We’ve seen leaks of a new Office for Mac 2015 suite circulate, but the new version of Outlook for Mac is already here, at least for Office 365 subscribers. The overhauled email client includes a new look and feel, as well as search that extends to archived mail (whether stored online or on corporate servers), better all around performance, push email support and more. Microsoft also took this opportunity to make its Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote for Mac updates official, announcing public beta availability beginning early next year, with a general consumer launch in the second half of 2015.
The new Office apps for Mac will be available to Office 365 subscribers with no additional cost as part of their subscription, once released, while the company also plans to launch a perpetual license for a one-off buy at the same time as Office for Mac becomes available as final shipping software.
The new Outlook has a redesign that makes it look a lot more like its companion apps on other platforms, including Windows, and the web on both desktop and mobile. Using Outlook on a Mac is still mostly inconceivable to me, but then again, I rarely have to deal with a corporate email environment and unlike the bulk of large enterprises out there, we run a mostly Mac shop.
Microsoft’s continued commitment to Mac users is a good thing overall, since it means more platform choice for those who have need of Office software. The company seems even more committed to supporting customers beyond the Windows ecosystem than ever, thanks to the release of surprisingly impressive Office mobile apps for iPad earlier this year. Microsoft says the reason its Mac software is lagging behind its usual update schedule relative to the Windows release this time around is because it chose to focus on those mobile apps mentioned above first this time around.