Microsoft is rolling out an update to Outlook that will “dramatically” improve the reliability of shared calendars.
The Redmond, Washington-based company calls the update “arguably the biggest change to Outlook for Windows since its initial release in 1997,” which seems a bit much for what amounts to back-end changes to improve functionality. In fact, lower in Microsoft’s update, the company said it hopes people don’t notice the change as it’s “one of those improvements that should be invisible because it eliminates issues but doesn’t change the core product functionality.”
Still, if you’re a long-time Outlook user and have struggled with shared calendars in the app, this update may be a blessing for you.
Microsoft actually started testing the new shared calendar experiences for Outlook in 2019 and will now slowly roll it out to users. Some of the improvements include faster sync times for new and updated meetings, as well as new abilities for meeting organizers to extend or end recurring series without impacting exceptions for past meetings, automatic updates to attendees changed in a meeting list and more. When Microsoft started previewing the changes, it shared a video detailing what’s new, which you can see below:
The Verge points out that these changes should fix long-running issues with Outlook on Windows, which can take too long to sync changes to shared calendars. Those delays can lead to meetings disappearing, calendars becoming out of sync and other headaches.
Microsoft currently has around 10 percent of Outlook for Windows users on the improved shared calendar experience and will continue rolling out the features through the spring and summer. It’s also worth noting that features are already available for those who use Outlook on the web, Mac or mobile.