Skype has updated its Windows version to include Outlook integration. The update (version 6.1) also contains a visual update to the toolbar.
Regarding the Outlook integration, the blogpost containing the description of the new features notes that people tend to spend quite some time on email, and do a lot of switching between Skype and Outlook if they use both programs. The Outlook integration includes the following features:
Skype contact information in Outlook
Contacts that are both in Skype and in Outlook now have their contact information added in Outlook.
Calling from Outlook
Also, when a Skype contact’s number(s) is/are known, they show up in Outlook and you can call them from there – it saves switching back to Skype from Outlook.
Skype contacts are also available in Outlook to call (audio), chat (im) or do a video call
The download can be found here, and the blog post announcing the new Skype 6.1 for Windows can be found here.
Inky is a new desktop based email client designed to help people get through email faster. Its features include the following:
- Sorting emails by relevance (sent by people close to you, shown by a blue drop more blue = more relevant)
- Smart views: sort email by type (personal, social updates, daily deals etc)
- Many types of email accounts supported (Gmail, Apple, Outlook.com, Yahoo!)
- Easy syncing, multiple inboxes (called unified inbox) and more
Inky, it’s a bit like…
Inky email client’s interface looks like this:
When I saw the interface, it immediately reminded me of Fluent, a web-based email client currently still in private beta, which looks like this and has similar features:
See also this post for a description of Fluent. I’ve also conducted an email interview with one of the Fluent founders: you can find that article here.
With its feature set of relevance, smart views and multiple inboxes it seems destined to be used by power users: people who handle more than dozens of emails everyday. If your daily email load is low, Inky won’t add much to your email handling compared to the email client you currently use.
Pump down that volume
The thing with a new email client like Inky destined to handle big volumes of email doesn’t answer or handle the core question: trimming down that big email volume. Because crowded inboxes, no matter how deftly organized, will not make you spend less time on email: less email will however.
If you have multiple inboxes and you like a desktop email client which presents itself as a unified inbox, by all means, give Inky a try. But if not, it won’t make your life that much better or easier as far as I can judge by its feature-set. Also, reducing email volume will help more than hopping onto a different email client altogether.
emailbg.net, created by Stig Morten Myre of Campaign Monitor, is a nifty site/tool that allows you to create cross-client background images in a short amount of time for your email marketing campaigns. The resulting code works in quite a bunch of email clients, listed further below.
The way it works is like this:
- You have your background image hosted somewhere.
- You specify a fallback color (in HTML) .
- Copy and paste a bit of VML and HTML after the <body> tag, and an ending div before your </body> tag.
Done, you now have cross-client background images in many email clients. A simple yet effective way to improve your email marketing.
The supported email clients are:
- Android Mail
- AOL Web
- Apple Mail
- iPad Mail
- iPhone Mail
- Lotus Notes 8
- Outlook 2000
- Outlook 2003
- Outlook 2007
- Outlook 2010
- Outlook 2013
- Outlook XP
- Yahoo! Mail
Check out the website here.
If you’ve logged into your Hotmail account in the past few hours, chances are you’ve been greeted with a message from the Outlook Team noting that the service has been renamed to Outlook.com:
As an existing Hotmail user you have the option to get an Outlook.com email address, while the original Hotmail address email will still be delivered in your inbox. Read more
The new Outlook 15 email client, which will be part of the Office 15 suite by Microsoft, will have some nice new features especially heavy on social networking. A preview has been posted by Winsupersite.com.
For email marketers there’s also some not so good news, but that will follow at the end of the article.
First up, Outlook 15 will have native integration with Hotmail. Next to that, social network integration includes Facebook and LinkedIn. Like the Windows Mobile 7 OS, the Contacts part is now called People, making it consistent across Microsoft’s line of software products.
A few screenshots:
Social integration – info being called up:
Outlook 15 will also include a weather bar in the Calendar:
One nice feature is the inline replies part. When replying, normally a new window would pop up. Now replies will be composed in the preview pane, just like the Outlook Web app:
A new feature called Peeks allows the lookup of information on objects without leaving your current working window (below calendar):
The not so good news for email marketers is the fact that Outlook 15 will still use Word as the email editor and render engine. This means that we’ll still have to code like it’s 1999 as is the case with Outlook 2007 and 2010.
This summer a public beta is expected of the Office 15 suite, and full release of the software is expected late this year. This will fall in line with the Windows 8 release.
More info here and here.