Microsoft accidentally let slip back in May that it was developing a hybrid e-mail / chat app dubbed Flow. Today, the Outlook team officially launched the app albeit under a different name.
The Redmond-based company says Send was built specifically for brief, snappy communications. Microsoft concedes that tools like text messaging and instant messaging are great for short messages but in reality, users often don’t have their co-workers’ mobile phone numbers or an IM client installed on their handset.
Furthermore, Microsoft said users have made it clear that they want all of their communications available in Outlook – even if they are sent from other apps. With Send, that’s exactly what you get.
The app provides a text message-like experience for quick-hit conversations over e-mail. Its informal nature allows you to get right to the point without having to fool with subject lines, salutations and signatures. Correspondence is saved in Outlook so you’ll have the chat log on hand for reference at a later date.
It’s worth pointing out that Send doesn’t show all of your e-mails, just the ones started in the app, to further help reduce clutter and distractions.
Send comes to us courtesy of Microsoft Garage, the company’s once-secret internal incubator of ideas that was founded in 2009. Microsoft only opened Garage to the public late last year.
The new app is available as of writing for iOS users in the US and Canada via the App Store and will be available soon for Android and Windows Phone. It works for those using Office 365 business and school e-mail accounts although Microsoft said it expects to make the app more broadly available in the coming months.