Software

First look: Microsoft's newest email client Outlook.com

Outlook.com Inbox

In late July 2012, Microsoft announced a new web-based email client: Outlook.com. Here are a few screenshots of the new client.

As you can see the Outlook.com has been given a Metro-like makeover. From what I can tell from a few minutes of testing, Outlook.com is your basic functional email client.

All images by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

101 comments
cally_laws
cally_laws

Earlier this year I bought a new Laptop which was loaded with win 7 yuk Live Mail is a huge pain Im trying to download outlook. Also why has word not got a email with it now are Micfosoft getting lazy

bear.8
bear.8

i have tried it but found a problem with outlook.com. you can not delete email addresses out of the frequent contact list. if you can not delete them then the frequent contact will lose all of it benefit.

edwardtisdale
edwardtisdale

Doesn't look that spectacular. Why do they feel the need to take away our email client and put it on the cloud anyway? Okay for tablets there isn't enough hard drive space okay. On my tablet I'm happy with my yahoo and gmail online accounts using the email client that comes on my Android. So far this doesn't look like a reason to switch. Have you seen the email at bigstring.com? Super fast.

kblack1a
kblack1a

I don't see any thing that is outstanding, actually the little I see I don't like. Just what I want a whole right side of advertising. GMAIL has some, but not as in your face.

KWDight
KWDight

the one feature of gmail that I love is its ability to sync with my outlook. this way family members and friends can update their outlook, which updates into my gmail, which then syncs with my outlook calander. I've found this very handy with a college son and a very busy wife to keep our schedules in tune. Does outlook.com also sync in this fashion. We don't have access to any servers other than our ISP?

rustys
rustys

Some you people should learn and understand what you are commenting on .... before you comment. I am sitting here looking at a clean a tidy web based email system on a reasonably underpowered laptop running Win7 and find Outlook.com performing in a manner as good or better than many other web based email systems I have investigated recently - with NO advertising and less that 1/4 of the SPAM than picked up in 8 other free web based sytems.

hometoy
hometoy

Microsoft Exchange webmail interface (both Enterprise Exchange and Office 365) suffers drastically when used on Linux (or Chrome OS), regardless of the browser. When using Windows (XP and 7) the interface is consistent regardless of the browser (IE, Firefox and Chrome). Outlook.com web interface runs pretty much the same on Windows as it does Linux. Would love it if it included an Outlook-like view of the Calendar too.

sunbear01
sunbear01

Live mail seems so much easier to use. Just have a hard time finding my way around in this new Outlook. Sending mail to numerous contacts is burdensome compared to Live Mail.

gh4tech
gh4tech

I still prefer Outlook Express from Win XP as it wastes less screen space.

agustin.moya
agustin.moya

It seems a poor mixture of Hotmail and Gmail, and ads make it unuseful for corporate uses. Comparing, frankly, I prefer old Outlook Express...

hswiseman
hswiseman

Say what you will about MS, at least this is not their first rodeo from a security point of view. Rather not be a Google/Apple guinea pig. Also, Google is solely in the business of selling your personal data to the world. MS? not so much. Who would you trust with your personal email? Or, more bluntly, why would you ever give your email to Google in the first place?

Gizep
Gizep

Personally I doubt very much whether anyone in their right mind would want to support Microsoft further than they would absolutely have to. Between Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, and other major names, spying on us all the time by harvesting data that benefits them only and they have us all running around in big circles. I have just scrapped my mobile in favour of NOT being a slave to technology and the extra freedomn is amazingly refreshing. Of course, I haven't even mentioned TechRepublic's tendency to COMPLETELY IGNORE the fact that I HAVE UNSUBSCRIBED from ALL their NEWSLETTERS on SEVERAL OCCASIONS.

gbjbasdw
gbjbasdw

I tried this new software and as a result Skydrive stopped allowing me to upload multiple files ! I tried using System Restore to rectify the problem but had to resort to a full hard disk restore from a hard disk clone. I will not be trying this software again which is a shame becuase I quite liked it. Reported my problem but as usual Microsoft don't care and didn't reply.

kordoniss
kordoniss

Who wants anything from the evil empire? What's wrong with Gmail? Is the World full of (Goscinny's) Isnogoods?

bert.van.bergen
bert.van.bergen

A greater difference is the contacts list, its almost like windows phone or windows 8.

ddalley
ddalley

Why would I give up GMail?

usn_4ever
usn_4ever

I'm glad I use Outlook 2007 and MSN mail. So much easier to use. Looks better, too!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

and worse then G-mail. Talk about cluttered, never seen anything so cluttered before. And it comes with ads too.

