Up to date as of May 2023
Microsoft have started making “New Outlook” generally available to try. While the UI is nothing to complain about, Outlook power users who require specific add-ins (e.g. Accelerator) will likely stick with what Microsoft now refers to as the “Classic Outlook for Windows.”
“New Outlook” is a project that has been in the works for a few years. The major change is that the app is in fact the same as Outlook on the Web (OWA) but in a local browser container. This is in fact how our Outlook add-in module for Accelerator works since the New UI was introduced.
This architecture change from Microsoft is important to note as it removes support for COM add-ins. The Outlook add-in module that is shipped with Accelerator is a COM add-in. In order to access Accelerator from ‘new outlook’ each user will have to install Accelerator via the Office 365 manifest.
This change to ‘new outlook’ means losing some features of Accelerator as the developer experience is more restrained. The main changes include:
- Send and File and Send and Prompt. OWA does not support send events and so we cannot implement this. Instead users will have to select the sent email and file it manually.
- With OWA as it is right now, Accelerator has to be installed for each mailbox as Office Add-ins are set up per mailbox. If you use multiple domains and share mailboxes this can be a real challenge. We have provided feedback to Microsoft on this, our hope is that they will address sooner rather than later.
- Alias Mailboxes are not supported with add-ins. They may just look disabled or won’t open. We are hopeful that Microsoft will address and make a change to allow this in future.
- The Accelerator task pane when opened needs to be pinned to stay open. this can be addressed through training.
On the upside, the deployment experience is much easier for admins and individual users. MAC and Outlook on a browser support will be available (currently the case for Accelerator with the upgraded UI).
From our point of view, with immediate effect we are focusing primarily on the OWA experience and how we can best improve our offering there. There will be some challenges for those who transition to New Outlook but as of now, it is not time sensitive to do so.
Full details on ‘New Outlook’ are available at https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/office/getting-started-with-the-new-outlook-for-windows-656bb8d9-5a60-49b2-a98b-ba7822bc7627