Microsoft to release new version of Office for Macs

01 Nov 2014


Microsoft plans to release a new version of its popular Office software package for Mac computers - but not until next year, Associated Press reported.

The company released one component, the Outlook email program, through its Office 365 subscription service, which costs $100 a year. However, a full Office package for Macs was expected this year, as Microsoft usually released that a year after it produced a new version for Windows.

There has not been a new Office for Macs since late 2010, even though it had already been a year and a half since the Windows release.

According to Microsoft, that was because of its focus on producing Office versions for smartphones and tablets first. The Office package usually came with word-processing, spreadsheets and other commonly used programs.

According to PC Mag, the new Outlook for Mac delivered a fresh look and feel to users' inbox, along with some performance and reliability tweaks, like a new threading model and database improvements that promised to make email less of a hassle.

It also offered a more consistent experience between Outlook on the PC, web, and mobile devices.

Scrolling and switching between tabs may also be expected to be better thanks to the new, more modern user interface, according to Microsoft.

The new Outlook for Mac was now available to all Office 365 customers and consumer subscribers could get the update from the My Account page, while Commercial customers could get it by accessing their Office 365 Portal (Gear icon > Office 365 Settings > Software > Outlook for Mac icon) or visiting the Software page.

Meanwhile, in addition to the new version of Outlook for Mac, Microsoft announced it would release a new version of its Office for Mac suite next year, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.

"Historically we have released a new version of Office for Mac approximately six to eight months after Office for Windows," the Office 365 team wrote in a blog post. "However, following the release of Office 365 we made the conscious decision to prioritise mobile first and cloud first scenarios. This meant delivering and continuing to improve Office on a variety phones (iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android) and tablets (iPad and Windows)."

The new Office for Mac would be available in beta in the first half of 2015 and should be ready for primetime in the second half of the year. Office 365 commercial and consumer customers would get the new version at no additional cost.

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