Microsoft Outlook has the distinction of being one of the world’s most widely-used email and calendaring systems — and the one that arouses the most profound indifference in its users. So we found the only person in our office who is non-ironically excited about the updates to Outlook that Microsoft announced this week.
First, the facts.
Microsoft is folding Outlook.com into its Office 365 platform, which means companies can rejoice that every possible element of an employee’s CorporateLifeInfoStuff will now be accessible in one place. It also means new features for Outlook email, which you can see in the Microsoft video above. This isn’t just about business users, either, because the new Outlook also makes some business features available to regular users now, like a program called Clutter that learns what kinds of emails you usually throw away and proactively starts throwing them away for you.
Nicholas Stango (pictured above) is a videographer and former Gizmodo staffer who is the one person in our circle of contacts who actually uses Outlook and got excited about all the new features. And no, he’s not your grandfather, OK? Stango is so young that I’m not even sure he counts as a millennial. Which is actually kind of the point.
I talked to Stango in Slack about the new Outlook. Because it’s always good to use a creepy new office communications technology to talk about an older one.
Annalee [3:24 PM] OK so what has kept you using Outlook all this time?
Nicholas Stango [3:24 PM] cause the actual email portion of outlook is really really good
its design is really clean
and there are shortcuts to manage emails more directly
Annalee [3:25 PM] what does it have that gmail doesn’t
Nicholas Stango [3:25 PM]
those are my email previews
see the flag — [the] sweeper?
Annalee [3:25 PM] yeah
Nicholas Stango [3:25 PM] unread trash
that is the absolute best cause i can manage emails really fast
Annalee [3:27 PM] What do you think of the new features?
Nicholas Stango [3:30 PM] clutter is great
its a feature thats been around for a little while though
only for like business users — so its moved down to regular people
Annalee [3:31 PM] What about search? like were you yearning for better search
Nicholas Stango [3:32 PM] yeah the search thing is cool
the pinning thing is amazing — it fixes flags
i flag stuff to keep it at the top
pinning makes more sense
Annalee [3:36 PM] will [this update] make people choose it over gmail?
Nicholas Stango [3:36 PM] no, but not because its not good
mostly cause its a msft product
it has a connotation that it will never escape
it’s way better than gmail in so many ways and it looks nicer
[but people hear about it and just start making hotmail jokes]
... maybe younger kids will want to use it though
but people arent gonna switch
Annalee [3:39 PM] so this is basically outlook for the post-millennial generation
Nicholas Stango [3:39 PM] haha
if you dont have an email
its the better choice
So there you have it, people, from the typing fingers of a true Outlook lover. This clean, well-designed new version of Outlook is going to be the email choice for the generation coming up after Facebook, after Snapchat, and after Gmail. The people who don’t yet have email will absolutely be choosing Outlook.com.
Start your engines, post-millennial marketers. It’s a brave new old world out there.