Outlook.com launches Advanced Rules for filtering hundreds of emails

14 May 2014

Microsoft’s Outlook.com webmail service is to get a filtering overhaul with the addition of new Advanced Rules which aim to make old emails more navigable.

In its blog post about the new service, Microsoft explained there needed to be an advanced way of filtering important emails from the hundreds that can fill up a person’s inbox on a daily basis.

According to Microsoft’s figures, the average person has 184 emails in his or her inbox, and receives 28 emails each day, while not accounting for the average work email inbox, which is regularly filled with a mixture of cc’d, forwarded and non-business messages.

With Advanced Rules, Outlook users can create multi-condition and multi-action rules and their or her inbox to organise itself automatically. Users may also combine their existing rules together and customise them to suit their needs.

For example, if an unread email from a main contact is older than three days, the user can flag it and mark it as important.

Microsoft has also introduced a feature to facilitate personal interactions with friends. Users can now find recent conversations and other contacts they want to chat with in the bottom left of their inbox. One click launches them straight into a conversation with the other person.

Mike Schackwitz, principal director of program management, said these changes will start rolling out in the coming weeks and Outlook users are asked to provide feedback.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic