Microsoft has successfully solved the web browser issues on Windows by migrating Edge HTML-based Edge to the Chromium engine. The company is now adopting a similar strategy for the Outlook app and has begun rolling out the new email client for both Windows 11 and Windows 10 through Office Insider channels.
For those who don’t know, Windows currently supports two desktop email clients: the UWP-based Mail app that comes preinstalled and the Outlook Win32 that comes bundled with the Microsoft Office productivity suite. It’s no secret that Microsoft struggles to maintain two versions of Outlook for Windows and other platforms.
For example, the UWP version lacks too many features compared to the full version of the email client. According to sources, Microsoft has already moved the UWP Mail app to maintenance mode, meaning users should not 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 will not even notice that it is a web app.
It comes with all the features you would expect from a modern app, including the ability to locate documents using @files and @documents. This is similar to the existing feature that allows you to @mention someone to add them to an email message.
There is another new feature that reminds you when you miss a message and Outlook cares about this.
It also comes with built-in Calendar integration, which means you don’t have to maintain a separate Calendar app anymore. The interface allows you to organize your most important things and manage everything in one view.
Interestingly, Microsoft also appears to be working on Mica content for Outlook. As you can see in the screenshot above, Mica works after modifying the Windows registry for Outlook.
It is, of course, possible that Microsoft will also use Fluent Design’s acrylic material. In fact, Microsoft Edge’s context menus or main menus already support acrylic transparent/translucent effects.
In addition to a new design, Microsoft is also adding “My Day” integration that allows you to stay in the flow of your work while staying connected to important topics. You can easily drag and drop messages as tasks to your task list or better manage your tasks in the calendar.
It’s worth noting that additional UI improvements to the Mail app are expected later this year and new features will be added via server-side updates. For now, the focus has shifted to the design and accessibility features of this new app based on Outlook on the web.