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July 6, 2018

Outlook.com to get Dark Mode for reading email at night

by John_A

The Outlook.com feedback hub reveals that a dark mode is coming to Microsoft’s online email client. The company revealed a sneak peek in October 2017, but a representative says it was merely a prototype that needed lots of work to be worthy of mainstream use, hence current the delay. The final ready-to-use version should appear on Outlook.com “soon.”

“One reason for the delay is our insistence that we deliver the best Dark Mode of any leading email client (you’ll understand when you see it, I guarantee),” the representative says in a post response. “We’ve redesigned the colors and code multiple times and are proud to enter the final stretch.”

The news arrives by way of a post on Microsoft’s Outlook.com forum where one user said a dark/night mode is essential and “a necessary feature.” So far, the post received 1,013 votes and falls behind other complaints including problems with the new layout (1,038 votes), an issue with automatically opening emails (1,065 votes), the difficulty in distinguishing read and unread messages (2,623 votes), and more.

Currently you can change themes on Outlook.com, but that simply alters the colors of the toolbar, category highlight bar, and a few text headers. Overall the web client is a brilliant white, which could be somewhat blinding if you’re working in a low-light environment. That’s where a dark mode would come in handy as seen in Windows 10. Unfortunately, changing your browser’s theme won’t change the overall look of Outlook.com.

“Like you, we eagerly await the day this is finally available to the public. I am elated to announce that that day is very soon,” the representative adds.

Although Outlook.com is free to use for anyone with a Microsoft account, the company introduced “premium” features for Office 365 subscribers in October 2017. The benefits include an ad-free experience, real-time link checking to prevent malware, real-time attachment scanning, 50GB of storage, and premium support provided by the Outlook team.

Microsoft updated the back end of Outlook.com in October 2017 to determine your physical location and move your data to the nearest datacenter. That doesn’t mean Microsoft will move your data if you’re a Virginian on vacation in Paris, France. Instead, if you move to Paris, your data will eventually shift over to the closest data center as well.

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