Microsoft is planning to make its Outlook.com email client a little more social. The software giant is introducing likes and mentions to the web service, allowing users to place a Facebook-like thumbs-up on messages or mention people during emails. Anyone in a particular email thread can see the likes, and if your message has been liked you'll receive a notification.
Mentions sounds like a more useful feature, allowing Outlook users to specifically tag a person in an email thread to alert them. Tagged individuals will be automatically cc'd into an email thread, and receive a special flagged mail item in their inbox. It works in the same way as you'd @ tag a friend on Facebook or Twitter, and it sounds useful for alerting a colleague or friend to an email thread that might concern them.
Microsoft's Outlook business customers on Office 365 will get the features first this month, with preview users of the new Outlook.com interface receiving the update in December. Likes and mentions won't be restricted to the web service of Outlook, though. Microsoft is also planning to update its Outlook for iOS and Android clients with the mentions feature in the first half of 2016. Outlook 2016 clients for Windows and Mac will also be updated at the same time.