Microsoft wants to make Outlook for Web a lot more like Gmail

Microsoft has re-designed Outlook for the web with features like predictive text and scheduled send, a sign it will look to compete with Google’s Gmail.

The company’s Microsoft 365 Roadmap includes a description of the new feature: “Using smart technology, Outlook will predict text while you type. Just use the Tab key to accept the text prediction.”

The feature is similar to the way predictive text works in Gmail’s Smart Compose feature which was added on the web and app in May 2018. Users will be able to ignore suggested text by continuing to type and can also turn off the feature.

Outlook.com's new look
Outlook.com’s new look Microsoft Outlook

Outlook will also now feature a “send later” option so you can schedule when emails should go out. Gmail also allows it on both its web and app versions.

Those aren’t the only new features added to overcome some of the complaints about what made Outlook cumbersome to use compared to the much-refined Gmail.

The interface fixes include a new calendar function to coordinate with users’ personal calendars to detect any conflicts, the ability to assign tasks to specific categories, and RSVPing to meetings straight from your list of messages instead of going into the Outlook calendar.

Last fall Outlook had started to allow adding a Gmail account and Google Calendar on Outlook.com so the new changes were not totally unexpected.

The new features are currently being rolled out to users.

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