Outlook – Microsoft is giving its Outlook.com a pretty big facelift.
The company previewed several major changes to its email client Thursday including a redesigned inbox, new support for Skype and third-party apps and new calendar features. The revamped Outlook.com will begin rolling out Thursday as a preview to some users and will be available more broadly over the next few weeks.
Outlook.com inboxes will now support Microsoft’s Clutter tool. First rolled out last year for business users, Clutter is a lot like Gmail’s priority inbox feature in that it automatically sorts messages based on what it predicts will be most important to you. Messages identified as unimportant are automatically sent to a separate folder that doesn’t appear in the main inbox.
Microsoft is also launching its new “add-ins” feature, which allows third-party apps to run within Outlook. The feature, first previewed during the company’s Build developer conference last month, works with Uber and email scheduling service Boomerang and PayPal right now. It is set to support more services in the future. It also works with Bing Maps and other productivity tools from Microsoft.
Other inbox improvements include better search tools, link previews, inline image support, customizable color themes and pop windows for reading and composing new messages.
Skype and OneDrive are also going to be more closely integrated with Outlook.com. Users can start Skype calls or chat with Skype contacts from within Outlook and easily switch between the two interfaces. You’ll also be able to quickly convert email attachments into shareable links with OneDrive.
Finally, Outlook.com’s built-in calendar is getting a few tweaks with improved search features that make events searchable by name, attendees, location and description and easier navigation for people with multiple calendars.