Microsoft revamps Outlook.com with new advanced rules

Microsoft has been tinkering with its webmail service, and has made a number of fresh introductions including new advanced rules to better police your inbox.

Inbox rules, as you're probably aware, allow you to set up conditional actions, and Redmond's new advanced rules mean you can specify multiple conditions. Rules allow you to specify time constraints, whether a sender is a contact of yours, whether an email is read or unread, and so forth.

For example, you can set up a rule that ensures emails older than, say, two days, which are from one of your contacts get flagged and moved to the top of your inbox, helping to make sure that you don't ever miss a message from one of your friends.

There are all manner of rules you can set up, and Outlook.com allows you to customise or even combine existing rules.

Other new introductions Microsoft has made include replying to email threads in-line, and an undo button, so you can undo any mistake you've just made with a quick press (or by using the traditional Ctrl+Z key combination).

Refinements have also been made to chat messaging, with the bottom left of the inbox now playing host to chat contacts and recent conversations, for easier access. It's also possible to switch over the chat service you're using mid-chat, should you wish, without interrupting the chat session.

Microsoft said that these new features will be rolling out over the next few weeks – we just checked our Outlook.com account, and we haven't got them yet, but we shouldn't have long to wait.

In other recent webmail news, Gmail may have a major overhaul in the pipeline, which will certainly give Microsoft something to think about – it looks like Google is finally going to modernise and streamline the rather clunky looking interface.