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Microsoft launches Outlook.com Beta: Faster framework, more personalization, and a smarter inbox

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After the massive Outlook.com overhaul last year, Microsoft is back at it again. The company today announced Outlook.com Beta, a new version of the web email client users can try to improve by giving feedback to the team’s engineers and designers. The company is promising the beta will bring a faster Outlook.com with new ways to personalize emails, a smarter inbox and calendar, and a “more connected” People experience.

To opt in, just click the “Try the beta” toggle in the top right corner of your Outlook.com inbox, which will be rolling out to all users “in the next few weeks.” You can switch back to the regular web experience at any time (just hit the toggle again), so trying the beta shouldn’t be too much of a pain.

Right now, Outlook.com Beta brings three improvements:

  • A faster experience: A more responsive web development framework means quicker loading, an upgraded search feature, a fresher look with a modern conversation style, and a new design to let you see, read, and attach files faster.
  • Better personalization: You can personalize your inbox with your favorite people and folders, as well as give your communications a personal touch with an easier way to access tons of expressions, including popular emojis and GIFs.
  • A smarter inbox: Your inbox now shows you Quick Suggestions (such as restaurants, flights, or your favorite teams’ schedules) as you type, an improved photo experience puts all your sent or received pictures in one place and makes it easier to share them, and a modern conversation style makes it easier to manage and preview photos and attachments.

“Additional enhancements” are in the pipeline, set to be rolled out over the next few months, including updates to calendar and people. The company promises to iterate, improve, refine, or discard Outlook.com beta features based on user feedback. The best innovations will be brought into Outlook.com “at the end of the beta,” though the company wouldn’t specify how long the beta will last.

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