DickCaro
DickCaro

Real Outlook has many features not present in Outlook.com. Where is the calendar integration? There is only the hazardous Preview Window. Real Outlook has a "Messages with Auto Preview" that gives a hint of the content for most messages. No thanks, I will keep my Outlook client.

R Strain Consulting
R Strain Consulting

The screen shots have an awesome similarity to Thunderbird, which has been my stand-alone email client for years. Of course Mozilla never sends me ads.

lostudio
lostudio

Microsoft.....??? Too hungry for money...continuoulsy changes ....and more money!!! The majoryty of people that uses the computer just needes to do basic operations and cannot afford to pay squillions of dollars and computers with billions of gigabytes for his programmes that need also 10 years of study to use it to write a letter or send an email!! hmmm I am 71 and remember the time that we had 200meg of hard disk with 2000 programmes and the computer was working really well...without problems...no bull sh..! why doesn't He (Good Microsoft) creates a set for the humans on Earth and a set for the NASA to export to Mars or for some corporates that owns the majority of the businesses on this planet? And we will promise that WE WILL every morning when we get up as soon as we open our eyes say " MICROSOFT YOU ARE THE BEST"!!! H A P P Y???

attila2
attila2

Google never brought me the blue screen of death and didn't write Vista. Their prices are also not a rip-off. It's about trust

1BUDLITE
1BUDLITE

BAD BAD NEWS: OUTLOOK.COM will not I repeat will not allow any email names that begin with a NUMBER :( so if you have an favorite OR current email name email beginning with a number you are totally ignored by Microsoft and you are out of luck. I tried to add my favorite email name which I have used for years with other email.com beginning with a number and it was refused.

MikeZangar
MikeZangar

Very clean interface, seems a lot like the 2013 BETA Outlook... I Like

tjking
tjking

It's hard to get passed the really old version of Firefox and low resolution of this slideshow. It looks just like my grandma's computer. Outlook.com looks 100x better in my browser, which the ads only take up about 5% of the screen real estate instead of the 20% in this article.

jjeffeory
jjeffeory

What was the point of this article? How is Outlook.com going to make me switch? I already use Outlook to access my gmail AND Microsoft mail....

jcoons
jcoons

It looks great EXCEPT the gargage-spam-cheap crap advertising in the right hand column as soon as you log in. If this amature looking, Wal-Mart style, in your face trash advertising stays - I'm Gone. WaittaGo Microsoft - Mess it up right when you could have shown you have some class... But no, show the true mentality of your management. With stunts like this, you'll never be, or beat Apple - which I own their products but truly hate their company, and would LOVE to have an alternative - one with class, but you don't know what I mean, it's obviously not part of the Redmond culture. Good luck trying to shove this down peoples throats - not really, everyone needs to give you their thoughts on this BS... and then bail out on you!

