Microsoft has had a great tradition of bringing us technologies that help us multitask, remember Windows 8 where you could have a whopping one app running at a time? Well they have just announced a way for customers on the Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription to have E-mail open links in a browser. Oh, that’s not innovative enough for ya? Well, it’ll open the E-mail in one pane and the link in another.

This will happen courtesy of the right sidebar that is found in Edge. It’ll pop open with the E-mail on the right and the link will open on the left. Again this is just for Personal or Family subscribers today, but since they mention that it’ll be available soon for Microsoft Teams as well I assume that means it’ll come for Business subscribers soon enough. This feature will change your life forever. You’ll never have to waste time switching tabs or windows again. You’ll be able to read all your emails and browse all the web pages in the world in one glorious screen.

I tried this on my computer and of course the Outlook sidebar button connected to the wrong E-mail account, probably my fault for having such a complicated E-mail setup, but it worked just as expected. I’m not sure how the Outlook integration will come into the picture. Maybe people will have that Outlook pane open all the time and when new E-mail appears they’ll click on it.

Recently I had a tiling window manager on my laptop running Arch Linux. I thought I’d like having all my windows open side by side in a nice grid, but honestly it got old quick. Everything was tiny and hard to read, I’d rather have overlapping windows any day. That’s when I switched back to Windows on that laptop. This feature seems like the same thing except you can shrink the Outlook pane back into the right hand side toolbar. Interesting. I’ll have to try it more and see if I can get it to open my current E-mail.

Overall, I think this is a great feature that enhances the user experience of Outlook and Edge. It makes it easy to switch between emails and web pages without losing context or focus. I would recommend trying it out if you have a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription.