First look at the new Microsoft Outlook – One Outlook

A first look at the new “One Outlook” which Microsoft has (deliberately?) leaked ahead of an official announcement.  It’s interesting but with one major and very disappointing omission.  We have the link if you’d like to try One Outlook.

As you can see, it looks like the web interface for Outlook.com or Microsoft 365 hosted mail accounts.

This is supposedly an unofficial release however Microsoft could stop access to the beta app if they wanted to but haven’t.  It’s a clever tactic.  Redmond can get more free feedback from users while at the same time claiming it’s non-public software which shouldn’t be criticized. 

One Outlook

It’s just called Outlook.  “One Outlook” is its unofficial nickname to distinguish it from all the other Outlooks. Microsoft persists in the nonsense that all their email clients can just be called ‘Outlook’ as if the type of software, platform or version doesn’t matter.

It was called “Project Monarch”.  Back in 2021 we explained what was being planned and Microsoft’s hopes for the future.  Project Monarch or One Outlook to rule them all

One Outlook is a Progressive Web App (PWA).  It might look like a separate program but it’s really a sophisticated web page.  The idea is that a single PWA app will run on both Windows and Mac plus other platforms.

Microsoft’s plans for One Outlook aren’t known. The smart money says they’ll want to replace the current Windows Mail, Calendar and Contacts apps with One Outlook.  Also make One Outlook available on Mac computers and maybe also Linux.  Talk of replacing Outlook desktop programs (Windows or Mac) is very premature and might never happen.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode and other display options are available from Settings.

There’s a side-panel with links to parts of Outlook (email, calendar, contacts) was well as online versions of Office apps.  At the moment, that list isn’t configurable.

Offline Access – not so much

An important part of any email client is offline access or caching of cloud data on the local computer so the app can continue to work when there’s no or erratic Internet access.

One Outlook appears to have only limited offline access, if any.  We could access some recent messages when not connected to the Internet, but most were blank.

New emails created when offline just disappear!  Whether you click Save draft or Send there’s no error message and your work just drops into a One Outlook void.

There’s no setting to indicate what, if anything, is cached on the computer for offline access.  If caching is being done, it isn’t very good. That’s very disappointing to put it mildly.

Open in new window

Just like Outlook desktop, you can right-click and choose “Open in new window”.

Which gives you many One Outlook windows to quickly switch between.

New emails

There’s a full email editor, as you’d expect, with support for signatures, accessibility checks, polls, templates, saving drafts and other goodness.

Boards

Boards are in One Outlook as a way to have a customizable display of calendar, notes, tasks etc.

Groups are supported

How to try One Outlook

One Outlook is available, unofficially but from Microsoft direct. At the moment, One Outlook will only connect to Microsoft 365 hosted work or school accounts.  Access for Outlook.com users will come later.

Download the installer from here (for Windows 64-bit only).

This is supposedly an unofficial release.  However Microsoft could stop access to the beta app if they wanted to, but haven’t.  It looks like a deliberate leak and a clever tactic.  Redmond can get more free feedback from users while at the same time claiming it’s non-public software which shouldn’t be criticized. 

No version detail, no option to check for updates.  All app updating is done in the background.  An ‘update available’ notification might briefly appear but then it’s gone.

Migrate settings from Outlook for Windows

During setup, there’s an option to import display settings from Outlook for Windows such as Dark Mode, Reading Pane etc.

Project Monarch or One Outlook to rule them all
Project Monarch is now called just Outlook

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