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Microsoft reaches out to developers with Apps for

At the Inbox Love event in Mountain View, CA, Microsoft revealed the latest way for developers to bring extra functionality to the user. Starting next year, will support third-party apps, known – uninspiringly – as Apps for Just a couple of days ago, Microsoft launched new APIs and SDKs to give developers new options for working with Office 365, and the latest announcement caters for development in the cloud.

Although Apps for will not officially launch until next year, Microsoft is giving developers the chance to start creating apps for the Outlook Web App. Those with a penchant for coding are invited to come up with new, exciting, and productivity-enhancing ways for users to interact with

Read more: 14 handy tips for Microsoft Outlook 2010

Principal program manager for the Outlook team, Pretish Abraham, says:

"Whenever a customer reads or composes an email or calendar event, your app could be there, helping them get the job done. If you have a great idea for how our customers should interact with their email or calendar, now is the time to make it happen. Not only are these apps simple to build – they use open web technologies such as HTML and Javascript – but you can start building them today."

The benefit of Apps for is that users will be able to take advantage of them without the need for browser extensions or plugins. But more than this, developers will be able to ensure that they are always working with the most recent version of an app without the need for manual updating. Until more details are released, Microsoft suggests developers take a look at Mail apps for Outlook to get an idea of how things will work. Numerous scenarios are suggested, including automatically inserting a map into an email when a user types an address.