It'll soon be easier than ever to set up online meetings on Microsoft Outlook

A person at a computer taking part in a virtual meeting.
(Image credit: @ insta_photos)

Sorting out your daily meeting schedule using Microsoft Outlook should soon be a lot more straightforward thanks to a new update.

Microsoft's email service is adding third-party support for its Meetings feature, meaning the likes of Zoom, Google Meet and Cisco Webex should now work smoothly with Outlook.

"This update will add support for users of third-party online meeting providers to make their meetings online by default, or to select their preferred online meeting provider if they use multiple providers," noted the entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap.

Meetings on Outlook

Previously, the scheduling had only been available to users of Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business - both of which are obviously owned by the same company.

This had led to issues if users were trying to schedule meetings using a non-Microsoft offering - issues which hopefully now should be consigned to the past.

The update is still in development, with Microsoft currently aiming to roll it out by March 2022. The good news is that all Microsoft 365 users should be able to benefit from the upgrade, which will be available across iOS, Android, Mac, Web and Windows desktop.

The news is the latest in what seems a constant stream of updates from Microsoft for its online collaboration and video conferencing offerings, as the global switch to hybrid working shows little sign of slowing down.

Recently, the company revealed it would be taking video meetings into a whole new virtual dimension with the launch of Mesh for Microsoft Teams. This new platform combines the mixed-reality capabilities of Microsoft Mesh and the productivity tools of Microsoft Teams to enable new experiences through the introduction of personalized avatars and spaces where users can connect and have shared immersive 3D experiences.

Microsoft also recently announced Loop, a new productivity tool for Microsoft 365 that will make it easier for teams to think, plan and create together, combining a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync across the software giant's apps. 

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.