Microsoft Outlook is one of the most ubiquitous email clients in the world. It’s installed on every computer with Microsoft Office. There’s also a mobile app called Outlook, not to mention a web version. Don’t forget, it’s also an email service. Of course, there’s a separate email and calendar app for Windows 10.
If all of that sounds confusing, you’re not alone. It seems that even Microsoft realizes that it has gotten a little out of hand.
Windows Central reported earlier this week that Microsoft is working on a new, unified Outlook that ditches most of that in favor of a progressive web app (PWA) for Windows and Mac. Considering how important Outlook has been for Microsoft, that’s risky. There are a lot of things that could go wrong.
Outlook is important, despite the fact that it’s years behind not only its competition but its users as well. Arguably, for Microsoft, Outlook is one of its most important productivity tools, which means there’s a lot on the line.
The challenge is that Microsoft isn’t exactly known as a company that creates amazing software experiences. Because it has to serve such a wide range of users, from individuals, families, and schools to small businesses and giant corporations, most of its software leans more toward utilitarian function than elegant design. Or, to put it differently, the company usually plays it pretty safe, so as not to break anything that millions of people depend on every day.