Streamlining is the name of the game these days, and it appears this is fast becoming an important strategy over at Redmond. The One Microsoft philosophy could not have come sooner.
When Windows 8 launched it missed a few essential apps, while at the same time it included a few (arguably) dispensable ones. The company took care of the Messaging app in Windows 8.1, while at the same time making Skype available out of the box on all installations.
And now it seems the company wants to take this policy one step further — even though the Mail app was recently updated in the new OS, it may soon be heading for retirement.
ZDNet claims, citing sources close to the matter, that Microsoft is planning to give up on the Mail and Calendar apps on its flagship operating system, in favor of the Outlook tool.
Both these apps were originally designed by the Windows 8 team, and the final version of the Outlook app has just been made available to Windows RT 8.1 users to be used in the desktop interface.
Essentially, this means that the company will have to develop a completely touch optimized version of Outlook — one that plays nicely in the Modern UI — it is increasingly becoming clear that Redmond needs to take care of this confusion and have a single email client across its various platforms.
This is a pretty credible rumor (at least, as far as credibility of rumors is concerned), but there is no concrete date as to when we may be able to see something like this happen.
But I guess we can peg the upcoming Spring GDR update to Windows 8.1 that is set to go live next year as the most obvious candidate. It is already set to bring a large number of changes, and some further streamlining of apps could well be on the cards.