Outlook online to get a better address book and flight confirmations

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Outlook has been a popular desktop app for what seems like ages and now it's online aiming to compete with services like Gmail and Yahoo. In order to differentiate itself from rivals Microsoft needs extras that attract customers to its offering.

Now the company is announcing a couple of updates including improvements to the address book and flight notifications for busy travelers.

As for the address book improvements, Outlook will now make suggestions based on your contacts and it learns who you send messages to the most. You can place your cursor in the 'to' or 'cc' fields and you'll receive a dropdown list. It also aims to help you when you misspell a name, for instance Kathryn or Catherine.

The service also points out that "Now, Outlook has help for that too. If you frequently send emails to the same set of people -- say, Steve, Anna and Bob -- then whenever you email only Steve and Anna together, we’ll ask, 'Do you also want to include Bob?' This prompt will not get in your way and will only show when Outlook is highly confident you want to add Bob.

Finally, there is flight notifications. When an email is received confirming flight information, and providing it arrives from a valid source of such content, it will automatically be added to your calendar. This will block out the time and show information that includes time, airline, flight number and airport.

So what do you think of these updates? If you're using a different service is it compelling enough to make you switch?

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