Microsoft to Release Outlook Web App for AndroidMicrosoft to Release Outlook Web App for Android
Microsoft (MSFT) plans to release its Outlook Web App (OWA) for Android, nearly a year after the technology giant first released the free email and collaboration app for iOS users last July.
April 1, 2014
Microsoft wrote about the imminent release of OWA on its Office 365 blog, where Senior Product Marketing Manager Steve Chew outlined several of the major new features coming to Outlook, which originally were introduced at this week’s Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Austin.
“For a billion people, the phone is already their first and only connected device. We know that nearly half of emails are now first seen on the phone. So it’s clear that phone is becoming the primary screen for communications,” said Chew on the Office 365 blog. “Our phone users will have great built-in support for Exchange via the default email app on all phones—plus they can also use the OWA app on iOS and now Android to get the latest features.”
The first addition to Outlook is the addition of what Microsoft is calling “Clutter,” a personalized tool for sorting important email from junk mail based on user preferences. Chew said the tool will analyze a user’s response patterns and learn to sort email based on whether emails are typically ignored or read.
OWA also will include Enhanced Document Collaboration, a tool that will help recipients share files and coordinate over email. Enhanced Document Collaboration will allow for multi-author editing (à la GoogleDocs) and has full integration with OneDrive for Business. Finally, Microsoft will utilize groups similar to those in Yammer to allow users to aggregate information in specific feeds. Users will be able to further organize their information by integrating those groups across Exchange, SharePoint and Yammer.
Like last year’s release on iOS, Android users will be required to log into OWA with their Office 365 credentials to access Outlook on their mobile devices. Microsoft has not cited a specific release date for OWA at this time, saying only that it will begin rolling out these features later this year.
Microsoft seems to have doubled down on its software releases as of late, as the company also announced free versions of its OneNote app for both Mac and Windows users, while simultaneously offering a version of the popular Office suite for iPad. In addition, Microsoft’s Brad Anderson spoke to vendors about the company’s new Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) cloud service bundle, which will allow users to better manage their enterprise mobile devices.
New company CEO Satya Nadella looks to be making good on his promise to support enterprise users, but it is still too soon to say whether his efforts will make a difference.
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