eaglewolf
eaglewolf

Microsoft: You, without my knowledge or consent, chose to convert my Hotmail accounts on my work computer (Win7) to the new 'outlook.com' format .. right in the middle of my work. Quite disruptive, but I looked at it .. tried it .. and, once I finally found the option, switched back to Hotmail. You everso kindly offered me the option of feedback, so I clicked and waited patiently. Then came the message that the feedback form could not be displayed because I either didn't have an Internet connection (totally false), or your servers were overloaded. I gather it was option #2. I tried multiple times .. day/night .. and it never came up. So, I sure hope somebody from the MS Outlook.com project reads TechRepublic. 1- I tried it .. got a message needing a reply, and clicked 'reply.' Self-explanatory. The interface is clumsy at best. Big block contacts on the left .. supposedly a place to type a reply on the right .. but it didn't work. It would not accept input. Tried going back to the message list and trying again .. same result. Ok, I'm starting to get a bit tense since I use several Hotmail accounts in my work and need them to function. I had to go to my personal desktop (WinXP), log in and complete the task. The original machine where it didn't work is a fully patched, updated, high-end laptop .. as noted running Win7. 2- Where is the menu bar to navigate back to your main page when you go to other areas .. like 'options?' I need things accessible .. not off on some other page represented by 'Metro' blocks or being forced to use the back arrow. You are, at that point, wasting my work time .. and productivity. 3- As someone has previously mentioned, why do I need such an elaborate integration of social networking? I don't use it. And *stop* trying to sign me into Messenger every time I log in .. I don't use that, either, nor do I plan to. 4- I'm a bit confused of the assignment/re-assignment of e-mail accounts: a. I understand there is an option to keep addresses with '@hotmail.com.' How? b. does this prevent someone from using my account names with '@outlook.com?' c. if it doesn't prevent it, will I be forced to 'reserve' all my accounts on 'outlook?' Do you even realize that not everyone just has these accounts to be social and play? And if conversions will be mandated, what a disruption that will be? 5- When I went to bring up the 'converted' account on my other computer .. the XP machine .. the display was total trash. And completely unusable. It was the 'outlook basic' format, all the text overlapped, and nothing worked. Thank god one of my unconverted accounts that is in constant use still displayed somewhat properly on the desktop, but I note you've made changes to 'old' format, too. 6- Please stop treating us like children or idiots. When I did convert back to the Hotmail format on the work machine, if I bring up the inbox, it defaults in the display area to the message: "Click a message to show it here This message is sort of like a cover sheet to protect your privacy. You can also show the first message here automatically" Well, I about fell out of my chair laughing .. 'protect your privacy????' And '...sort of like a cover sheet...??' I certainly don't expect a company like Microsoft to talk down to users to that extent. Recent articles I've read, both in business journals and TR, the comment has reportedly been made by Microsoft that they're hard at work developing the 'complete entertainment operating system.' I would suggest, Microsoft, that you stop totally ignoring that portion (and it's not insignificant) of your user base that uses a computer as a working tool .. not a toy. There isn't anything you've presented of late that isn't detrimental to productivity. Example: you can't get from point A to point B anymore with Win8 Metro .. you have to click thru C, D, and E .. if you can find them. Work a touch screen for my normal 10 hr. workday? Use a tablet? I do have a tablet .. my eReaders are on it as well as other apps of interest, but it would *never* function for work. The cloud .. ahh, the cloud. Have you considered next year is the solar maximum and, given all the background, it's supposed to be significant. There is already discussion about major disruptions to power grids and the need for preparedness. Consider the recent storms in the SE part of the country that knocked some major cloud providers off the grid. But I guess that's like global warming .. it doesn't exist, not going to happen, right? Another article I read from TR was the 'catch-up' potential of 'outlook.com' to Gmail .. as in it's not going to happen. Two factors were presented .. one positive, one negative. Positive: the integration of social networking. Yes, for the non-work, general end user base. Negative: planned integration of Skype direct from e-mail. Great, that would be nice, but ... it's not going to be 'ready to go' when Outlook.com is fully released this Fall. I totally agree with the article .. that should have been a primary consideration fully ready-to-go at launch. And speaking of Skype, are you going to keep it updated and functional for users who don't use the MS products to which it's integrated? And without making it prohibitively expensive? Ok .. end of feedback. Again, I hope you read it.

djjohnnyc
djjohnnyc

I don't think Microsoft is really thinking outside the BOX.. There is so much more they can offer to create a email distribution , communication, video chat and much more. Put it together and they will come...

Enterprise-Mentor
Enterprise-Mentor

The only reason I use Microsof is the present format of OUTLOOK, usin the three columc setting {Folders, received Emails and at the side of this the content of selected Email.] If I could find anyother site providing this format I would drop Microsoft in an instance." Not enjoyed Outlook Email since Office 2007 introduced." Paul.

Tad2012
Tad2012

Thought I would give outlook.com a try. Looks nice. But after importing my calendar over, some appointments were lost. I put a question on Microsoft's support forum, 36 hours later, not a single response. C'mon Microsoft, you should be all over this just days after launch. I'm deleting myself!

