Microsoft Corporation is trying to change the way people use emails with Flow, its upcoming app. While Microsoft Outlook is already an awesome tool for general communication and emailing, the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft will have Flow run like a messaging application, sans the signatures and subject. It looks like Outlook in its simplified version.
Described as a micro-email chat application, Flow combines chat and emailing by letting anyone do quick chat with those who have an email address. Flow is still in its early phase, said Neowin, and offers just the fundamental chat functions. The app runs on Exchange to power chatting, while messages are stored in the email Inbox so they can be searched later.
Microsoft Corporation’s goal is to lessen the friction and the time spent with emails, while keeping the service convenience used by consumers. Flow is now under internal testing, and if it will prove useful to consumers, the app will have added features.
According to BGR, email is one that needs a good “killing,” and while lots of “email killers” have been introduced in the past, they only changed email partially, and most were only all hype. Now, tech world will have a new “email killer” by Microsoft Corporation called Flow, with screenshots already leaking on the Web.
Flow will be under Outlook, the most recent entry in the category of email apps which are designed to integrate email into an interface that is a mobile messaging app lookalike. Flow has an intriguing concept that can be flawed, said BGR. While a chat interface is conducive to brief interactions, all users in the thread should be in the same application type, and some may take brief replies as rude.
With Flow, users will communicate using e-mail addresses. Flow will be initially available for iPhone with Outlook as its backend power. The app will likely make its way to other platforms as well.
Microsoft Corporation said Flow is a great way for speedy email conversations on the phone with anyone, and it is email. With Flow, one can use people’s email address, and Outlook keeps the entire conversation, so that the user can use Flow and Outlook interchangeably to join the conversations. With the absence of subject lines, as well as, signatures and salutations, Flow makes conversations natural, fast and fluid as it is created for light-weight real-time conversations.
Flow emphasizes focusing on what is important. Conversations start in Flow and replies show up in the app as well, not in the Inbox. In this way, people can focus on the most important topics in person-to-person conversations, sans the noise.
Flow marks Microsoft Corporation’s return to the messaging market, after it shut down the famous MSN Messenger last year for Skype. Released in 1999, MSN Messenger was renamed Windows Live Messenger, but when the software titan bought Skype, it dropped Messenger uses. While Microsoft Corporation is trying to change the way people use emails with Flow, the upcoming app can also be an attempt to take on today’s popular messaging apps Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Since Outlook is popular among businesses, Flow will possibly become the first chat-like email app to gain many users if the enterprise setting is to be based. Neowin published last week, a screenshot of the micro-email app. The app looks “streamlined and sleek,” just like the other apps Microsoft recently released.
So far, there is less information about Flow, functionality-wise, but the Windows platform maker really turned up the heat with regard to mobile apps. There is no specific information as to when it will be released, but the tech world is eager to check on the app and see if Microsoft Corporation will succeed in trying to change email with Flow.
By Judith Aparri
Microsoft News: Microsoft is trying to change the way we use email with their upcoming app
BGR: Leak: This is Flow, Microsoft’s unreleased ’email killer’ for the iPhone
Neowin: First look at Microsoft’s new micro-email app, Flow
The Independent: Microsoft Flow: new chat app being developed that hopes to fix email and messaging
Photo courtesy of Ian Lamont’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License