Using Outlook for emails may finally get less annoying

OUtlook
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft is set to make a major upgrade to its Outlook email (opens in new tab) service that should make it much easier to use on some of the most popular browsers around.

The company has revealed it is at work on a browser extension for Outlook (opens in new tab) on Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab), as well as a version for Google Chrome (opens in new tab).

Microsoft says that the new release, which will also cover Exchange for Business, is still in development at the moment, but should roll out before the end of July 2021.

Outlook extension

In a posting on the Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the company stated that the update would "brings you the power of mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks using an icon in Microsoft Edge".

The extension will allow users to quickly access their Outlook work account or Outlook.com or Hotmail account without needing to switch to another tab or app.

Microsoft 365 already has a similar extension within Edge, where users can click on the platform's icon to get a quick-access dropdown menu of all the top tools they need.

Google also has something similar for its Workspace suite of tools, with users able to access the likes of Docs, Sheets, Meet and more by clicking on an icon in any new tab.

The update is the latest release from Microsoft as it looks to ensure Outlook is part of the new hybrid working (opens in new tab) world of work as employees return to offices around the globe.

To support this change, the company recently revealed that Outlook calendar markers will soon automatically contain links to join meetings via the web (opens in new tab). The feature will support Teams and Skype sessions only, although Microsoft has suggested third-party video meetings may become compatible later down the line.

Outlook itself may be getting a whole new look (opens in new tab) for this new world of work, with a recent post from Microsoft apparently showing a unified email client for Windows 10 that will replace the current Mail and Calendar apps shipping with its operating system.

When released, the new client, dubbed Project Monarch, will reportedly work across Windows 10, macOS and the web, allowing Microsoft to replace the existing Outlook Win32, UWP and Outlook for Mac clients with a single unit offering a unified experience across platforms in a similar way to how Outlook for the web works.

Via MSPowerUser (opens in new tab)

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.