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Microsoft could add new 'Spaces' organizational tool to Outlook

Microsoft is continuing its quest to improve personal and organizational productivity via new tools like 'Spaces,' which may be coming to Outlook at some point in the future.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on
Credit: The Walking Cat (@h0x0d)

Microsoft is working on a new organizational feature that could debut first as part of Outlook. That feature, currently known as "Outlook Spaces," allows users to pull together their calendar appointments, to-do lists, emails, Sticky Notes, files and documents and other information into a single unified project area.

A video showing off Outlook Spaces was posted to Twitter by the Walking Cat (@h0x0d) over the weekend. It's not clear when and if Microsoft plans to add this feature to Outlook from what's in the video, but for now, it does seem to only work when users are signed into their Microsoft work or school accounts. 

When I click on https://outlook.office.com/spaces while signed into my Microsoft work account, I get a message that says "Under Construction." As the Cat notes on Twitter, some have been able to get Spaces working by accessing DevTools in their browsers.

Spaces "pulls together your documents, emails, and events using the search terms you provide here. In upcoming releases, we'll be using AI to assist in discovering and grouping work items into Spaces," says a test form that the Cat posted to Twitter.

I've asked Microsoft for more information on when and if Spaces is coming to Outlook. No word back so far. 

Update (Feb. 17): A spokesperson said "Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation," which is an odd comment, given this is the company's own video. But there you have it.

Microsoft has been working for the past several years on all kinds of organizational tools aimed at improving both personal and organizational productivity.

I'm curious how this new Outlook Spaces tool will be positioned with work Microsoft is doing around "Project Cortex" knowledge management. The Project Cortex service, which Microsoft announced at Ignite last fall, is designed to surface information about users' files, contacts, calendar items, and other work information through their existing Office apps including Outlook.

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