Q&A with Juan Balmori, Microsoft Principal, about the New Outlook Add-Ins Model

January 10, 2023

Q&A with Juan Balmori, Microsoft Principal, about the New Outlook Add-Ins Model

Since its inception, harmon.ie has worked in partnership with Microsoft to build better tools for Microsoft users and IT operations. It was during one of our meetings with the Microsoft Partner Program team, that we realized it would be a good idea to share the plans for the new Outlook. The gist is - Microsoft is coming out with a new Outlook, and harmon.ie is working closely with Microsoft to build a new harmon.ie for the new Outlook – harmon.ie Cloud.

Our recent online event dove into the details of this upcoming evolution. harmon.ie’s CEO, Yaacov Cohen, discussed the future of Outlook with Juan Balmori Labra, Microsoft's Principal Product Manager for Office Extensibility and the founder of the new Web Add-Ins model.

If you want the full scoop, catch up and watch the webinar. If you are feeling impatient and want some of the highlights, keep on reading some of the questions you asked answered:

What can you tell us about the new Outlook?

The new Outlook is not a drastic change. It's a natural evolution of the Outlook product.

Outlook has had different platforms and experiences. The new outlook is basically a unification of the Outlook code base, intended to give a single unified experience.

Outlook web client is going to be the essence of the new Outlook now. One of the benefits is the ability for our customers to get the latest updates faster.

How will this impact IT departments?

The only extensibility model that will be supported is the Web add-in model. COM add-ins will no longer be supported. IT organizations will need to analyze their add-ins and find equivalents with Web add-ins. Our team has been working very diligently with a lot of ISVs with the top-used add-ins to support their transition into Web add-ins. Long term, this move will be helpful because of the consistency of the experience. The deployment models for Web add-ins are way better than the COM add-in model, and you’ll also get faster deliveries of fixes and value across all endpoints.

How does Microsoft support the move to Web add-ins?

It's in our top interest that all our ISVs can get into the new web add-in model. We are trying to make sure that the add-ins that have the most usage have everything they need to be created as Web add-ins. We started with security add-ins, moving to online meeting provider add-ins and then productivity add-ins, such as harmon.ie, which is one of the ISVs that has been very successful in the COM model. We are working very closely with your team trying to identify essential gaps that your product has now.

When will Microsoft release the new Outlook?

You can already try it today in the Beta Channel. We are aiming to make the transition as smooth as possible. The transition to Outlook will not happen overnight. It will be a journey of approximately two years.

Want to help shape and improve the new Outlook?

If your company has developed COM add-ins, today is the perfect timing to engage with Juan’s team and communicate different gaps that you might have during the transitions to Web add-ins. Weigh in here and complete the Microsoft survey.

Will One Outlook have the same abilities as the desktop version? In particular, checking email offline?

Yes! The team is working on the essential features we have in the Windows platform and moving them to the new Outlook. Offline is on the list.

What about the discontinuation of Outlook desktop in the government Cloud?

The roll-out of new features into the government Cloud will be a bit slower than in the usual channels.

What about the support of COM add-ins for Excel?

We are currently only working on Outlook. Everything we said is relevant to Outlook only.

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