Outlook is a monolith on the Windows-Desktop and it’s hard to imagine the modern workplace without it. Over the years, Microsoft brought the app on macOS as well and put it in a great shape to even support Apples new M1-SoC straight from the scratch. Now, some rumors indicate that the time of the classic Desktop-app could be over soon.
Everything runs under the banner of „Project Monarch“ at Redmond and has the aim to fully replace the native Calendar- and Mail-app in Windows 10. Currently in early testing, the app is told to be run as a progressive web app, being platform-independent because of that background. Already entitled as „One Outlook“, this plan was already and somehow announced at last year’s „Ignite“ video-presentation, as Windows Central discovered recently.
While the well-known integrated Windows 10-apps are surely two apps that are about to be replaced, unifying the multiple different versions of Outlook for Windows and Mac are the other of both sides of the same coin. Not focusing either paid business customers or private users, the new Outlook-app is told to be available for everyone. Progressive web apps (PWAs) aren’t that new, indeed Microsoft deployed the packages for the web versions of Excel, PowerPoint or Word with an update quite some time ago without permission.
Microsoft has not officially commented on Project Monarch. It is expected that the company will begin previewing the new Outlook toward the end of 2021. Replacing Mail & Calendar on Windows is believed to be planned for 2022. While Outlook’s web client for private and business customers is already one of the best web implementation of a complete PIM, it is likely to disappear and further integrate into the specific operating system.
It seems that we see the dying days of classic on-premises apps while Microsoft strives for embracing the progressive web apps. The Outlook vision of „IT and user value in a hybrid workspace“, as the company told last September, appears to be even more graspable now.