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We Talked to a Man Who Is Actually Excited About Microsoft Outlook

Illustration for article titled We Talked to a Man Who Is Actually Excited About Microsoft Outlook

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 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]

Illustration for article titled We Talked to a Man Who Is Actually Excited About Microsoft Outlook

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


Start your engines, post-millennial marketers. It’s a brave new old world out there.

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The main reason I hate Outlook, is the search is atrocious. Sometimes I search for something that is the exact subject line of an email, and not find it. Eventually I manage to find what I was looking for, and I’ll copy and paste the subject line into the search bar, and it still won’t show up. But in general, the subject line is a searchable field. That’s just one example, but the search is just terrible in a ton of ways. It makes finding email a nightmare, since my preferred method, inspired by using gmail in my personal life, is just dump everything in one folder and use search, rather than trying to organize thousands of messages.

Note that I’m using Office 2007 at work, so its possible this has already been improved in 2010 or 2013.