-mail message.

There’s another new feature that would remind you when you miss
a message and Outlook considers it important.

Windows 11 Outlook Calendar

It also comes with built-in Calendar integration, which means
you no longer need to maintain a separate Calendar app. The
interface allows you to organize your most important stuff and
manage it all in one view.

Outlook Mica design

Interestingly, Microsoft also appears to be working on Mica
material for Outlook. As you can see in the above screenshot,
Mica works after modifying the Windows Registry for Outlook.

Of course, it’s possible that Microsoft will be incorporating
Fluent Design’s Acrylic material too. In fact, Microsoft Edge’s
context menus or main menus already support acrylic-like
transparent/translucent effects.

In addition to a new design, Microsoft is also adding “My Day”
integration that lets you stay in the flow of your work while
helping you stay connected to important topics. You can easily
drag and drop messages as tasks to your To-Do or better manage
your tasks in the calendar.

It is worth noting that additional UI improvements for the Mail
app are still expected later this year and new features will be
added via server-side updates. For now, the focus has switched
to the design and accessibility features of this new app based
on Outlook on the web.

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