Windows 11 is losing Mail and Calendar apps – so you’ll have to use Outlook whether you like it or not

Microsoft has set a date to remove the Mail and Calendar applications at the end of the year from Windows 11, as well as dropping the apps from the Microsoft store. The company will also stop putting out updates or support once the year is out. So, if you haven’t moved over to Outlook, you’ve got until December 31, 2024 to do so. 

You may notice in the coming weeks a little pop-up will appear when you open the Mail or Calendar app trying to nudge you over to the Outlook app and give it a go if you haven’t already. Of course, Windows 11 devices released in 2024 will come with the updated Outlook app as the default mail app, so if you’re working on a new machine you’re likely already using Outlook. 

You’ll still have the option to ignore the prompt and carry on with Mail and Calendar, but only until the end of the year. If you’re still keen to stick with them, you will have to make sure they’re already installed and up to date on any device you plan to be using them on (like your home computer, work set up, personal laptop and so on). 

Sticking with it

Do bear in mind that you won’t be receiving any security updates or bug fixes once the cut-off point passes, and there’s no guarantee after the fact that Microsoft won’t bin them off entirely soon after. 

Users are still on the fence when it comes to embracing Microsoft Outlook, with some eager to get to know the updated interface and others adamant about not moving away from the familiar Mail and Calendar apps. Either way, you don’t seem to have much choice, and having yet another message from Microsoft pop up to encourage them to move to their newer software may not go down with users who are already sick of Microsoft's nagging.

Via Windows Latest

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Microsoft Outlook is getting an AI upgrade that will make the Mail and Calendar apps redundant

Microsoft plans to shut down its Mail and Calendar apps and merge the two into an updated Outlook for Windows, and use this as an opportunity to introduce more artificial intelligence features.

In a blog post from Microsoft earlier this month, the company noted that Windows 11 devices that will be shipped next year will include the new Outlook for Windows as the default mailbox app. The updated Outlook will include both mail and calendar tools that will eliminate the need for the respective Mail and Calendar apps: so you’ll just use the newer Outlook instead.

The Register notes that the Mail and Calendar apps will still be available to download through the Microsoft Store up to the end of 2024, but the move doesn’t seem to be a popular decision going by reactions online – and tweet from a systems engineer and Office 365 specialist Michael Reiners suggests that Microsoft might be rethinking the plan, or at least the timing.

The tweet below shows a screenshot of an email or memo from Microsoft that says “We are reevaluating the timing and implementation of this change and will provide updated information shortly.”

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It's unclear why the tech giant is hesitant to roll out these changes, and the company has not responded to a request for comment from the Register as of yet.

Microsoft is giving users a chance to look at the latest Outlook for Windows. If you’d like to give it a try head over to the Mail and Calendar app and hit the 'Try the new Outlook' toggle. Merging the mail and Calendar Capabilities into Outlook is part of Microsoft’s larger One Outlook plan laid out in 2020 to create a single Outlook for PCs, Macs, and the web.

These changes present an opportunity for Microsoft to implement AI into Outlook, and hopefully streamline everyday tasks within mail and calendar capabilities, in a similar way to how Google has introduced Bard and generative AI into the Google Workspace.

Whether you're for AI integration into your daily workspace, it seems like that is the direction companies like Microsoft and Google are adamant to head towards. It would be interesting to see exactly how Microsoft plans to introduce artificial intelligence to declutter and improve your task management. 

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Apple’s macOS Sonoma update won’t support your legacy Mail plug-ins

If you plan to upgrade to macOS Sonoma later this year but also happen to make use of legacy Mail plug-ins, you're going to be in for a bad time. That's because the update will remove support for those plug-ins for the first time.

Plug-ins can be used for a variety of things, like bulk email management and automation. They can often be used by businesses and power users and now it appears that they're going to have to consider upgrading to something newer or ditching those plugins and their features altogether.

With Apple now putting the macOS Sonoma update through what is sure to be months of beta tests proper to a September or October launch, there is plenty of time for those decisions to be made. One other option is to just not update yet, but that's less than ideal and no use at all if there are new macOS features that you could make use of.

Legacy Mail

As MacRumors points out, Apple confirmed that it would kill off legacy Mail plug-ins previously, but didn't say when that would happen. The warning was given when macOS Monterey was released in 2021, and there was even a replacement for legacy plug-ins announced at the same time.

That replacement is the MailKit framework and developers have been tying into that ever since. However, there is still a good chance that some legacy plug-ins haven't been updated, leaving their users in a difficult position.

Some developers are already aware that Apple is deprecating legacy Mail plug-ins and are working to get their projects ready for the big day.

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However, while MailKit extensions can be more secure than their legacy counterparts, they don't have the same level of access which could impact the features they offer. As a result, it's also possible that some legacy plug-ins simply won't make the move over to MailKit at all.

Apple announced the macOS Sonoma update during the WWDC event on June 5, but it was far from the only update previewed. The new iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 updates were also shown off for the first time — they're all now available in beta and should be ready for the public this September.

That was just the software, too. Apple announced the first non-Intel Mac Pro, an updated Mac Studio, and the first 15-inch MacBook Air during the same event. The biggest announcement was undoubtedly the arrival of the Vision Pro AR/VR headset, however.

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