In December 2014 Microsoft acquired mobile software developer Acompli for $200 million who had developed very popular and critically acclaimed email clients for iOS and Android. Shortly after the purchase Microsoft rebranded these to “Outlook” keeping the functionality and compatibility to other mail providers that critics originally praised.
The rebranded Outlook app has also seen critical success under Microsoft and Microsoft own Windows 10 mobile app currently in development shows signs of its inspiration.
Microsoft announced this week that Javier Soltero the founder of Acompli has been officially but in charge of Outlook on all platforms, including the web, smart phone, tablets and most importantly PCs.
Before Microsoft purchase Acompli Javier was used to a team of less than 75 so being put in charge of one of Microsoft most used applications must be a daunting task.
With the great critical praise and innovative design shown thus far, Javier lead versions of Outlook in the future is definitely one to watch. We are likely to see mobile only features such as the focused inbox make the jump to desktops and we are likely to see new innovations that only make sense with the larger screen real estate on the PC.
As interesting as this is for the future of Outlook, it is as interesting for Microsoft itself, Microsoft is showing they recognise great, unique talent, even if from outside the company until recently and letting them lead large and established products that may otherwise face complacency. Of course with any leadership shift this does introduce new risks but taking the opportunity to crucial to grow in a hugely competitive field.