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Outlook.com beta shows a redesigned look with useful new features

Outlook.com was released in 2012 to replace Microsoft's aging Hotmail platform. (Source: Microsoft)
Outlook.com was released in 2012 to replace Microsoft's aging Hotmail platform. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is beta testing the third redesign to Outlook.com during the products five-year life span. Changes include putting an emphasis on search, improving smart inbox features such as adding restaurant locations and rating when mentioned by name, attachment previews in the inbox, and animated GIFs.

Microsoft has started a beta test of their new Outlook.com redesign, which is being offered to some users via a pop-up when using the web interface. This beta marks the third redesign in the five-year lifespan of this email service.

In the last redesign, the search bar received a detailed feature update, and a permanent search field was positioned on the top left-hand side in the folder column. In the new redesign, the search bar is being moved into the top center and will reside in the same row currently occupied by the words "Outlook Mail." This enlarged and centered field will help to emphasize the use of search to find your emails.

Changes are also being made to the email list and conversation view. Depending on which layout view you chose, emails in the inbox list will now show a preview of any attachments, rather than just showing the paperclip icon. If the attachment is a document, there is a small banner showing the document type icon and the name of that document. However, photo attachments will show small thumbnail previews of the first four or so images. This change is a benefit in not only being able to see which emails have attachments easily but also being able to identify the file type.

New smart inbox features are being trialed too, which detect when you've typed specific information such as the name of a restaurant or a flight number and offers you additional features such as attaching the location and rating of the restaurant or adding flight schedules.

Finally, in a similar fashion to Facebook Messenger, there are now more emojis and GIFs in a pop-out "expressions" sidebar, because apparently, Microsoft heard you liked GIFs or something.

If you don't receive an invite to take part in the beta, then you should only have to wait a few weeks before these features enter the public version of Outlook.com

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Upgraded search and attachment previews. (Source: Microsoft)
Upgraded search and attachment previews. (Source: Microsoft)
Smarter inbox features for linking businesses, flights, and more. (Source: Microsoft)
Smarter inbox features for linking businesses, flights, and more. (Source: Microsoft)
Emojis and GIFs. (Source: Microsoft)
Emojis and GIFs. (Source: Microsoft)
 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 08 > Outlook.com beta shows a redesigned look with useful new features
Craig Ward, 2017-08- 9 (Update: 2017-08-10)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.