Tag Archives: microsoft outlook.com

Outlook.com Puts Productivity at Your Fingertips

Microsoft Outlook.com is the modern approach to email. This new service combines all the elements one would expect from a first rate email service and so much more. It connects you to your social networks like Twitter and Facebook. You can also work smarter with online versions of Office web apps and SkyDrive storage for your documents. Outlook.com is so much more than an email client. It literally puts the power of Microsoft Office in your web browser anywhere you can access the web.

Outlook.com Menu

Let’s say you’re at a friend’s house and you decide to jump on their computer to check your email. You get an email from your study partner reminding you of a PowerPoint presentation that the two of you are collaborating on. It’s one of those moments where you smack your forehead because you realize you totally forgot about the assignment. Fortunately for you, Outlook.com gives you all the power of Microsoft Office right there in your browser. In the image below, you can see an example of the PowerPoint presentation that was sent. Notice the large PowerPoint icon in the middle of the screen. You have several options here. If you click the PowerPoint icon title, it will automatically download the presentation down to your computer. What if you don’t have Microsoft Office on that computer? That’s where the handy “View online” button will help. You see, with Outlook.com, you don’t have to Microsoft Office to be able to edit presentations. It comes with Office Web Apps which allows you to edit your presentation right there in your browser.

attachment

Notice in the image below, how viewing the presentation online looks very similar to what you would see in desktop application of PowerPoint. This is the view you see when you choose to edit the presentation online. You will notice the standard ribbon toolbar that you are used to seeing in PowerPoint. You also have many of the same elements of the desktop application of PowerPoint like the slide thumbnails and the toolbar buttons.

powerpoint

If you click the “New Slide” button, you will get the dialog box pictured below. Choosing the “Picture with Caption” option will allow you to upload a picture onto the slide. You also can add titles and text just like the full version of PowerPoint.

slide-templates

Below, you can see an example of the picture slide with a caption and title. However, that is not where the Office Web Apps’ capabilities end. If you click on the picture, you get the contextual “Format” tab at the top of the ribbon toolbar. Notice all the frame options in the image below.

frames

Once you have completed your presentation, there’s no need to worry about saving. Outlook.com automatically saves the presentation as you go. Another fantastic feature is versioning. You can literally revert back to an earlier version of the document if you mess something up. When you close the presentation, Outlook.com automatically asks you whether you want to send the updated presentation back to the sender. It shows how well the Outlook.com team thought out its features–and this is just PowerPoint.  The other Office Web apps work similarly with the features you’ve used for years.

This is just one example of how Outlook.com is truly a modern approach to email. I could literally write dozens of tutorials based on the new features built in to Outlook.com. No other service I know of integrates so well with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can literally write posts on your Facebook friends’ walls directly from Outlook.com. Email storage is virtually limitless as well. As long as you’re not spamming the world or abusing the service, Outlook.com does not put quotas on your account. This barely scratches the surface of the new capabilities built-in to the new Outlook.com. I highly recommend taking a moment to visit their preview website at Outlookpreview.com and learn more about this great service.

Outlook.com is a preview of modern email from Microsoft. It has a fresh and intuitive design, connects your email to useful information from Facebook and Twitter, and gives you a smarter inbox with the power of Office and SkyDrive. Visit Outlookpreview.com to learn more and connect with us at @Outlook on Twitter.

Full Disclosure: This was a paid review of Outlook.com and its services. More information can be found about Outlook.com via http://outlookpreview.com

Declutter Your Email Experience with Outlook.com

Microsoft is currently previewing its new modern approach to email called Microsoft Outlook.com. This new service combines all the elements one would expect from a first rate email service. Outlook.com connects you to your social networks like Twitter and Facebook. You can work smarter with online versions of Office web apps and SkyDrive storage for your documents. This does not require you to have a local version of Microsoft Office, by the way. It also sports the fresh Windows 8 tiled design which is very clean and intuitive to use. Outlook.com is a great way to declutter your email experience.

inbox

Pictured in the image above, you will notice the new Outlook.com interface. If you look across the top of the image, you will probably notice what isn’t there. As you can see, there is only a small icon labeled “New” with a plus sign beside it. One of the first things the Outlook.com team set out to do was declutter the user interface. The bar at the top is contextual, meaning it doesn’t show you unnecessary options. However, if you click on an email you will be given a set of options at that time. An example of these options is pictured below. You will also notice how nicely all the menu items and individual emails are spaced. This really makes the visual experience of using Outlook.com much easier on the eyes.

sweep

Organizing messages in the new Outlook.com is extremely easy. If you look at the picture above, you will notice one of my favorite Outlook.com tools – “Sweep”. The “Sweep” tool has incredible inbox cleaning capabilities. Let’ say for instance, you select a message from a newsletter subscription. Using “Sweep” you can automatically select and delete all similar messages from your inbox. You can also use it to move these messages to a particular folder, or delete all of the old messages and keep only the current one.

ads

One last feature I am totally impressed with is the way Outlook.com handles ads. I know that may be the last thing one would consider, but I consider it a great feature for two reasons. First of all, the ads are very low key and blend in nicely with the rest of the Outlook.com theme. This is truly a “customer’s first” approach to advertising if you ask me. Look at the area highlighted in red in the picture above and you will see what I mean. This is the one of only two places you will see ads in your email. The other is when you view an email that is not a personal contact. They don’t splash pictures everywhere and try to force you into accidental clicks to look at their ads. There is no doubt in my mind that this will affect ad revenue for Microsoft which is why I say this is a “customer’s first” approach.

The second thing that impresses me about Outlook.com’s ads is the way they go about contextualizing the ads for their users. “Why is this so important?” you ask. You may not realize that many online email providers actually read every word of your emails to gather specific information about you. They use this information to target ads toward you. While this is largely done in an automated way, if you’re like me, you have to be concerned about privacy and security. Outlook.com has taken the approach that it will only use the information you give it. As much, or as little, information that you are willing to put on your Outlook.com profile is what is used to generate the context for ads. Outlook.com does not read your emails to gather information about you. This, to me, is a huge benefit for the end user, especially if they are security conscious.

As you can see, there are some great benefits to switching to the new Outlook.com. Take a moment to visit their website and take advantage of their preview.

Outlook.com is a preview of modern email from Microsoft. It has a fresh and intuitive design, connects your email to useful information from Facebook and Twitter, and gives you a smarter inbox with the power of Office and SkyDrive. Visit Outlookpreview.com to learn more and connect with us at @Outlook on Twitter.

Full Disclosure: This was a paid review of Outlook.com and its services. More information can be found about Outlook.com via http://outlookpreview.com.