Microsoft starts testing ‘Lists’ task manager with personal accounts

Microsoft starts testing ‘Lists’ task manager with personal accounts

Microsoft To-Do has been available for years as a simple task management application for mobile and desktop, but the company has also maintained a more powerful alternative for businesses and other large organizations. Microsoft Lists is a super-charged task manager with a greater focus on collaboration, and now Microsoft is starting to open it up to personal accounts.

Microsoft said in a community post (via The Verge), “today we’re introducing Microsoft Lists – MSA Preview, a lightweight version of the Microsoft Lists app designed for small business and individual use in conjunction with your Microsoft account (MSA). The Microsoft List – MSA Preview is available online only and limited to 200,000 Microsoft accounts (MSA) to try at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis.”

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Microsoft Lists screenshot

Microsoft Lists is similar to Asana, Jira, Monday.com, and other collaborative task management systems. Lists can have multiple customizable fields, giving you more sorting and viewing options than a simple to-do list application. You can invite other people to create or edit tasks, and tasks with a due date attached are added to the calendar view. Microsoft is limiting this preview to the first 200,000 people that visit lists.live.com.

There are a few catches, though. Microsoft Lists for iOS and Android don’t support the personal accounts preview yet, so you’re limited to the web app. It also doesn’t connect to Microsoft Teams in the same way that the corporate version does, at least for now. Finally, personal accounts are limited to 50 lists with up to 2,000 items per list, and attached files max out at 200MB.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft will make Lists available to everyone with a free personal account, but it could be a significant blow to Asana and competing platforms. Even if Lists becomes available to everyone, Microsoft To-Do will probably stick around as a simpler alternative for people who don’t need all of Lists’ features.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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