Microsoft Issues Major Update to Mail and Calendar for Windows 10

It was a key feature of the Accompli email app, which became Outlook for iOS and Android after Microsoft acquired the company in 2014. These are initially being made available to Outlook.com and Office 365 users, with a planned roll out for other providers in the coming weeks. You can also turn Focused Inbox off if you find it more of a hindrance than a help. Regulators from seven countries are concerned that even after the announced changes, "Microsoft does not comply with fundamental privacy rules". You can also adjust what emails end up in Focused using the "Move to Focused" and "Move to Other" tools.

The details of Microsoft's next move are not entirely clear to the public so far, but there are some rumblings as what consumers can expect from the second Windows 10 update of the year. By testing these new techniques on a small scale, the company learns how to possibly improve a feature in existing software or introduce an entirely new concept. "Joining the focused inbox is a new option for mentioning contacts within emails using the trusty ole "@" symbol. Doing so will add them to the To: line of the message as well. Once you pick the person you want to address, their name is highlighted in the message in blue, helping them know they are being asked to take an action in your message.

Finally, Microsoft says there are more small improvements that will round out the user experience.

Color categories to allow you to categorize events by color and quickly pick out specific event types.

The color categories feature that have been a part of Outlook for several years is now making its way to Windows 10 Calendar, too.

The group was joined by privacy advocates, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), over its aggressive methods of encouraging users to upgrade their computers to Windows 10-which the groups claimed grabbed an "unprecedented amount of usage data".

Some of these features have actually quietly debuted in previous builds of the apps.

Microsoft did allow tracking of package delivery or ticket reservations, but now it shows them in a simplified summary cards format in your inbox and calendar enabling you to quickly access travel reservations and package delivery details, check for flights or change hotels and rental vehicle reservations; and even sends reminders of these events. The Bing-powered feature lets users track TV programs and sport teams' schedules.

  • Carolyn Briggs