Microsoft today announced that it’s enhancing the standard-issue Mail and Calendar apps for Windows 10. The updates will be rolling out over the next few weeks for Office 365 subscribers and Outlook.com users, and Microsoft intends to make them available for people who use other email services, too.
In the Mail app, people will now be able to @-mention people in the body of emails so that people who get mentioned will be added to the email thread if they’re not already part of it, and they’ll also know they are being referred to in an email. When you first type the at sign, you’ll see frequent contacts and others in your contacts, so it will be OK if you don’t remember someone’s exact email address — you just need to know their name.
Also, there is now a Focused Inbox that lets you quickly see emails that Microsoft thinks are more relevant — alongside an Other inbox for everything else.
If these features sound familiar, they are. They’ve come to Outlook previously, initially on Android and iOS and then on desktop. Focused Inbox is one of the features from mobile email and calendar app Acompli, which Microsoft acquired in 2014. Focused Inbox is reminiscent of the Inbox email client from Google but is different in its implementation.
As for the Windows 10 Calendar app, it now lets you overlay a variety of Interesting Calendars. That feature was part of Sunrise, which Microsoft acquired in 2015, and was incorporated into Outlook a few months ago.
The color categories feature that have been a part of Outlook for several years is now making its way to Windows 10 Calendar, too. “You will be able to categorize calendar events in a variety of color categories, enabling you to quickly scan and visually associate similar events, and plan your day better. This has been the top requested calendar feature, so our team is delighted that we could focus our work on what you want,” Lynn Ayres, group program manager for Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps, wrote in a blog post.
Also, Outlook’s ability to create summary cards, not just events, on package deliveries and travel plans based on emails is coming to Windows 10 Calendar as well as Windows 10 Mail. “It’s on by default, and you can configure this feature from ‘events in email’ settings in your account on the web,” Ayres wrote.
Plus, when you create a calendar event and the time comes to type in the location, you’ll see suggestions courtesy of Bing, just like in Outlook. It’s also possible to automatically create Skype meetings for calendar events in the revamped Windows 10 Calendar app — this comes after Microsoft started letting people add Skype for Business meetings in Outlook. These moves parallel what’s offered in Google Calendar but give a more powerful desktop calendar experience out of the box if you don’t want to deal with full Outlook.