Microsoft planning a web-based universal version of Outlook

Microsoft planning a web-based universal version of Outlook

Microsoft is planning on consolidating Outlook for Windows and the Mac, providing a single version based on web technologies.

Published on 11th January 2021

Outlook is one of the most popular productivity apps, enjoying widespread use across Windows, Mac and iOS/iPadOS. In order to support those platforms, however, Microsoft has to maintain multiple version of the application, one for each platform. This represents a significant degree of overhead, even for a company as large as Microsoft.

While web technologies were once used strictly in the creation of websites and web-based applications, modern advances have paved the way for web languages and technologies to be used in desktop applications. This has been a boon for developers, making it relatively easy to target the web, desktop and mobile platforms from a single codebase.

According to Zac Bowden at Windows Central, Microsoft is preparing to take this approach with Outlook, basing a single desktop client on the web version of Outlook. Codenamed Project Monarch, the new approach is the culmination of Microsoft’s “One Outlook” vision.

Bowden’s sources tell him the new version will still behave like a standard desktop app, complete with offline storage, native OS components, notifications, share targets and more.

This is good news for Outlook users, as it will help ensure that all users enjoy the same features and experience.


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