Two unloved Windows 11 apps are getting canned - but will their replacement be any better?

The Microsoft Outlook logo on a laptop screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Microsoft has begun informing Windows 10 and Windows 11 users about an automatic overhaul to the new-and-improved Outlook app. The built-in Mail and Calendar applications have made managing emails and planning upcoming events pretty easy since 2015 - but they’ll soon be gone, swallowed up by Outlook to place all those tools under one desktop icon.

Windows users can try out the new version of Outlook by enabling the toggle button in the top-right corner of the Windows Mail app. As it stands, Outlook lets you import all your settings from the Mail app directly, so the switch shouldn’t be too painful for users looking to embrace the new tool.

Windows Latest notes that in an exclusive document, currently available only to Microsoft 365 business users, Microsoft confirms the beginning of a mandatory migration process slated for later this year.

From August 2023, Microsoft will automatically migrate Mail and Calendar app users to the new Outlook. You’ll be able to opt-out and cling to your beloved apps for a little while by turning off a toggle in the top right corner of the app, but don’t expect Microsoft to let you keep them forever.

The document also reveals that commencing next year, all Windows 11 devices will come pre-installed with Outlook for Windows. You can still download Windows Mail and Calendar from the Microsoft Store onto your new device if you wish - at least, until the end of 2024.

The move signals a shift in Microsoft’s Windows mentality, with an apparent growing desire to consolidate the software users have access to and (hopefully) streamline the OS’s user experience. Could this be a sign of things to come in Windows 12?

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).