What Microsoft euphemistically calls ‘gaps’ in the beta release of the New Outlook should really be called ‘enormous chasms’ of missing features and core functions.
Let’s look at what Microsoft admits is missing plus other obvious omissions. As the supposedly ‘new’ features of the New Outlook are being hyped, these are basic features not yet in place.
Here’s Microsoft’s own list of so-called ‘gaps’ in New Outlook. The list isn’t complete.
|New Outlook for Windows capability||Status|
|Account support (@outlook.com)||In development|
|account support (Gmail, Yahoo!, iCloud and other IMAP accounts)||In development|
|Continuous Access Evaluation||In development|
|Quick Steps||In development|
|Search Folders||In development|
|Programmability||In development: web add-ins|
|Support for accounts in US Government clouds||Planned|
|Outlook data (.pst) files||Planned|
|Delegation and shared mailboxes||Planned|
The list of missing features is split into three groups which Microsoft hasn’t defined.
In development – presumably means there are ‘softies working now.
Planned – it’s on some future plan but no-one is working on it now. Note that the fundamental “Outlook data files” is merely marked as “Planned”, see below.
Investigating – could mean anything. FWIW, we think it’s unlikely New Outlook will support POP connections.
Missing from the missing features list
Microsoft admits their ‘gaps’ list isn’t complete and they’re right because there’s some really obvious items missing.
Just for starters:
- Offline access / mailbox caching. That could be included in the mention of “Outlook data (.pst) files” though another type of offline storage could be developed. In our view, it’s vital for any replacement Outlook to work if offline or a poor Internet connection. But it’s a view Microsoft doesn’t share.
- IMAP support
- SMTP support – needed alongside either POP or IMAP support.
Isn’t “New Outlook” great?
All the usual fanboys are out saying how great New Outlook is, how they are ‘excited’ to see it.
We think New Outlook could be a fine product but NOT as a replacement to Outlook desktop for Windows.
But that’s how the beta product is positioned with a ‘Try the New Outlook’ button in the current desktop app which switched the user between the full featured Outlook and the new, severely crippled, web app.