The Mail App in Windows 8.1 had been updated to take advantage of some of the features of Outlook.com, among other changes.
Microsoft says the goal was redesign the e-mail client so that it looked great not only on your PC, but on mobile devices. They point out that 68% of users access Outlook.com on a mobile device. The Mail app has been improved to work better with a touch screen interface. If you use Outlook.com, this interface is going to look pretty familiar. Users can now drag and drop messages into folder. Microsoft says that’s one of the most requested features from consumers.
They haven’t forgotten mouse and keyboard users and have now included hover commands on the message list.
Microsoft says this update is optimized for work and personal use and they’ve added advanced multi-account features that enable you to do things like change the return address of your e-mail. Plus there’s also support for advanced IT policies. Not surprising since many companies are instituting Bring Your Own Device policies.
Also new, something Microsoft calls the Power Pane. When you set up your account, Mail will analyze your inbox and put those you communicate with frequently into the People category. It will also suggest additional people to add to favorites. When you click on a person, you’ll see all of the e-mal you’ve exchanged with them. Microsoft says it will adjust over time based on your e-mail habits. They warn it might take awhile to populate your People view. If you use Outlook.com, you’ll recognize the People category.
Mail also lets you pick favorite folders to place in your Power Pane, so you can easily drag and drop messages into folders.
Mail will work with the e-mail provider of your choice, but if you do use Outlook.com, you’ll have some advantages. Newsletter and social updates will be automatically recognized and sorted and you’ll be able to use Outlook.com’s handy Sweep feature in your Mail inbox. It will also sync up with your Outlook.com calendar and contacts.
The updated Mail app is part of the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 offered to users of Windows 8.