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Microsoft Replaces Wunderlist with New 'To-Do' App

Microsoft this week released a preview of a new Office 365 application called "To-Do," which the company is positioning as the successor of its Wunderlist task management application.

Microsoft intends to eventually retire the Wunderlist app, according to its announcement, though it has not given an exact timeline. Microsoft will add various Wunderlist capabilities to the new To-Do application "in the coming months."

Microsoft acquired the Wunderlist app when it bought Berlin-based 6Wunderkinder GmbH in 2015 for an estimated $100 million to $200 million. That acquisition had followed as part of lightweight personal-app buying spree by Microsoft, which also included the purchase of Acompli (for e-mail apps) and Sunrise Atelier (for calendar apps).

While the Wunderlist app will eventually go away, the team that built Wunderlist "continues on," Microsoft announcement hinted.

Microsoft is claiming that its To-Do preview app is "a smarter, more personal and intuitive way to help people stay organized" than Wunderlist. The app is part of Office 365 services. Consequently, Microsoft is claiming it has some management and security benefits for use by organizations:

As the only task management app built on an enterprise cloud, To-Do offers the advanced security that our Office 365 customers expect. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest, and To-Do is served out of our hyper-scale, global network of data centers. For commercial users, IT professionals can now enable the To-Do Preview through the Office 365 admin center.

The To-Do preview provides reminders, notes and due dates for users. They can also select colored themes. The application shows a "clean slate" each day, but it also has an Intelligent Suggestion feature, based on an algorithm, to surface items of note.

The preview is currently available for iPhone (iOS 9.0 or later), Android (4.4 or higher), Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile and Web. So far, Android users are giving the preview middling reviews, and suggesting that Wunderlist is better.

The current experience with the preview was somewhat of a bumpy ride, according to an early review by Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Loryan Strant, founder of Paradyne. He noted that To-Do doesn't currently appear to integrate with Office 365 services, including password access. Instead, he used his Microsoft account to access the app.

Microsoft is currently working on integrating To-Do with its Outlook e-mail client. Other plans include adding a "list sharing" feature (which is a "deal breaker" right now, according to Strant). Apps for iPad and Mac, as well as Android tablets, also are under development.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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