A new leak this past weekend is putting the spotlight on more critical features Microsoft will need to get right if it hopes its Windows 10 operating system will push Windows tablets to compete against the iPad and rebuild its reputation with notebook and desktop PC lovers.
Thanks to leakers, Microsoft enthusiasts and industry watchers were able to get their hands on Windows 10 10051 over the weekend. Windows 10 10051 has a higher sequential number than Windows 10 10049, meaning it’s a better representation of what users can expect than the version currently available to Windows Inside Program participants. That’s important because this new version of Windows 10 includes two apps that we’ve been waiting for: Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar.
WinBeta, a website that mostly focuses on the operating system released a video this weekend that breaks down the new Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps available with the Windows 10 10051 leak.
Outlook Mail in Windows 10 10049 has a streamlined interface and setup process that’ll have upgraders and new Windows 10 PC buyers singing Microsoft’s praises. Besides syncing over the email connected to the Microsoft Account it’s attached to, Outlook Mail prompts users to add a new account the very first time it’s opened. Mostly, Outlook Mail seems to be a refined version of the Mail app in Windows 8.1. A small pane on the far left lets users switch between accounts and folders quickly. A slightly wider second pane lets users browse through their mail. A third pane shows the emails. When there are no emails to render, the app simply shows a background picture that’s completely customizable.
Like the Outlook apps for iPhone and Android, quickly swiping from left to right lets users trash mail that they don’t want.
Outlook Calendar in this Windows 10 10051 leak has the biggest changes. A full-view of the current month sits along the left side of the screen complete with a list of different calendars that are visible in the month view on the right. Options for switching between Month, Day and Work Week calendar views are on the top-right. Outlook Calendar borrows the blue and white color scheme used in Outlook Calendar.
Notably, Outlook Calendar now supports Google Calendar, which wasn’t available in past version of the app.
New versions of Outlook Calendar and Outlook Mail might not sound like something to get excited about, but they are.
For one, they’re inclusion in the leak indicates that Windows Insider Program members should have them on their devices. Once that happens they can be tested and picked through for any issues.
Second, one of the biggest problems users had with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 was their pretty lackluster Mail and Calendar apps. In Windows 8 both apps seemed tailor-made for tablet users alone. Essential options were hidden off-screen in a settings pane. Today, marking an email as something that belongs in the Junk folder requires that users know to right-click and look for the option in an app bar at the bottom of the screen. They’re a usability nightmare and a poster-child for what went wrong Windows 8.
These new apps ditch the hidden app bars that used to float out from the bottom of the screen. They each have a quick way to access settings. What’s more, they are tailor-made for mice and keyboard users, but keep touch in mind. When Windows 10 isn’t in tablet mode these apps will shrink down so that users can run them along with the Desktop apps they already know and love.
Unfortunately, the Windows 10 10051 leak didn’t include a look at Microsoft’s new People app, which should be bundled with the Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps for the final release. Microsoft plans to launch Windows 10 this summer.