320vu50
320vu50

Obviously there are some technical advantages with Gmail. But the data mining that accompanies Gmail is quite bothersome. Read the new Google privacy policy. By FDC order, one policy applies to ALL Google products. In it Google says they can use anything you do or store (contacts, favorites, friends, locations you frequent, where you are currently (from your phone GPS) and searches) for marketing and release to third parties for marketing purposes. That is scary. Facebook is mega-curious about telling all about you. But, you do have control over most of what happens. I recently had a test of how much the general populace can see about me. A couple of new (in person) friends said they had tried to find me on Fb and couldn't. I have my privacy set to "Friends of Friends" and that was the reason. I also have opted out of the "Timeline" feature. Thus, the mandatory information you have to furnish at account setup time is not publicly displayed. I had a gmail account until they announced the new policy. Before it activated, I was out of Google. Gmail contacts were removed and search use was ended. I no longer use anything google except my android phone. And that may be the next item to change. I am waiting to see if my carrier will have a Microsoft OS phone. If they do I'll be on one.

jnativ47
jnativ47

Gmail is superior by all means - spam filtering - message labeling - free yourname@yourcompany.com up to 50 users + aliases and the most important: used by Google for it's own corporate. I'd reconsider if MS would use outlook.com as it's only email system

unoentremil
unoentremil

Why don't they concentrate the development resources in improving Outlook Desktop? It's one of Microsoft's most successful tools but it could be improved a lot. For example: Better rules management interface, Tagging and categories, performance...

marshallpaisley
marshallpaisley

How does integrating Facebook help the corporate desktop (is there opt out)?

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys moderator

That it's not compatible with my playbook browser yet....but I'm not getting my knickers in a bunch, it'll come in time I'm sure.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys moderator

or are you trying to sign up for outlook.com ? Outlook is part of MS Office Suite, paid for software.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

Uninstall the crapware, including every part of Windows Live.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Have you tried it? If you have and they didn't respond, you could always block them as spam, and maybe list them as a spammer on Web-of-Trust; but I imagine you will get satisfaction in support - they have always helped me 100%

maszsam
maszsam

Personally, I have always thought that outlook express was the best email client of all time. You could drag and drop emails anywhere, backup was easy, lots of options. Pretty much bullet proof, although when it did go out it was possbile that you had to redo the OS before it would work again. Now the one size fits all stuff, well it never does so get over it. Very happy with evlolution on Linux. Has all the junk, like calander which I never use, can not do profiles like Outlook Express, but then it won't get viruses, or at least in three years plus never has. Some say it can but, some say theirs did, but I've never seen a fully documented virused machine; IE symptoms when, where, how, what distro, what cured it blah blah. But pops is 100% correct: In 17 years you think there would be a gold standard for email clients by now. The state of the art must be pretty bad.

320vu50
320vu50

I went through this fiasco about 12 years ago with another ISP. I have a general and business e-mail account that I use for most public communications. I have had it for over 30 years. I have a notebook full of sites that send me information, news, mail, advertisments, and junk at thjat address. At last count there are over 300 of them. That means I'd have to go and change my log in and email contact with all of those places, plus the individuals I don't wnat on my other address lists. Whoever the weenie that dreamed that concept up is a true lunatic. BTW the rationalle that I was given for not allowing the first character to be a number was, every address that had a number first was the source of a virus. [I want that guy to come and talk on my front lawn, I need the fertilizer.]

rustys
rustys

Running a droid phone and that will be gone as soon as my new Win8 phone arrives. Have not used google crap for anything in a long time.

benroberts
benroberts

What I find absolutely hilarious with Outlook is that when you're installing Outlook 2010 you get a splash screen during the process, that is identical to the one in Office XP!!!! So under the hood of Outlook 2010 is Outlook XP! Sure, they've put new bumpers and fins on it but it's still crappy old Outlook that craps out when the .pst file gets too big. It's also the same Outlook that crashes its GUI but keeps its process chugging along on one cylinder in the background which prevents the user restarting it and getting back to work. How about a rewrite for this old nail M$??? Nahh, too busy adding DRM and walled garden code to bother about actually evolving the product. How's my stack ranking today??

JCitizen
JCitizen

for quite a while to do that already. Facebook already knows too much about me. I'm never going to do that - but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened anyway - without my permission.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

one option it has is to 'Upgrade to Outlook.com' which was activated by accident when she had the cursor hovering over the link for too long - first time she used a laptop. Thus it (and I use this term very loosely) upgraded to Outlook.com and automatically created an MSN account for her with an auto login - and there is no way to reverse the upgrade.