Outlook.com introduces the most sophisticated rules in webmail

When it comes to getting organized, Outlook.com has you covered. Starting today, we are releasing Advanced Rules and three other features, all to help you keep your inbox in top shape and make it even easier to see the email that matters to you.

The average person has 184 emails in their inbox, and receives 28 emails each day.* This can be a lot to handle, so helping you get to the email you care about is one of our top priorities. Outlook.com already has a number of features to help you do this. For example, Sweep (one of our most popular) helps you quickly delete multiple unwanted emails.

The following new features, which are rolling out today, build on our commitment to give your inbox new and better ways to do the heavy lifting and help you save time.

Advanced Rules

With Advanced Rules, you now have more control over how your emails are sorted, filed or bumped to the top of your inbox. You can create multi-condition and multi-action rules and set your inbox to organize itself automatically. Advanced Rules allow you to combine your existing rules together and customize them to suit you. We’ve included a number of optional conditions that are unique to Outlook.com, including time constraints, email tallying, checking read/unread state of emails, and checking if the sender is a contact you know.

Here’s an example of an Advanced Rule:

If an unread email is older than 3 days and is from one of your contacts, mark it as important and flag it.

This rule brings any emails you might have missed, from real people you know, to the top of your inbox.

Create rule page

Undo

We all make mistakes. Billions of emails in Outlook.com are moved from one folder to another every week. Occasionally, you’ll drop an email into the wrong folder or hit Delete by accident. Now it’s even easier to undo mistakes in range of commands—delete, categorize, flag, mark as junk, or move—for one email or a whole group. Just click the undo button, or type Ctrl+Z, to bring them right back.

Undo button

In-line reply

Outlook.com customers use the Reply button almost 8 million times a day. With in-line reply, you can directly respond to an email thread without launching a new view. In-line reply can help you save time, and track your conversations more easily.

In-line reply

More personal messaging

One thing we heard from customers was that starting a chat session with friends wasn’t as easy to find as it could be, so we’ve made several improvements to the experience:

  • Find recent conversations and other contacts you can chat with in the bottom left of your inbox. One click will launch you straight into a conversation with them.
  • If you’re chatting with a friend on one service, but want to continue the talk on another service, now you can switch over from right inside the chat session.

Chat switch

  • You can now browse your People by filtering what service they’re using (Skype, Facebook etc.). You can even see who’s currently available–Icons will now appear alongside names, so you know who’s able to Video, Call or just chat.

Contacts switch

These improvements will be rolling out to our customers in the next few weeks, so if you don’t have access to them yet, check back again soon. Give them a try and let us know what you think, by tweeting to @Outlook or leaving a comment below.

—Mike Schackwitz, Principal Director of Program Management, Outlook.com

*Both studies conducted by The Radicati Group, Inc. (www.radicati.com)