Microsoft is working on a new smartphone app called Flow that turns emails into an instant message-style conversation, according to a leaked document.
“No subject lines, salutations, or signatures” are required in a Flow-powered email conversation Microsoft promises, in a leaked product description found on Microsoft’s website by Twitter user h0x0d.
Basically, judging from the description, it’s an email program that looks like WhatsApp (or Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts, et cetera et cetera).
Just select an email address — any email address — and you’re talking. To you, it will look like you’re having the same kind of conversation you get from your favourite chat apps.
But it’s all email working behind the scenes, meaning that you can use Flow chat with literally anybody, no matter what kind of device or apps they have. If they don’t have Flow, it will just look like another email. Maybe a rude email, given that it wouldn’t have a subject line, salutation, or signature, but an email regardless.
And the Flow app will only show you your Flow conversations, according to that product description. so you won’t get inundated with all your emails while you’re using it,
This is not a new idea: A startup called MailTime offers a very similar kind of app.
But for Microsoft, it’s part of its brave new strategy of building new, business-friendly mobile apps that people actually like to use.
Microsoft may have bought Acompli and turned it into the highly-praised Outlook for iOS, and it may have bought Sunrise to give users one of the most beautiful calendar apps ever, but this one is all Microsoft.
Microsoft had not returned a request for comment at the time of publication. We’ll update this post if we hear back.