Transitioning to the New Outlook for Windows: What Organizations Need to Know

Transitioning to the New Outlook for Windows: What Organizations Need to Know

Microsoft's latest guidance for organizations transitioning to the new Outlook for Windows signals a significant shift in how businesses will interact with this widely-used email software. With the new Outlook for Windows being made generally available for individuals in September 2023, companies are now preparing for a smooth migration to this updated version. Here's a breakdown of Microsoft's recommendations and the roadmap for organizations looking to adopt the new Outlook app:

Opt-In Public Preview
Currently, businesses and organizations using the classic Outlook for Windows app have the option to opt-in and try out the new Outlook app. They can seamlessly switch between the classic and new version, allowing users to compare their experiences across both products. Microsoft emphasizes the importance of user feedback during this phase to ensure a smooth transition.

General Availability and Feature Updates
While the new Outlook for Windows is yet to reach general availability for businesses, Microsoft is continuously adding features and improvements to the app. As organizations gear up for the full release, they can expect comprehensive support for the new version. However, some companies may opt to wait until additional features are integrated before making the switch.

Moving from "Opt-In" to "Opt-Out"
In the next phase, Microsoft plans to shift from an "opt-in" model to an "opt-out" model for the new Outlook Windows app. This means that the new Outlook app will become the default version, requiring organizations to actively switch back to the classic version if needed. Microsoft assures a 12-month notice period before this transition to provide businesses with ample time to prepare.

Cutover Stage and Sunsetting of the Classic Outlook App
The final stage of development involves a complete cutover to the new Outlook app for new installations in businesses. Microsoft will discontinue support for the classic Outlook Windows app in the future, with the company committing to maintaining support for the classic app until at least 2029. Organizations will have at least a year to adjust to the removal of the option to switch back to the classic version.

As Microsoft paves the way for organizations to embrace the new Outlook for Windows, businesses are urged to stay informed about the upcoming changes and plan their migration strategies accordingly. With a clear roadmap and ample preparation time, organizations can ensure a seamless transition to the modernized Outlook experience.

For more information and the latest updates on Microsoft's guidance for organizations transitioning to the new Outlook for Windows, you can visit Neowin's article here.

Remember to stay tuned for more updates on the evolving landscape of email software evolution and organizational IT strategies.

Published on 
March 10, 2024
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