Road map for new Outlook app; classic Outlook supported up to 2029

[German]Microsoft has presented last week a road map for the provision of the new Outlook app for commercial users. As soon as the new Outlook app is generally available, business users can opt out to remain with classic Outlook. This document also states that classic Outlook client for Windows will remain available for Windows until at least 2029.


Advertising

The new Outlook app

Microsoft has been working on bringing its Outlook app to users as a mail client since the beginning of 2023. Microsoft's approach is to replace the "Windows Mail and Calendar app" included in Windows with the new Outlook for Windows. The new Outlook app comes from the Store, is intended to replace the classic Outlook in the long term and has been causing trouble for months.

There were already initial cases in April and May 2023 in which users were annoyed that a new Outlook app was suddenly and unintentionally installed on their systems with Microsoft/Office 365. I took this up in the post Microsoft is installing Outlook-Preview without permission.

I wrote about it in the blog post Microsoft 365: First Windows Mail and Calendar users will be migrated to the new Outlook at the end of August 2023 – Microsoft plans to make the switch to this new app from September 2024. Users of the "Windows Mail and Calendar app" included in Windows will be the first to switch. According to Microsoft, the following will apply after the changeover:

  • Users will no longer be able to use or download the Mail and Calendar apps from Windows.
  • Users with a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription with access to the Microsoft 365 desktop apps can use the new Outlook for Windows.
  • Users without such a subscription can use the new Outlook for Windows with any personal email account (Outlook.com, Gmail, etc.) even without a subscription.

I addressed the problems with the new Outlook app (passwords are send to the Microsoft Cloud, COM add-ins and VBA are no longer supported, etc.) and explained why this app is currently a no-go in the articles linked at the end of this post.

Roadmap for the new Outlook app

So far, Microsoft has only made statements for Windows users with regard to the Mail and Calendar app, which will be replaced by the new Outlook app. There is the Microsoft article Outlook for Windows: The Future of Mail, Calendar and People on Windows 11, which vaguely describes these plans for "2024" and states that new Windows 11 installations will be delivered with the new Outlook app as early as 2024. However, it states that Windows Mail and Calendar (as well as the People app) will still be available on existing systems until the end of 2024.


Advertising

On March 7, 2024, Microsoft published the tech community article New Outlook for Windows: A Guide to Product Availability (via), which provides insights into the roadmap for the launch of the new app for enterprise customers. Currently, the new Outlook for Windows is available as a preview for commercial customers and is approaching general availability.

Try the new Outlook

  • The new Outlook app is therefore currently still in opt-in phase 1, which means that customers are offered a "Try the new Outlook" button in the top right-hand corner of the classic Outlook interface (which can be deactivated by administrators), which they can use to switch to the new app. There is also the option to switch back to the old, classic Outlook client.
  • The next milestone will be the general availability of the new Outlook app for Windows. Customers with the appropriate licensing can receive regular and assisted technical support via their respective Microsoft support programs. This milestone has not yet been reached.
  • After general availability, the next milestone will be the so-called opt-out phase 2, in which the new Outlook will be activated by default. Microsoft wants to determine the start of this phase in collaboration with customers and announce it at least 12 months before the transition to this phase. If required, IT administrators can start the transition in their organization earlier. During this phase, users will still have the option of returning to classic Outlook.
  • This will be followed by the so-called transition phase, during which users will no longer have the option of returning to classic Outlook. New deployments of Outlook from Microsoft 365 subscriptions will then include the new Outlook app for Windows. Microsoft intends to determine readiness for this phase in collaboration with customers and announce it in production rings at least 12 months before the transition to this phase. Again, IT administrators will have the opportunity to transition their organization to the new app more quickly.

Due to the current numerous restrictions on the new Outlook app and the open questions regarding data protection, the following statements from Microsoft are important. Existing installations of the classic Outlook client for Windows with perpetual licensing will continue to be supported. This will not change during the so-called transition phase. Microsoft intends to adhere to the published support schedules for existing versions of classic Outlook for Windows until at least 2029. This is probably the most important information for current users of classic Microsoft Outlook.

Similar articles
Microsoft 365: First Windows Mail and Calendar users will be migrated to the new
Microsoft is installing Outlook-Preview without permission
Outlook at the end of August 2023

Microsoft 365: First Windows Mail and Calendar users will be migrated to the new Outlook at the end of August 2023
New Outlook client: Extended test in January 2024 for enterprises
Beware: New Outlook app transfers access data to Microsoft
New Outlook app: Microsoft's statement on transferred credentials and content
New Outlook for Windows 11: Adding of business accounts denied due to missing licensing
New Outlook: Microsoft will definitely not support COM add-ins
New Outlook app: "Monitoring and surveillance tool for targeted advertising"


Cookies helps to fund this blog: Cookie settings
Advertising


This entry was posted in Office and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *