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Microsoft launches a faster, smarter Outlook.com into public beta

12 August 2017, 11:45 | Justin Tyler

Microsoft launches a faster, smarter Outlook.com into public beta

Microsoft launches a faster, smarter Outlook.com into public beta

The page will reload with the new Outlook.com beta view (and you'll also see the toggle on the page).

Microsoft is rolling out the opt-in beta in stages and it will be a few weeks before all Outlook users have the option to opt in.

The plan here is to test new features in this beta program and bring to the standard version of Outlook.com those that worked out well.

Microsoft has not set an end-date for the beta, saying only that its team will "try new things, get your feedback, and keep iterating" until the project has served its goal, at which point it will be wound down.

Outlook.com users will also notice that they can now start pinning emails from their preferred contacts to the shortcuts sidebar under the beta's new personalization feature. You'll have to manually edit the URL each time, as even navigating directly to the https://outlook.live.com/mail URL won't work by itself.

Inspired by the Outlook Mail app in Windows 10, the Outlook.com beta has a new design, which includes iconography from Windows 10 and a hamburger menu.

The use of a fresh and more responsive web development framework means files and photos can be opened and attached in a swifter manner, which is always welcome. According to TechCrunch, to achieve this new framework, Microsoft is using Facebook Inc.'s ReactJS. It comes with an upgraded search that allows users to preview files and images straight from the conversation list.

Or if you're talking about when a flight lands, again it will pop up a suggestion to add the full flight details to the email.

The new Outlook.com Inbox will also group all of your incoming sent and received photos into a single spot. However, the said feature is still incomplete at this point, and more advanced search features are expected to be incorporated in the coming days.

More options to personalize your inbox and emails are also inbound, with the ability to mark certain people (or folders) as favorites to make it easier to locate close friends, and a new panel of "expressions" which gives you an in-line way to quickly access various emoji and GIFs.

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