Outlook.com is receiving a makeover, as Microsoft is testing new icons and rebranding it as Outlook Mail
Microsoft is working towards rebranding its email service, Outlook.com.
A redesigned drop-down menu which is available to some users, shows that the service will be called Outlook Mail.
The above screenshot was sent to Neowin by some of its readers.
The email service was born as Hotmail, 18 years ago in 1996, and was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. Microsoft acquired it a year later in 1997 and it flourished as one of the most used email services, until the emergence of Yahoo Mail, and eventually Google’s Gmail.
Microsoft launched Outlook.com in 2012, and allowed Hotmail users to login to the new service, with their existing email address, and also allowed the option of getting an (alias) Outlook.com address, while retaining the Hotmail existing email address, merging them in one inbox.
Microsoft rebranded Hotmail as Outlook.com in 2013, to unify the two web services to match with its Outlook email apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and later for Android and iOS.
And now, it appears that the Redmond company wants to remodel Outlook again.
Look at the image below, which shows what the current drop down menu of Outlook.com, and its icons look like.
(Changes listed below are comparisons between the old UI and the new UI)
The most noticeable change is the renaming of Outlook to Outlook Mail, which also carries a beta tag.The first tile, Outlook.com, has been replaced by a tile twice its size, and is called Mail. It is no longer just a static tile. It functions like a Live Tile, in that it displays the notification of a new email along with its subject, contact name and also includes a picture of the sender.
The Calendar tile which was also static, now displays the current Day and Date. The tile is now blue, as is the People tile. Their tiles in the old drop-down menu were Purple and Orange respectively. (refer the above images). The People and One Drive tiles have been redesigned, and no longer bear the solid color-filled icons, instead they now have the outline icons, similar to those found in Windows 10’s UI.
The Word, Excel and PowerPoint tiles no longer carry the “Online” suffix. And the Office Online tile has disappeared altogether. The Sway tile has been introduced in the new UI.
There is no word on when Microsoft will roll out the new drop-down navigation menu for all users. As the screenshot shows that Outlook Mail is still in beta, we may have to wait a while, for the company to finalize on a UI.
Microsoft appears to be unifying the interface based on Windows 10 for all of its platforms.