Microsoft’s shake-up of its Office software has affected just about every part of the package, and now Outlook.com looks to be next in line to be refreshed ahead of the release of Windows 10. The company has already released mobile-friendly versions of its Office stalwarts and has set about previewing the 2016 edition of the package, and now its web-based elements seem to be next on its to-do list.
Users should expect to be migrated from the service to Office 365 before the end of 2015, according to a report from The Verge. However, this shouldn’t worry users concerned that the service is set to be discontinued, as the changes look set to bring it closer to Microsoft’s other interests in an attempt for better consistency across their product line-up.
There are no plans to drop the name Outlook.com, and you won’t need an Office 365 subscription to access the new version of the service. It’s still set to be free to use, but it’ll run on the technology behind Office 365 rather than the standalone implementation that’s in place at the moment.
Changes to the service’s UI and feature set should be expected, but it’s difficult to gauge just how quickly they will be rolled out. The latter will be of particular interest, as Outlook.com users are likely aware that development surrounding the service has slowed in recent months.
The support foradd-ins showcased at BUILD 2015 are thought to be a major factor behind this decision. It’s clear that Microsoft is leaning towards a range of software that can be used on many types of devices but runs on a similar infrastructure; this move should help make Outlook.com a better experience for the user, no matter how they choose to access the service.