Microsoft Outlook is easily among the best email services out there, especially if you use email for work – which is, well, everyone.
But the company isn't resting on its laurels, especially when Google is constantly improving Gmail, and a newly released product roadmap (opens in new tab) for Microsoft 365 shows that Outlook is set to get some pretty neat upgrades.
After recently teasing the new-look One Outlook client, which was initially leaked, Microsoft seems to be moving towards a future where everything works in perfect harmony.
Outlook will have a new look and feel, message reminders, a single view for calendar, to-do, and emails, among other changes. Things are still being finalised, so check back in the future for more, but it looks pretty good.
And it doesn't seem like Microsoft is stopping there. According to the roadmap, Outlook is set to gain deeper integration with Microsoft's other services from around July 2022, a big bonus for anyone who subscribes to the suite of tools.
"We are adding a way for users to quickly access To Do, Org Explorer, Yammer Communities, and Bookings directly inside Outlook," the company says. "You can also customize this experience by pinning preferred Outlook and Microsoft 365 apps."
The update will be rolling out globally and it seems Microsoft must already be fairly far into the development, given the July timeframe.
Battle for the office
As the pandemic forced companies into hybrid working, Microsoft's suite of tools has become even more important – but rivals have also exploded onto the scene.
For its part, Microsoft has been a huge growth for Teams – which passed (opens in new tab) 270 million monthly active users in Q4 2021, rising from 250 million in mid-2021 – as Office revenue continues to grow quarter-over-quarter.
But Google has seen a huge rise in the number of people and companies using its Workspace tools, driven by the fact that Docs and many others are available for free.
Slack has also seen usage surged, having been acquired by Salesforce for around $27.7 billion in July last year.
The winner of the remote enterprise tools race remains to be seen but Microsoft has put itself in a good position and integrating Outlook further into the ecosystem only strengths that.