While having more operating systems to choose from is a good thing as it encourages competition and offers up a variety, it can also be difficult and tricky for developers as they will need to develop apps that are similar across different platforms. Microsoft is hoping to solve this, at least with Outlook, by developing a universal Outlook web app that will work across both Windows and Mac.
Dubbed Project Monarch, this is part of Microsoft’s “One Outlook” vision that will result in a singular version of Outlook that will work across different platforms. This will also reduce the number of apps the company needs to maintain, which are quite a lot when you think about it. For example, there is Outlook Web, Outlook (Win32) for Windows, Outlook for Mac, and the Mail & Calendar app for Windows 10.
By creating a universal app, it means that they will only need to deal with one version that will work across the board. The company is also reported to eventually replace the existing desktop clients with a singular version that will offer users a similar experience, regardless if you’re using Windows or Mac, making it easier for users to switch between operating systems but still maintaining a familiar UI.
The new Project Monarch client will enter preview by the end of 2021, with the company planning on beginning to replace native desktop apps with it starting in 2022 onwards.