Microsoft Clarifies the Deployment Schedule for New Outlook

Almost a year ago we wrote about how the majority of our add-ins would not work with the new version of Outlook.  We like the concept behind the new version of Outlook (that is, to unify the look and feel so that it looks the same whether you’re using the desktop, the web version, a phone or a Mac) but at that time, we became concerned that there may be only a short time left before Microsoft would force the change from the current version to the new version.

Well, last month Microsoft published a clarification on the rollout schedule of the new version of Outlook.

The short story is that the version will be in an “opt-in” stage for another year (possibly two) as new features get implemented.  Then, it will no longer be in beta and it will go into “general availability”.  You can still use the old version in this stage.  After some time, probably a year or so, Microsoft will begin making the new version of Outlook the default, and you will have to “opt-out” in this stage to keep using the older version.  Finally, support for the old version will end in the final stage, probably sometime around 2029.

So now that we all know what to expect, we can plan accordingly to update Outlook.  For us, we will continue to migrate our most popular add-ins to the new Outlook.  As you may know, we already have done a few:

All of these add-ins work on both the old version of Outlook and in the new version of Outlook (meaning they work on the desktop, Outlook on the web, on Macs, etc).

We will keep developing products for the new version of Outlook, and now you can make your plan to migrate with this new information, knowing you have a few years.