Microsoft wants to streamline email. Today’s it’s launching a new app called Send – iOS only for now – that makes email more like SMS by removing the subject line and taking you directly to your contacts list.

Send is Ios App Store in the U.S. and Canada, and is coming soon to Windows Phone and Android phones. The app works for people with Office 365 business and school email accounts, and we expect to make the app more broadly available in the coming months.

Microsoft thinks email can be a bit too cumbersome by modern communication standards; you have to open the app, open a compose window, type your contact into the recipient field, and then write a subject line before you even really get to your message.

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On the other hand, you probably have many email contacts without a phone number logged in your address book, and you might not feel like asking them for it, or inviting them to use an SMS app.

That’s where Send comes is supposed to come in – it gives you the benefits of quick SMS-like communications with your existing email contacts, without requiring a phone number or separate app.

Send lets you quickly and easily send any co-worker a message without a subject line or formal email constructs. Some examples of Send messages include:

  • Straight to the point: “Let’s chat in 10”
  • Super urgent: “Don’t send the presentation yet”
  • Simple back-and-forth conversations: “Are you in the Office today?” “No”

It doesn’t ask for a subject line, signature or salutation, and it will surface your frequent and recent contacts right when you open the app. If your contact is a Send user too, you can also see when they’re typing a response.

It’s an interesting approach that could fill a real niche: quick messages with email contacts you don’t care to ask for their phone number or IM accounts. It’s not meant to replace a traditional email app, however; you can message any email, but it will only show conversations started via the app itself.

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