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Windows 10 preview now includes new Outlook mail app and theme tweaks

Windows 10 preview now includes new Outlook mail app and theme tweaks

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Microsoft is releasing a new preview of Windows 10 today with some additional features and changes. While a previous build leaked with new Outlook Mail and Calendar apps, Microsoft is providing them officially today in build 10061. Microsoft is borrowing the new swipe actions from its Outlook for iOS / Android client and bringing them to the Windows version, and if you have a Windows 10 touch machine then you’ll be able to swipe right on mail to set a flag or swipe left to delete messages. These swipe actions are customizable, just like the mobile version of Outlook. There’s also support for multiple accounts, and easy ways to add Google or Exchange accounts.

The Calendar app is very similar to the look and feel of the Mail app, with support for Google Calendar, and even shared Google calendars work fine. The new colorful Calendar app is greatly improved over the Windows 8.1 version, and it also feels like an Office app. Microsoft hasn’t integrated it directly into its Mail app, so it will launch as its own separate app in the same way it did in Windows 8.1.

Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps screenshots


A new theme and tweaks to the Start Menu

Changes elsewhere include some slight tweaks to the Windows 10 user interface. There's a new black system theme across the Start menu, Taskbar, and Action Center. Microsoft has also added transparency to the Start menu and Taskbar, and the ability to resize the Start Menu again. There's even an AutoColor option that pulls colors from your background wallpaper to theme Windows 10. The power placement in the Start Menu has been altered, based on feedback Microsoft says. It's now in the bottom left of the Start Menu, similar to where it is in Windows 7 and previous versions of Windows.

Microsoft is also making some changes to the Continuum tablet mode for Windows 10. A previously leaked build revealed these changes in detail, and Microsoft says it’s making the touch mode "more touchable" with the Start button, Cortana, and Task View buttons all growing in size once touch mode is enabled. Pinned and running apps are also removed to "reduce clutter and simplify the experience." There’s also some minor improvements to the Task View icons, buttons, and thumbnail previews, and the ability to create as many virtual desktops as you want.

Windows 10 might be ready in time for a late July launch, or at some point in the summer, but that doesn't mean it's bug-free. As usual, there are a number of known issues with this particular preview. One bug prevents desktop apps from launching from the Start Menu. A workaround involves searching for your particular app and then pinning it to the task bar or simply launching it that way. As always, this is a preview release so it's best to avoid installing this on a main machine.