Flow seems to be the latest quirk coming from Microsoft in terms of messaging in an overcrowded messaging applications market.
Flow would be connected to Microsoft’s Outlook e-mailing service, only featuring a friendlier, more relaxed and lenient conversation medium.
Although official statements coming from the tech giant officials are still pending, the release of Flow was signaled by a Twitter user, @h0x0d who stumbled upon the public download page ‚Microsoft Confidential’.
According to this page, Flow is a new application that was specifically designed to allow Outlook users to have rapid email conversations with people who matter. The header of the same page features the name Flow by Outlook and suggests that in a first phase the application will be made available for iOS smartphone users.
A disclaimer on the same page notes:
„Fast, fluid, natural conversations: No subject lines, salutations, or signatures. Flow is designed for fast, light-weight conversations in real time”.
For Outlook users this might be good news. The integrated application would shadow the inbox conversations that might hinder them from focusing on the conversation itself. At the same time, users have the option to continue streams either via flow or via the already established e-mail service.
What this means is that Flow provides a more personal service for Outlook users. Beyond the constrictions of email strained by formalities, instant and light-weight conversation instead of an email exchange could work wonders.
The messaging application does not pull the email threads from Outlook inbox, focusing on just the replies exchanged between the two users.
It is still unclear if the page or the leaked announcement is a hoax, although Microsoft released similar apps in the past.
Skype Qik for instance, a videochat application functioning on Android, iOS and Windows phones was pulling phone numbers for SMS and instant messaging-like interaction. Also, at the end of last year, Microsoft bought the Acompli email application. It is possible that Flow is a spinoff of Acompli, made available just for iOS, as Outlook for Android is also a rebranded version.
At the same time, Microsoft is still previewing Outlook for Windows phones that will function on Windows 10 operating system.
Official comments and releases are still expected in connection to the launching of Flow.