Microsoft may have been one of the first moves when they bought Hotmail over the years & # 39; 90, possibly renaming it to Outlook.com after a short detour on Windows Live. It has been updated again, with Outlook.com switching to a new look this week after a test period. Here's what changed?
Microsoft has deciphered the Outlook.com interface. It keeps the folders on the left and previews on the right layout with which most mail clients work, but uses clean fonts and lots of white space, so things are easy to find and read.
This aspect reflects the mission that Microsoft undertook with this update. The focus of the new Outlook is the simplification of the user experience while maintaining the power features.
You can easily customize the appearance through the Settings menu to add a preview card or change the ordering of messages.
At the bottom of the left pane, where the folder list is displayed, there are buttons that allow you to quickly switch between Mail, Calendar and People. But the ellipsis adjacent to them reveals the options for Files and Activities. Alternatively, you can drag the left frame to enlarge it so there are no ellipsis and get one-click access.
Tasks exploits Microsoft's Wunderlist acquisition, with a simple interface that supports multiple lists, drag and drop to organize things and the ability to prioritize specific tasks.
One thing that I found annoying was the function of the "My Day" list. I had planned other items scheduled for today that have not been viewed. It would be nice if My Day brought together the tasks of several lists rather than relying on me to manage it alone.
The new File option is a great idea and potentially a huge time saver. I spend a lot of time looking for specific file attachments in e-mail. But the File menu provides a single place where all attachments are stored together.
It is worth noting that Microsoft has encountered some problems with the File menu, so it may not be available to everyone on the network. Here, in the Lifehacker office, I had access to it, but one of my colleagues could not yet see it. But it's coming.
One of the things that Microsoft has changed since Satya Nadella took over is the willingness of the company to work with other services. While Microsoft OneDrive is a competent online storage solution, you can also connect Outlook.com to Box, Dropbox, Facebook and Google Drive to make it easier to attach files and images from those services.
Web-based Outlook.com can also log in with up to 20 external e-mail accounts, so you do not have to switch between multiple e-mail services if you want to keep everything in one place.
E-mail management works as you would expect. I liked the "Sweep" option because it simplifies deleting the inbox of messages. It is basically a creator of automated rules. But there is also a system of traditional rules that allows to define a condition and an action to automate the management of e-mail.
My main criticism of the web-baed interface is that every time you use the buttons on the left side to switch from Mail to To, File and other options is that it opens a new browser tab by default.
Microsoft's update from Outlook.com has modernized the look and strengthens the company's focus on productivity rather than bundling dozens of new features.