This Microsoft Outlook update finally brings emails into the 21st century

Outlook App
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft has unveiled plans for a new Outlook feature that’s set to blur the boundaries between traditional emails and more modern chat services.

A post on the company’s roadmap has revealed “Outlook for Windows: Reactions”, where users on Windows machines will be able to “thumbs up, laugh, heart, celebrate, or shed a tear in reaction to emails”.

The email client hopes this will allow you to “apply your sentiment and see the reaction of others in emails in Outlook without sending or receiving incremental emails”, because we’ve all been in a chain of unintentional ‘reply to alls’.

Outlook reactions and tapbacks

According to the post, these new tapbacks could arrive as early as this month. Currently still in the development and testing stage, Microsoft is yet to roll out and launch this update to Outlook.

Microsoft has already played with reactions in its other communication services. Teams users can already pick from any number of emojis when a full reply is not needed.

Filed away in other notes on the site for upcoming Microsoft features are the same descriptions for web browsers and Macs, as well as iOS and Android, all with the same October 2022 target date for launch.

Elsewhere, the company is expanding its reactions for Teams chat users on all devices, opening up more than 800 emojis.

Despite the heavy uptake of instant messaging-type communications platforms, Microsoft remains committed to the trusty email which still has its place for external communications and sensitive information. 

Over on the Beta channel, the computer maker is playing with cloud settings for email signatures, which for now are limited to Windows devices. This long awaited feature is designed to maintain signature settings beyond just one instance, which is good news for hot deskers and multi-computer users.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!