back to article Microsoft teases Outlook Lite for Android

Microsoft is readying a "Lite" version of its flagship messaging and calendar app for Android. News of the app appeared on the software giant's feed of forthcoming items on the Windows 365 Roadmap. The description offered is scanty: "An Android app that brings the main benefits of Outlook in a smaller app size with fast …

  1. UCAP Silver badge
    Joke

    Sounds like ...

    ... the Return of Outlook Express (tm). At a cinema near you.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Sounds like ...

      [shudder]

      I'm pretty sure that would go against the Geneva convention

    2. Pink Duck
      Windows

      Re: Sounds like ...

      It’s already here, in the form of Microsoft’s (unloved) existing “Outlook for Android” v4.2224.2 app.

      Around since 28th Jan 2015. Could this just be a PR renaming exercise? Deeper integration with OWA?

    3. MatthewSt

      Re: Sounds like ...

      Or "Outhouse Express" as a former colleague used to affectionately call it

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funniest thing I've read in a long time...

    "Not many Android handsets are notably underpowered these days."

    Maybe not. But crippled, yes. Most have brutal background app killing to make the battery life look better than it is.

    Anon because I have to work with Android :-(

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Funniest thing I've read in a long time...

      I was the upvoter. For the downvoters - https://dontkillmyapp.com/.

      As a user your choices are Pixel, Nokia, or HTC if you don't want your apps randomly killed.

      1. Lazlo Woodbine Silver badge

        Re: Funniest thing I've read in a long time...

        I've got a Nokia X20, it doesn't kill background Apps and I still get at least two full days from a batter, often three workdays and charge it on the third night

        No idea what the other phones are doing if they kill apps and still can't get a couple of workdays out of a battery...

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    The main benefits of Outlook

    A preview is already available by enabling the IMAP switch in the company Exchange server and using your usual e-mail client which in all probability is already lightweight as it wasn't coded by MS.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: The main benefits of Outlook

      Or, using Exchange Activesync on the standard mail app that comes with your phone.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The main benefits of Outlook

      True, but most people stick with Exchange for the calendar stuff and that's proprietary.

      Outlook for Android is truly awful. I think it was something Microsoft bought, badged and forgot about hoping that the name alone would suffice. It has some classic "this icon doesn't do what you think it will".

      For those that are required to work with Exchange, the Nine suite is worth a look. Yes, you have to pay for it but for a work device that's reasonable.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: The main benefits of Outlook

        I was very happily using the built-in mail and calendar client with Exchange and it worked perfectly.

        Then last year, IT killed it and forced us all into the abomination that is MS Outlook for iOS/Android, apparently because "security".

        I still don't know what that meant, but now I have two, entirely separate calendars on my phone because the Outlook calendar sync *does not bloody work*. When I gave it access to the phone calendar it just duplicated all the events. Every few days.

        Pretty soon I was getting ten notifications for every event, so I killed it and blocked it from the phone calendar.

        1. Martin 75

          Re: The main benefits of Outlook

          What that means is that Legacy protocols, IMAP and Activesync particularly but also the likes of POP3 and some weird Exchange/Exchange online endpoints bypass "Modern Authentication" so you can't enforce MFA on them, either via Conditional access or by hard-enabling it. Password spray / brute force attacks pretty much all use these protocols which can't be fixed without changing 'the protocol spec' which everyone would moan about.

          Instead, sensible IT departments turn them off at the Organisation level to help the department sleep safe at night.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: The main benefits of Outlook

            Why not read up on the IMAP authentication methods that a decent IMAP server offers, instead of incorrectly attributing Exchange server's deficiencies to IMAP?

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: The main benefits of Outlook

            Last year's attacks on Exchange were facilitated by the use IIS to "secure" access. IMAP can be made just as secure as any other protocol* but its use also prevents Microsoft from forcing everyone onto Microssoft 365 which is a security disaster waiting to happen.

            * Sensibly you don't try and do it all in the protocol but work with other systems that do little else but authenticate.

          3. Rockets

            Re: The main benefits of Outlook

            IMAP & POP3 can be enabled to support OAUTH2 with Exchange & Office 365 which will it it secure but it's extra work for the admins. But it depends on the deployment and what they've setup. If your using MS InTune as a MDM then Outlook with MS Authenticator is pretty much the client to be use to lock it all down as per the MS playbook.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The main benefits of Outlook

          > apparently because "security".

          You misspelled "allegedly".

          And to be clear, I'm not commenting on the security (or lack of) in Outlook -- I honestly don't know. What I'm really saying is "security" is often trotted out by IT et al as the lever (crutch) when what they really mean is "this is what we want to use, because reasons".

          I experienced that same event at my last company. It seems pretty common with Corporate IT teams which are entirely Microsoft shops rather than supporting the needs of the company.

          E.g. forcing engineering to use Windows, because that's what IT knows, when the product they develop is based on Linux. Many of the engineers adapted and carried on (though none I knew were happy about it), some with diminished productivity, some simply decided enough was enough and sought greener pastures.

