Microsoft Declares War on Email Attachments With Outlook Web App Update
In its bid to promote collaboration, Microsoft enables in-browser editing of Office file attachments in the browser-based Outlook app.Microsoft is cutting a few steps out of the process of working with email attachments with a new update for Outlook Web App users. The company has rolled out a new document collaboration feature, announced Microsoft Exchange's Steve Chew, senior product marketing manager, and Joey Masterson, senior program manager. As its name suggests, Outlook Web App (OWA) is the company's Web-based version of the Office 365 email and calendar software, accessible via a Web browser and Internet-connected device. Outlook Web App now spares users the need to download Office attachments, fire up Word, Excel or PowerPoint, save and reattach the files. It's a procedure that "requires multiple steps and context switches, which can be distracting and time-consuming," observed Chew and Masterson in an Office Blogs post. Microsoft, in its quest to minimize the well-worn tradition of alt-tabbing between applications, has enabled in-browser editing. Going forward, users can "edit a document straight from Outlook Web App and attach this edited document to an email response in just a few clicks," they said.
Clicking on an attachment generates a preview of the file, right alongside the email itself. It's a time-saving feature that eliminates "flipping back and forth between windows to get all the information you need," added the Microsoft bloggers.