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Microsoft shows how Outlook is fighting back against Gmail with new features

MICROSOFT HAS announced a revamp of its Outlook email service, as it fights back against Google’s recently announced Gmail relaunch.

New features have begun rolling out across Windows, Mac and mobile with web versions available now and apps following during this month and next.

Quoth Outlook: “You have emails to respond to, things to take care of, and places to be! New Outlook features—across Windows, Mac, web, and mobile – help you manage your time and keep what matters most front and centre. Also, new features—coming soon in Outlook for iOS and Android – will connect you to the people, apps, and technology that power your productivity and help protect you and your business.”

It can now scrape your emails to remind you when bills are due. For iOS users, it can now use your location to tell you when you need to set off for that meeting in your diary.

It can tell you who has responded to meeting invites and even suggest locations for a meeting or other event. It can help juggle multiple time zones better too, which is a nightmare when organising phone meetings.

The mobile apps are getting various features, not entirely commensurately to begin with but all quite interesting. Both get proxy support, handy for firewalled organisations. iOS gets bcc alerting – so there’s no risk of hitting “reply all” to people you never knew were seeing your emails. As a sender, you can also block forwarding too.

One of the more interesting new additions is the rollout of Azure Active Directory support, meaning that you can access your company’s entire phone list as part of your contacts. Previously restricted to the desktop, the addition on mobile is a logical step for today’s mobile offices.

More to follow for mobile include syncing up your Drafts folder with other machines and Office Lens for Outlook, making it easier to scan documents or take a picture of that masterpiece plan you drew up on the whiteboard.

Further down the line, there are Favourite People, as seen in Windows 10, Quick Reply with a chat type interface, Office 365 Groups events in Outlook, external content blocking (for Android) and GDPR compliant single account group policies. µ  

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