          The irony is that company had started out as a Sun/Solaris shop in the majority, migrated over time to Linux, and eventually Corporate IT decided (unilaterally) that the Company Standard would be Microsoft. They gave lip service for a while to Macs and even Linux (mostly hands-off support, but "allowed"), but eventually they enabled enough proprietary Microsoft services in the environment that even the lip service was hollow.

  4. getHandle

    This is needed!

    Every time my wife complains about her Moto G9 grinding to a halt it's when she's trying to do something in Outlook. Not a high end phone but certainly not under-powered. Typical bloody MS software...

  5. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    CoDeirdre

    I wonder if Microsoft is working on CoPilot, but for emails. Could be called CoDeirdre.

    Imagine if you could receive emails you actually want to read and your replies would be met with friendly and eloquent responses.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a 'Teams Lite'!

    A program that doesn't suck the life force out of the latest and greatest hardware and make it run like an IBM XT

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      They could call it MSN Messenger.

  7. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Outlook in a smaller app size

    Full-fat Outlook is over 200MB, which is inexplicably huge for a phone app and a bit of a challenge for those of us cheapskates who have expectations of getting 5+ years of use out of their mobile phones despite their lack of power and storage compared with current models.

    I've been using IMAP and K-9 mail (21MB), but it seems to have removed too much from the Android Email client on which it's based (32MB), to the extent I find it barely functional (despite all the positive reviews). I'd certainly give Outlook Lite a try, but, according to this, it only allows you to create a single account type. It's not immediately clear whether this means all your accounts have to be the same type but can be POP/IMAP/Exchange/365... or whether it will only support Office 365 accounts. If the latter it would be a pity: I've yet to find an Android email client I like (for Android versions >9) and it would be good to have another option.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Outlook in a smaller app size

      IIRC Outlook is a webview based client so you get all the fat from an embedded browser and no functionality.

      K9 was abandoned for a while. I switched to Fair E-Mail and can heartily recommend it, though some of the settings can take a while to understand. See above: for the one Exchange account I have, I use Nine but that is as much to keep up with trends as anything else: I made sure that IMAP was left switched on the Exchange server for my desktop client: MailMate on MacOS.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Outlook in a smaller app size

        No doubt too late for this reply to ever be read, but thanks for the suggestion of FairEmail - working out very well so far!

  8. 43300

    It sounds like this is a 'home-user only' version (why that's needed is a mystery) - much the same as Windows 11 has a 'home user only' thing called Teams, which is not the same as business Teams and has no clear use case either!

  9. Calin Negru

    redundant

    just another app that will most likely bring nothing new in terms of functionality compared to the other already existing a stack of email apps.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I did install Outlook on my Samsung, (since I'm still using Hotmail address) and didn't want stuff stored in gmail - just personnel preference.

    Anyway, I uninstalled it after a while as it "helpfully installs / opens" Edge for some features, such as links in emails. I already have Chrome, Samsung Internet, Vivaldi (by choice, syncs up with desktop/password etc) on this phone, I don't need another browser doing the same features (I use Edge at work, vivaldi at home - keeping work and home completely separated so no risk of cross contamination.... if you know what I mean.....

    **IF** the light version is just email and calendar, I **may** look at it again - if I can be bothered

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not hard to know what it's about.

    Windows 11 requires a micros~1 account, this extends their monitoring and data mining from the limited time you sit at their PC to 24/7/365 you carry their phone. To micros~1 you are just a revenue stream. Wake up lemmings !

    1. 43300

      Re: It's not hard to know what it's about.

      The Pro version of W11 doesn't ned an MS account - you can till set up local ones (although of course they make the option difficult to find!)

  12. teknopaul Silver badge

    Main benefits of outlook

    Re:What are the 'main benefits' of Outlook?

    The main benefit is that its installed on my work Laptop and not on my phone.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Main benefits of outlook

      Outlook calendar on my phone speaks to the Thunderbird calendar on my PC(s).With the aid of the TB add-on TBSync.

      And that's the only thing that really concerns me. I need my calendar, on my desktop, to be with me when I'm out and about using my phone. Emails to a lesser extent. But I do need to know where I'm going next. And be able to add new events in as they come up, knowing they'll appear on my PC for when I'm at my desk. (And not by using Google!)

  13. Ball boy

    Hold on: MS make a lite version of something?

    MS and 'lite'? Now, they're not two words I generally expect to see in the same sentence unless it's April 1st.

    Maybe we've just regressed to the good old days when a well-known person said something along the lines of '640Kb should be enough for anybody'.

  14. joed

    what about the browser?

    The lite option is already there and does not require cluttering phone with MS cruft or - worse - mobile management.

    Btw, while MS is at it, could they take care of Teams? Why is taking 700MB+ on iPhone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what about the browser?

      Because, behaviorally, Teams is somewhat like the systemD of Windows -- it wants to involve itself in everything.

      And if you're not using it that way then "you're doing it wrong".

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