Report: Microsoft starts Mail and Calendar app migration to the inferior Outlook app
Windows 11 users who use the Mail and Calendar app and have steadfastly refused to switch to the new Outlook app will be redirected to the new Outlook app forcefully. Microsoft announced plans to retire the Mail and Calendar apps in mid-2023. It created a new Outlook app for Windows and began tests in 2022.
In 2023, Microsoft announced that it would redirect the Mail and Calendar app to the new Outlook application. It allowed users to go back to the Mail and Calendar app for a while but noted that this option would become unavailable in 2024.
Reports suggest that Microsoft has now started the migration of users from Mail and Calendar to the new Outlook app.
A short notification is displayed to users who launch Mail and Calendar on their devices. This notification is removed automatically and users are redirected to the new Outlook app afterwards. There appears to be no option to stop the redirection or do anything about it.
Not all users are redirected at this point. A test on two Windows 11 systems was unsuccessful. Mail and Calendar opened as usual on these systems and there was no redirect. It is likely, however, that Microsoft is rolling out the change over time to the entire population.
Not all Windows users are happy about the migration. The new Outlook app should not be confused with the dedicated Outlook app that is part of Office. It is a free app that looks very similar to the Outlook web application. This does not surprise, as the new Outlook client is based on the web version.
Critics of the move argue that the new Outlook app is not matching all features of the removed apps. It also feels slower and less native than the removed apps. Proton, maker of Proton Mail and other services, claimed recently that Microsoft's new Outlook app was communicating with over 770 advertising partners.
The new Outlook app is the new standard email app on Windows. While the classic Mail and Calendar app may still be installed on older devices, only Outlook is installed on newer devices.
Windows users who want to avoid this may switch to a different email client. There is the open source and free Thunderbird email client and others. The dedicated Outlook app for Office may also look like a good choice. It is for now, but Microsoft revealed plans already to migrate it to the new Outlook app as well in the future.
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