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Microsoft readies test versions of redesigned Outlook for Windows, Outlook on the Web

Microsoft is rolling out interface updates to its Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the Web versions of Outlook. It also is delivering Skype call recording for many versions of Skype.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is making available to testers redesigned versions of its Outlook for Windows app and Outlook on the Web variant. Those using the version of the Outlook app that will be part of Office 2019 won't see these coming changes, Microsoft officials said on September 4.

Also: Windows 10 how-to: Ed Bott's free tech support guide

Microsoft announced earlier this summer that it would be giving its so-called Office 365 and Office.com (a k a Office Online) apps a makeover. At that time, Microsoft officials said they'd begin rolling out changes to the interface of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint "over the coming months."

Credit: Microsoft

The biggest coming changes announced at that time were an updated and simplified Ribbon, icon refreshes and new ways to see changes coming soon to Office.

Outlook for Windows users will start seeing these updates if they are part of the Office Insider program and/or working with Monthly Channel (Targeted) releases as of September. After that, Microsoft will broaden availability to more Office users, based on tester feedback.

Also: Microsoft Windows U-turn removes warning about installing Chrome, Firefox CNET

Those using Outlook on the Web will see an opt-in toggle -- like the one that Office.com testers got -- starting September 10, which will give them a way to "Try the new Outlook."There will be a number of features not immediately available to Outlook on the Web testers when that new version is available as of September 10. These missing features, which span Mail, Calendar and People, are listed in this blog post.

Yes, there are too many different versions of Office and yes, this is confusing to try to keep straight.

Also: Microsoft 365: A cheat sheet TechRepublic

In other app-delivery news of a product with too many different versions, Microsoft announced today that the promised Skype call recording feature is rolling out to users of many, but not all, of its Skype variants. The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of Skype for Windows 10 isn't getting this feature currently; there's no date as to when/if it will. Users of the other Skype versions will get call recording "over the coming weeks."

Microsoft also announced late last week that it's redesigning the Skype client app (yet again).

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