Microsoft has today announced an updated version of its Outlook for Mac software with an updated design and performance improvements. The new version of email, calendar, and contacts app from Microsoft is available through the company’s Office 365 subscription service,  and Microsoft says it offers a more consistent experience with the iPhone and iPad versions.

In addition to releasing the new version of Outlook for Mac, Microsoft has shared that it will ship a new version of Office for Mac in 2015. An overhauled version of Office, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, will be available for Mac users as a public beta in the first half of 2015 while Microsoft is targeting the second half of 2015 for the commercial release.

9to5Mac Happy Hour

Microsoft says the new version of Office for Mac in 2015 will be available for Office 365 subscribers at no additional cost while a traditional licensed version of the productivity software suite will be available “in the same timeframe.”

The company’s announcement follows a report earlier this week that a new Office for Mac is on the horizon (now confirmed), which itself followed leaked screenshots claiming to show the new version of Office for Mac (which is likely actually today’s Outlook for Mac update).

Mac users have long awaited an overhauled version of Office for the platform as the last big release initially debuted in 2010. Microsoft has since focused its efforts on mobile and cloud apps including the Office for iPad suite released earlier this year and subsequent updates.

Microsoft says the new version of Outlook for Mac delivers:

  • Better performance and reliability as a result of a new threading model and database improvements.
  • A new modern user interface with improved scrolling and agility when switching between Ribbon tabs.
  • Online archive support for searching Exchange (online or on-premises) archived mail.
  • Master Category List support and enhancements delivering access to category lists (name and color) and sync between Mac, Windows and OWA clients.
  • Office 365 push email support for real-time email delivery.
  • Faster first-run and email download experience with improved Exchange Web Services syncing.

Office 365 subscribers can get the new Outlook for Mac through the following channels:

  • 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.
  • Office 365 consumer subscribers can get the new Outlook for Mac by going to their My Account page.

For users running Office for Mac 2011 including Outlook 2011, Microsoft has a support guide for setting up the new version of the OS X app.

About the Author

Zac Hall's favorite gear