Microsoft (MSFT) is planning to launch a dark-themed UI for Outlook.com in the coming months, closely following the heels of rivals Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) Messenger. The Dark Mode, which was previewed by Microsoft during Halloween last year, offers a black background theme for better night visibility. Over the past few months, the tech giant has been testing a dark theme for Outlook’s web app internally.
Market analysts expect the new Outlook theme to outperform and surpass arch-rival Gmail, which lacks a similar feature. However, Gmail does have certain customization options that turn some of the on-screen components black in color.
In mid-2012, Microsoft launched Outlook.com as a substitute for its aging Hotmail. Ever since the company has been providing updated features and new designs for around 400 million active Hotmail users. Hotmail has been the second most popular emailing service after Gmail with over half a billion users worldwide.
A key feature of Outlook.com is bill-pay reminders that are listed as calendar items. Microsoft is also integrating into Outlook for Android its Office Lens, which lets users capture information from a whiteboard or take photos of a document and turn them into a scanned-copy look.
For competing against Google’s Gmail, Microsoft is betting huge with a lot of new features and designs to its Outlook. And with the rise in the email users and the number of emails sent, Microsoft is aiming to reach the sky with a better Outlook prospect.