Microsoft Upgrades Outlook With New Email Features

Microsoft has added several new features to Outlook, including a few that may affect email marketers.

For instance, the Block external content function -- which will be added to Outlook for Android this month -- allows users to stop their email opens from being tracked.

"Tracking which emails are opened can be important to digital marketers," Microsoft says a blog post. "But if you don’t want this to be tracked, Outlook now helps to protect you and your inbox and block this external content."

Another new offering isFavorite People,which enables account holders to keep "key contacts front and center" in their mobile search experience and message folders, Microsoft adds.

Observers note that this upgrade is occurring soon after Google’s redesign of Gmail.

Microsoft is also offering several services that address online usage in the workplace:

  • Single Office 365 account in Outlook limits the risk of employees with company mobile devices copying information from Office 365 to a personal account or mobile device, or accidentally sending company information from personal accounts.
  • Proxy support allows firms that use SOCKS proxies to block direct access to the internet from mobile devices. Available in Outlook for iOS and Android, this will add a layer of protection between company data and the internet, Microsoft says. It is available in Outlook for iOS and Android 
  • Bcc warning alerts users that they have been blind-copied on an email messages and protects them from inadvertently replying to everyone. This is available in Outlook for Windows.
  • Quick reply keeps message content in view and has a reply box at the bottom of the screen. It allows users to respond to emails “quickly and more meaningfully in Outlook,” Microsoft says. According to Microsoft, this will be available on Outlook this month, and will be offered on Outlook Mac this summer. And it is featured on Outlook for iOS.
  • Show organization directory details adds details from the user’s organization directory to their Outlook contact information. It is available in Outlook for iOS.
  • Sync draft folders provides the ability to "draft a message in Outlook on one device and finish it on another," Microsoft says. It is available for Windows, Mac and Android and can be used on Outlook for iOS this month.

Microsoft is also introducing such calendar features as bill pay reminders, suggested event locations and meeting rooms, meeting RSVPTracking and forwarding and multiple time zones.

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