Microsoft Outlook is getting an AI upgrade that will make the Mail and Calendar apps redundant

One Outlook 2021 running on Windows 10 PC
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft plans to shut down its Mail and Calendar apps and merge the two into an updated Outlook for Windows, and use this as an opportunity to introduce more artificial intelligence features.

In a blog post from Microsoft earlier this month, the company noted that Windows 11 devices that will be shipped next year will include the new Outlook for Windows as the default mailbox app. The updated Outlook will include both mail and calendar tools that will eliminate the need for the respective Mail and Calendar apps: so you’ll just use the newer Outlook instead.

(ed: Check out our best calendar app buying guide as well as our guide to the best email client)

The Register notes that the Mail and Calendar apps will still be available to download through the Microsoft Store up to the end of 2024, but the move doesn’t seem to be a popular decision going by reactions online – and tweet from a systems engineer and Office 365 specialist Michael Reiners suggests that Microsoft might be rethinking the plan, or at least the timing.

The tweet below shows a screenshot of an email or memo from Microsoft that says “We are reevaluating the timing and implementation of this change and will provide updated information shortly.”

See more

It's unclear why the tech giant is hesitant to roll out these changes, and the company has not responded to a request for comment from the Register as of yet.

Microsoft is giving users a chance to look at the latest Outlook for Windows. If you’d like to give it a try head over to the Mail and Calendar app and hit the 'Try the new Outlook' toggle. Merging the mail and Calendar Capabilities into Outlook is part of Microsoft’s larger One Outlook plan laid out in 2020 to create a single Outlook for PCs, Macs, and the web.

These changes present an opportunity for Microsoft to implement AI into Outlook, and hopefully streamline everyday tasks within mail and calendar capabilities, in a similar way to how Google has introduced Bard and generative AI into the Google Workspace.

Whether you're for AI integration into your daily workspace, it seems like that is the direction companies like Microsoft and Google are adamant to head towards. It would be interesting to see exactly how Microsoft plans to introduce artificial intelligence to declutter and improve your task management. 

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).