Microsoft presses ‘Send,’ a mobile app for quick office communications

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Introduces Send, A Short-Form Email App That Works More Like Instant Messaging.

Send, released on iOS Wednesday, is an email that app that takes an instant messaging-style approach to your inbox by stripping out almost every aspect. Set to compete against Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp and the plethora of other services, Microsoft hopes the Send app will appeal to users of its Office software. ‘Of course, you can use Outlook for this, but today we’re launching a new app through the Microsoft Garage that is built specifically for those brief, snappy communications—Send, designed for in-and-out email.’ ‘While tools like text messaging and IM are great for short messages, you often don’t have your co-worker’s cell phone number or an IM app on your work phone. ‘And we’ve heard loud and clear from people at work, they want all their communications available in Outlook—even if they send them from other apps.On Wednesday, Microsoft entered the instant messaging space with Send, an app that ties in with Microsoft Outlook to shoot quick, pithy messages to your coworkers.

This is where Send comes in! ‘ Rather than a full email, Send gives a simple, quick text message-like experience – but work with office email directories and is saved as a conversation in Outloook. ‘These are the sort of quick emails you send to the people you care about at work—your boss, your teammates, and sometimes partners or customers outside your organization. With Send, as the app is called, the idea is to make email perform more like instant messaging, as it does away with more formal email constructs – like the subject line, for example – in favor of quicker, shorter messages that you can dash off in seconds.

The idea, Microsoft says, is to strip out the unnecessary (and annoying) parts of email — subject lines and signatures, for example — to make those quick day-to-day brief messages you exchange with coworkers and colleagues faster and easier. “With Send, there are no signatures, subject lines or salutations required,” Microsoft’s Outlook team explains. “Our design principle for the app was to make conversations fast and fluid while keeping the people who are important to you at its core.” If that sounds familiar, it’s almost identical to a description of a new chat-style email app from the Outlook team, nicknamed “Flow,” that leaked online back in May. First, Send is only available for the Apple iPhone in the U.S. and Canada; the company will release a version for Android and Windows Phones in the coming months, according to Microsoft. Though the app sounds much more like a chat app than an email client for business users, Send only supports Office 365 business and education accounts for now so messages sent in the app are synced to Outlook and Microsoft say the app will work with companies’ existing IT policies. The concept is intriguing, but has so far failed to resonate with a large number of consumers who, today, often simply abandon email for simple communications and instead use mobile messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or even just SMS or iMessage. But Microsoft argues that there’s still a place for this sort of short-form messaging within email, too, noting how you may need to quickly send a co-worker a message like: “don’t send the presentation yet!” or “let’s chat in 10,” for example.

Send could also be used for simple back-and-forth conversations, like “are you in the office today?” / “No.” Send is the latest app to arrive out of Microsoft Garage, Microsoft’s internal initiative that lets employees and teams turn ideas into real-world projects, many of which have been cross-platform mobile applications. Microsoft Garage works something like an incubator within the company, as the projects that emerge are really just concepts looking to see if they can achieve product-market fit.

When you’re typing a response, the person you’re exchanging messages with will be able to see that you’re responding, an indicator that you’re aware of what he or she just sent you. And if you’re literally running to the meeting and don’t have time to tap a detailed response, Send will give you the option of swiping in from a number of short, pre-programmed responses.

Why this matters: It’s unclear how much of a splash Send will make; after all, most modern smartphones are smart enough to tie a particular contact to both an email account as well as a phone number.

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