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Acompli Founder Javier Soltero Tapped to Improve Microsoft Outlook

After getting Microsoft back in the mobile email game, Soltero is now charged with reinvigorating the desktop email and calendar experience.

Microsoft

Microsoft spent $200 million to get back into mobile email, buying Acompli and turning it into Outlook Mobile.

Javier Soltero

Now it wants Acompli’s founder, Javier Soltero, to do the same thing for all of Outlook. Soltero, initially tapped to run the mobile versions of Outlook, is now a corporate VP in charge of all of Outlook engineering.

With Outlook for iOS and Android, Soltero was able to create an app that even Gmail users want to use. Soltero says that’s the goal with the other versions as well, including Outlook for Windows and Mac — programs that are used today by hundreds of millions of people for eight hours or more per day.

“That’s the opportunity we are chasing and it’s a rich opportunity,” Soltero said in a brief interview with Re/code Monday evening at a launch event for Office 2016.

Soltero did say that running such a big operation is an adjustment.

“The size of the team is a bit daunting for a guy who’s spent the last 10-plus years in companies with less than 75 people,” he said.

And of course there is also the fact that, unlike Outlook mobile which started from scratch, any changes made to Outlook have an impact on all those already using the product.

“In terms of the huge installed base, there’s always a bit of ‘who moved my cheese?’ involved in evolving products like this,” Soltero said. “We’ve come to understand that productivity software is always evolving, and it’s our responsibility to bring the customer along a journey of constant improvement as opposed to dropping major releases every few years.”

One opportunity for Microsoft is to create new products, as it has done on the mobile side. Most recently, the company released a short email program called Send that aims to bring mail to a generation that has grown up on texting.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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