What is New Outlook? Is it better? What’s changed? How does it affect you?

Microsoft appears to have started rolling out its New Outlook upgrade. Some Timewatch customers have reported that Outlook users are receiving alerts that their version of Outlook is ‘out-of-date’ and they need to upgrade. The upgrade is called ‘New Outlook’, a new web-based application that runs from a desktop icon and works on Mac and Windows PCs.

20 Second Overview

  • Users report they are being automatically upgraded to New Outlook
  • The new version is very different and has many benefits
  • Outlook is now a web app that loads from a desktop icon
  • As tech has changed, previous PC and Mac add-ins don’t work
  • Plugins are supported but, as the tech is different, new plugins are needed
  • Timewatch already has an Outlook timesheet and Outlook scheduling plugin for New Outlook

Who is Timewatch?
Timewatch is a specialist in Outlook and Teams, developing apps that seamlessly work with Outlook and Office 365. These include Outlook timesheet apps, Outlook scheduling apps, and a robust provider-level Outlook Calendar Sync Server (OCS) that delivers fully scalable, real-time, bi-directional calendar syncing between Outlook and resource scheduling systems with full throttling, queueing, and conflict resolution.

Changes in New Outlook features

Microsoft pitches the New Outlook upgrade as an opportunity to connect all the apps you use in one place, claiming: “It’s a free app for Windows users designed to help you easily connect and coordinate your various email accounts and calendars in one place, with a sleek and modern interface. You can write clear, concise emails and get intelligent suggestions with built-in AI, seamlessly and securely attach important documents and photos to any note, and access OneDrive files and Office web apps without a subscription.”

Some of the New Outlook features

  • New web technology is the same on Mac and PC
  • New, cleaner layout
  • New themes
  • New Outlook view = My Day view
  • Better connectivity to other email and calendar accounts
  • Better To-Do and Calendar integration
  • The ability to pin an email to the top of your Inbox
  • Snooze an email
  • Schedule an email to go at a later time
  • Flip back to the old version of Outlook very easily

Why has Microsoft changed Outook?

Microsoft says it’s improving the Outlook experience across platforms by unifying it into a single web codebase. They also say they provide “a more reliable and stable add-in experience.” They also say this is why they won’t continue supporting VSTO and COM add-ins. Unifying the codebase makes sense. Microsoft currently has many versions of Outlook: PC, Mac, Web (Outlook.com), iOS, and Android. New Outlook unifies the PC, Mac and Web Outlook desktop client versions into one. This reduces the number of versions of classic Outlook from 5 to 3 and makes Outlook consistent across desktop platforms and browsers. This is good for everyone.

How New Outlook affects Timewatch customers

The New Outlook features are a positive step forward for users with a new look and compatibility between Mac and PC platforms. Users can also have access to the same plugins on Mac and PC. Previously, plugin apps were very different on PCs and Macs. Importantly, though, the new version of Outlook does not support Add-ins from previous versions of Outlook. This will affect Timewatch customers who use our Windows Outlook add-ins as they will need to implement our latest plugin for New Outlook

How Timewatch and New Outlook work together

Good news! Timewatch now works with New Outlook using a new timesheet plugin, which in Microsoft speak is an Office Enterprise App. To take advantage of the new Timewatch Outlook timesheet, customers need to upgrade to New Outlook and Timewatch Version X6.2.2 or higher.

The new plugin for New Outlook has improved features and technology. It operates differently from the old one due to Microsoft’s restrictions on Outlook plugins.

Upgrading to New Outlook

It is very easy to upgrade to the latest Outlook, very easy to ugrade your version of Timewatch, and the Outlook plugin is installed once for your organization via the Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center. Once this is done, all users need to do is flip the switch in the top right-hand corner of Outlook to ‘Try New Outlook’. That’s it, our Outlook timesheet plugin is there on the menu ready and automatically starts tracking time for them. (IT teams can also automatically roll out the updates).

Microsoft has made it very easy to try new Outlook, revert to the previous version, and should they do so they also revert to the previous version of our Outlook timesheet. As and when they return to New Outlook, they also return to our new timesheet plugin.

The ability to flip back and forth from New Outlook to Old Outlook is very helpful to users, as it allows them to familiarize themselves with both the New Outlook and the OutlookTime® Outlook timesheet plugin.

Contact us

If you want to learn more about New Outlook, how existing customers can upgrade, or how new customers can take advantage of our Outlook Timesheet or Outlook scheduling systems, please contact us.

Use the form to the right to book a free call with a product specialist or arrange a live product walkthrough.

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