Outlook is getting Gmail-style text predictions and email scheduling

Chris Davies - May 11, 2020, 8:55am CDT
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Outlook is getting Gmail-style text predictions and email scheduling

Microsoft 365 is getting new text predictions, echoing Gmail’s Smart Compose by adding easier ways to compose replies in Outlook. The new feature will suggest words and phrases as users write messages in Outlook.com and Outlook on the web, based on predictions as to what they’re likely to want to say.

Much as we’ve seen with text predictions in other apps, the suggested phrasing will appear automatically as a suggestion. Pressing either the Tab key, or the right arrow key, will accept that suggested text.

Alternatively, if you’d rather not accept it, you can simply keep typing and the suggestion will disappear. If the system gets annoying as a whole, it’ll also be possible to turn it off. That option is found in Settings > View all Outlook settings > Mail > Compose and reply; under the “Text predictions” section, there’s a check box for “Suggest words or phrases as I type,” a Microsoft support document explains.

Microsoft expects to roll out text predictions to Outlook on the web this month, according to its Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Windows Latest spotted.

It’s not the only new Outlook feature, mind. Another entry in the Roadmap confirms that the mail service is getting a scheduling option, which will allow messages to be sent automatically at a later point in time. Dubbed “Send later,” the feature is expected to come to Outlook on the web sometime in Q2 of this year.

Microsoft 365 keeps getting smarter

The two new features are just the latest in a series of updates for Outlook and other Microsoft 365 products. Over the weekend, for example, a new option that automatically blocks Reply-All email storms was added. While frustrating and distracting to individual users, these goofs can be a serious headache for system admins, since they can put a huge load on servers.

As a result, the new protection system will spot 10 such Reply-All storms that impact over 5,000 recipients in the course of the last hour. Once triggered, it’ll block all replies to that thread for the next four hours. A non-delivery report will also be sent to the person who tried to reply to the whole of the initial distribution list.

It comes as Office 365 rebrands, to Microsoft 365, and the company brings more enterprise-first features to mainstream users. That includes smart document generation for Office apps and video calling tech and messaging in a new Teams for Consumers app.There’s also a leaked password monitoring system that can track the dark web for stolen credentials.


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