Aah, Microsoft Office® 365… We’ve been long contemplating moving all of our team off of desktops, onto laptops and eventually to tablets as our everyday hardware of choice. Unfortunately, there are still several key pieces of software native to the non-tablet computing devices which keep many of us tethered to our desks, Microsoft® Outlook being one of the major culprits.
In today’s posting, we’ll take our readers through a preview of the new Outlook, as part of Microsoft Office® 365 (beta), which trades in the need to carry around that bulky Dell laptop … or even the super-slim MacBook Air, for our readers tablet of choice.
Beta?! Is it free?
Absolutely! If our readers are looking to join the Microsoft Office 365® beta project, which includes the new cloud-based version of Outlook, they can place their name on the list HERE.
Is it really that different?
From what we can tell, Outlook, as part of Microsoft Office® 365, includes all of our favorites from editions past, while still offering a fresh look and feel that both welcomes those familiar with Outlook and adds an allure for those more akin to already existing cloud-based email services.
Under The Hood
Looking at the new Outlook, as part of Microsoft Office® 365, our readers will first see a header stretching across the top of their screens full of useful links and information.
From left to right, readers will see the Microsoft Office® 365 logo, the current location of our readers view (default = Inbox), Microsoft Office® 365 navigational tabs (Home, Outlook, Team Site), a search function, log out function and a clickable IM status menu.
Our readers can click the image below for a full size example.
Looking down the column along the left side of the page, we see the familiar hierarchy of Outlook versions past, which includes Favorites, User mail folders and Contact groups. Further down the page, our readers will see another familiar section including shortcuts to Mail, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks.
Moving back up the page, this time looking just beneath the header, we see a second row header, which includes shortcuts to create a New Message/Meeting Request, Delete Messages/Ignore Conversations, Move/Copy to Folder, Filtering options, Grouping/Reading Pane options, an Inbox search function and message sorting options.
Immediately beneath the second header, the user inbox begins. Note the check mark to the left of our first message and yellow gradient highlighting. This indicates the message is currently active and visible in the reading pane to the right. Options to Flag/Categorize the message can be accessed at the top-right side of the message entry.
Moving slightly to the right, our readers will find the Reading Pane, along with a header outlining the subject line in orange, the sender, their email address, the addressee as well as Quick Reply, Reply All and Forward buttons plus many more actions available in the drop-down on the right.
After our quick peek, the overall feel of Outlook, as part of Microsoft Office® 365, is familiar yet exciting, futuristic yet practical; and honestly, we can’t wait to migrate 100% of our team’s email accounts to the web … as soon as the beta period has concluded and a stable public release is available.
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