What you need to know
- Microsoft’s new web-based Outlook client is now official.
- It’s available today for Insiders in the Office Beta Channel.
- The preview is only for commercial accounts; personal coming later.
Microsoft has officially announced its new Outlook client, which is now available in preview for Office Insiders in the Beta Channel. The new app is accessible via a “preview” toggle in the Outlook desktop app. Enabling the toggle will transform the legacy Office app into a new web-based one, featuring new features and a new UI.
The new Outlook client leaked a handful of weeks ago as a standalone client, but today’s official preview is only available within the legacy Outlook client. It’s likely that Microsoft will release a standalone beta of the new Office app soon, likely when support for personal email accounts is introduced.
New features include an updated Outlook Web interface design, built-in support for Microsoft To Do and Loop Components, and much more. Microsoft has also handily provided a list of features that aren’t yet available, but are expected to come soon. These include:
- Multi-account support
- Offline support
- Personal Outlook.com support
- Third party email account support (Gmail, iCloud, etc.)
- Continuous Access Evaluation support
- Quick Steps
- Search Folders
Additionally, Microsoft says it’s investigating support for POP email accounts, a feature that’s presently not available with the new Outlook app. Because the new Outlook is based on Outlook Web, many of Outlook’s COM/VSTO plugins are no longer supported, but developers will be able to build new web-based add-ins if needed.
Unfortunately, the new email client is not yet available for users with personal Microsoft account emails. This preview is only for those using commercial or education accounts. The company says it plans to roll out the preview to personal accounts in the future.
MIcrosoft has been working on this new Outlook client for well over a year at this point. Windows Central revealed the project back in January 2021, and it’s now available in preview for the first time. Microsoft wants to eventually replace the built-in Windows 11 Mail & Calendar apps with this new client, but it appears we’re a long way from that happening.