During the Ignite conference agenda entitled “The Outlook of Evolution,” Microsoft announced new plans to unify the cross-platform experience through web technology. Project lead JJ Cadiz describes the benefits of migrating to a web architecture and demonstrates some of the features of Outlook on Web Powered Experiences (OPX).
The software giant is understood to be working to migrate Windows, macOS and mobile clients to a common architecture on the UI layer, such as using React to provide cross-platform clients for iOS/Android/macOS.
The Evolution of Outlook (via)
To provide reliable synchronization between these devices, Microsoft Sync Technology (MST) technology is also needed as a common synchronization stack, and the company has introduced it to redesigned Mac clients.
Microsoft says the common architecture allows it to deliver new features to more platforms faster, while reducing engineering costs and ensuring consistency of those features.
It plans to build features on the Web and then port them faster to desktops, mobile, and other platforms, such as the newly added Room Finder features on the Web side.
In addition to the performance improvements and development efficiencies associated with shared architectures, this meeting details further integration with other Microsoft 365 products.
During the presentation, Microsoft demonstrated features such as an improved spell-checking experience, an immersive reader for desktop clients, and a translator (consistent with improvements to Word software).
Other features enabled after OPX include web/desktop client integration for Microsoft Teams video conferencing, and direct viewing of Microsoft Teams messages and files through Outlook.
In addition, Microsoft will use OPX to introduce complete application modules, such as the To-Do experience, on Windows clients to help the application integrate better with enterprise task solutions.
Finally, while Microsoft hasn’t announced when these OPX-based improvements will be introduced to desktop clients, Office Insider testers will clearly be the first to get a taste of the crowd before it becomes a public-facing release update.