Microsoft confusing users again with new Outlook update

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 24, 2024
Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft plans to push a new Outlook version to all customers. This new version will replace the Mail and Calendar apps of Windows in 2024, and the Outlook desktop application in the future.

A new update for Outlook is now available that Microsoft hopes will make things clearer for users. This update adds the word classic to the desktop version of Outlook. The version was named Outlook only until now.

Here is a screenshot of the old status quo:

Multiple Outlook apps

If you have not paid attention to Microsoft's announcements, and most users have not, then it is confusing to see two Outlook apps installed on the device.

The idea behind the name change, likely, is to make it clearer to users that the desktop Outlook that some have used for decades is not the one that they should use. While classic Outlook won't be deprecated until at least 2029, it is a clear indication that it will go away at one point.

The new Outlook is the future, according to Microsoft. It is not liked universally though, as it lacks features that classic Outlook supports. It seems likely that Microsoft will remove "new" from its name at one point to complete the switcheroo.

As for Mail and Calendar, these will be crippled starting July (via Dr. Windows). The app will be set to read-only mode by Microsoft. In other words, you can't use it anymore to retrieve or send emails.

This is the first step to push Windows users to use the new Outlook version. It remains to be seen how well this works out for Microsoft. There are several other email programs out there, including classic Outlook but also the free Thunderbird, that could be used as replacements.

Not the first time Microsoft is making confusing changes

Microsoft has a habit of making confusing decisions. Remember the Teams fiasco? There was a Microsoft Teams for consumers and one for businesses. Problem was, it was never clear which would open when you clicked on links that were designed to open in Teams. They even had the same name in Start and an icon that was nearly identical as well.

Another example was the release of a new OneNote, which sat next to the classic OneNote app for a long period. The two apps, OneNote 2016 and OneNote for Windows 10, even had the same icons. Microsoft decided furthermore that it would be a great idea to rename OneNote 2016 to just OneNote.

Closing words

Windows users who do not need one or both of the Outlook apps may uninstall them. This is done with a right-click on them in the Start menu, or under Settings > Apps > Installed Apps. Eventually, users of the desktop Outlook app, and Mail and Calendar, are forced to make a decision.

What about you? Do you use an email application?

Microsoft confusing users again with new Outlook update
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Microsoft confusing users again with new Outlook update
Microsoft released a new update for Outlook that changes the name of one of the Outlook apps in a confusing way.
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  1. NotOnMySideOfTheCloud said on June 26, 2024 at 11:20 pm

    I have actually preferred and have been using the Outlook desktop versions in 2010 and 2016 for years. I saw this coming eventually. I don’t want Microsoft storing my mail and calendar in the cloud, outside of my complete control and privacy so they can force me to change something that works perfectly fine for me. So, I installed Thunderbird a year ago and have been waiting for them to get closer in functionality in comparison. They are very close now, and hopefully will fix the one thing that is a minor annoyance to me:

    In Outlook, if you uncheck “send immediately” it keeps your composed Email in the outbox by default until you select the send and recieve button. Easy one click. In Thunderbird, you need to first open up another menu and then select “put in outbox”. Then open the file menu and select “send unsent messages.” Akward and unecessary, instead of just clicking on the cloud app (which is not intuitive), to both send and recieve only those already in the outbox. The cloud icon only recieves new messages.

    I understand how the defaults might be desirable, but this also should be customizable. There should be a account configuration option for this in TB, instead of having to do several clicks to place and send a message from the outbox. It would better support some workflows.

  2. User said on June 25, 2024 at 4:38 pm

    We tried it on the company laptops. It is near useless. It lacks important features, but the worst part is that the reminders and notifications are extremely inconsistent. It needs some serious SERIOUS work. It is a cheap, hollow skeleton compared to the full outlook app.

  3. 45 RPM said on June 25, 2024 at 9:21 am

    Considering the millions of companies where Outlook is integral to their business for more than sending at receiving email, this is totally disconnected from reality. We have an in-house customer relationship app that integrates with Outlook to auto generate emails when there are critical updates, to remind them when licenses are within 60/30 days of expiration, as two examples. These do not interoperate with web based Outlook. And its not a matter of rewriting it to do so – it just doesn’t work that way.

  4. John G. said on June 24, 2024 at 11:14 pm

    Outlook what?
    Thanks for the article!

  5. Anonymous said on June 24, 2024 at 6:47 pm

    Proton users are amused, once more.

  6. John said on June 24, 2024 at 6:14 pm

    Microsoft just can’t make a clean break from anything. Always making a naming mess or other confusing choices that are not clear or decisive.

    1. Anonymous said on June 26, 2024 at 5:24 am

      What happens when the software department is run by a brain-dead marketing fools on their MacBook’s, who are not using Windows or any Microsoft products.

  7. TelV said on June 24, 2024 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve never used it other than when it was called Hotmail. But that was decades ago.

    I have a paid for webmail account with Tuta (formerly Tutanota) which also includes a desktop client and a mobile app. They have a free version, but I’m not sure whether it includes the desktop client or not.

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