Microsoft has released Outlook for Mac and provided a hint as to what is to come in the next release of Office for the Mac.  In the blog post, “New Outlook for Mac available to Office 365 customers“, Microsoft has announced that the new Outlook for Mac delivers improved performance and reliability and updated the interface to be inline with Outlook 2013 for Windows.
On what might be a more exiting point, the first half of 2015 will see the release of a public beta for the next version of Office for Mac which is planned to be released in final form in the second half of 2015.  If you have a subscription to the commercial or consumer version of Office 365 through a subscription, you will get the next version at no additional cost.

There are instruction to install this version so that you can use the Mac Office 2011 version of Outlook with this version, however I have uninstalled Outlook 2011 and installed this version as a replacement. These instructions for either scenario are available in this help article.

Office 365 Commercial customers can get the new Outlook for Mac by accessing their Office 365 Portal, (Gear icon > Office 365 Settings > Software > Outlook for Mac icon) or visiting the Software page.  If you are a consumer subscriber you can get the new Outlook for Mac by going to your  My Account page.

While only using this version for the last few days, I have found it to be very close to the Outlook 2013 version available with my Office 365 version on Windows.   Some key points I have found so far:

  • Connects well with my O365 personal account, my corporate Exchange server and my  Outlook.com account
  • I prefer this interface over the Mac Office 2011 version

I have been very happy using this on my PC and now find moving between the Mac and Windows platforms “less jarring” and easier than before.   I find the interface cleaner and a better experience than the 2011 version.  I hope to be as impressed with the full version of Office for the Mac in 2015.    More information can be found on the Office site,  http://www.microsoft.com/mac/outlook


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