A beta version of Outlook.com's dropdown menu has been spotted with branding changes

Sean Michael


A new layout for the Outlook.com drop down menu has been spotted. The changes are not across the board but users have given photos to Neowin showing them off. The changes include functional live tiles, a name change from “Outlook.com” to “Outlook Mail”, the removal of Office Online, and the introduction of Sway.

A Mail live tile has replaced the Outlook.com box in the menu, the first time we can remember that Live Tiles have been used in a web application menu. This appears to work like the Mail app’s live tile on Windows 8.1 which previews the text of the email, lists the sender, and can display the sender’s photo as well. Another tile change is that of the Calendar. While it doesn’t appear to be the full calendar live tile from a start menu, it does display the date.

Office.com beta dropdown menu

The removal of “Outlook.com” from the menu seems to be getting the most buzz. While Outlook is a major part of Microsoft, the removal of the Outlook.com name puts the dropdown menu in line with Windows Phone and Windows.

The biggest change involving Office is that Office Online no longer has an icon at all. Another major change revolves around the various Office icons in the menu. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote have all lost “online” from the end of their title and the newest member of the Office suite, Sway, has been added to the new menu. Removing the “online” moniker makes the online versions of Office seem more legitimate.

Other smaller changes include the OneDrive and People icons having outlines rather than full clouds and people. The new People icon is also blue instead of orange.

The new Outlook.com dropdown menu may not be a final version as it is listed as beta on the website itself. That being said, these small changes line up the website well with other versions of the same services across the Windows platform.