Microsoft says public beta of new Office for Mac coming in first half of 2015

Posted:
in Mac Software edited December 2014
In releasing a new version of Outlook for Mac on Friday, Microsoft also revealed will launch an update to its Office suite for Mac next year, allowing users to test it in the first half of 2015 before a launch sometime in the second half of the year.




The news was shared by Microsoft on Friday alongside a new update for the existing Outlook for Mac available to Office 365 customers. The new Outlook for Mac delivers improved performance and reliability, along with a new look that aims for consistency between other versions of Outlook available on the Web, Windows PCs, and the Outlook Web App for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

In addition, Microsoft revealed its roadmap for the next version of Office for Mac, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for OS X. The announcement should help temper some expectations following a leak earlier this week that wrongly suggested the next Office for Mac could debut in the first quarter of 2015.

Instead, Microsoft is planning to release a public beta of the next version of Office for Mac in the first half of 2015. The final release is scheduled to become available in the second half of the year.

Office 365 subscribers, both commercial and consumer, will get the next version of Office for Mac at no additional cost. Perpetual licenses of Office for Mac will also be available upon release.

"We're confident that you will like what you see in the new Outlook for Mac today, and in the Office for Mac in the coming months," the company said in an official blog post.

The leak from earlier this week suggested that the next version of Office for Mac will receive a redesign intended to take advantage of high-resolution Retina displays on Apple hardware. The suite is also rumored to receive feature parity with its Windows counterparts, including easier sharing of files between platforms.

Next year's update for Office for Mac would be the first significant upgrade for the productivity software since 2010.

As for the new Outlook for Mac, Microsoft said Friday's update includes:
  • 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,249member
    ... and more support for Apple from MS. Sea change indeed.

    Is this a cloud based system? I am not up on MS products these days.
  • Reply 2 of 48



    at least let it be a office package i can buy, I don't want to rent every day use software

  • Reply 3 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

     



    at least let it be a office package i can buy, I don't want to rent every day use software




    You can buy Office 2013.

  • Reply 4 of 48

    Thank you Satya. I assume years of nonsense tension are easing away. Ballmer was so stubborn in not supporting Macs and iOS and it’s really refreshing to see this from Microsoft finally.

     

    I hope that they finally do make the platforms look somewhat alike after a history of curious UI divergence in MS Office. Ahem, please don’t bother with IE though!

  • Reply 5 of 48
    Is this a cloud based system? I am not up on MS products these days.

    No one is; people are usually down when using their products.

    Kidding aside, the other programs I understand people using, but why Outlook if you’re on OSX and have Mail.app?
  • Reply 6 of 48
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,129member
    Feature parity with windows for Excel, please let there be feature parity.

    Can't wait to stop using a virtual machine to run office.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    They don't get in a hurry. I don't care anyway. We don't need Microsoft's bloatware. iWork does everything I need, and Outlook on the Mac is horrible. It's time for businesses to start weaning themselves off of Microsoft.
  • Reply 8 of 48

    Somehow the real story has been lost. The actual news is:

    New Outlook for Mac is available TODAY for Office 365 subscribers.

     

    I just installed it.

  • Reply 9 of 48
    saarek wrote: »
    Feature parity with windows for Excel, please let there be feature parity.

    Can't wait to stop using a virtual machine to run office.
    Feature parity for me isn't so bad, But when I have large excel with hundreds of data pints, and I need to plot, it's more than 10x faster to use office 2003 On a virtual mâché than it is to use Mac excel 2010, which makes no sense
  • Reply 10 of 48
    ddawson100 wrote: »
    Thank you Satya. I assume years of nonsense tension are easing away. Ballmer was so stubborn in not supporting Macs and iOS and it’s really refreshing to see this from Microsoft finally.

    I hope that they finally do make the platforms look somewhat alike after a history of curious UI divergence in MS Office. Ahem, please don’t bother with IE though!
    There's no way they started this and delivered in under a year. It would have been started under Ballmer.

    In fact since Satya took over were haven't seen any change to the direction Ballmer started. The strategy has been renamed from devices and services to mobile first cloud first, but it ultimately is all the same thing. There still continuing with hardware, azure and being on every platform. The only real change is closing some of the xbox stuff and getting rid of a load of people.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,447member

    How about the most important feature for Outlook:   making sync work again.    Before iCloud, sync services would sync Outlook's address book and calendar with Apple's apps and then those apps would sync with your phone.    But unless there's some magic setup formula I'm missing, you can have iCloud or you can have sync, but you can't have both.   

     

    If they don't restore sync, I'm probably going to dump Outlook one of these days, even though I prefer it to Mail.  

     

    As for the other Office apps, Microsoft usually makes them worse with each new version, so I don't have high expectations.  

  • Reply 12 of 48

    Why Outlook when we have OSX Mail? For the simple reason that Exchange email on Apple Mail is terrible... it's never worked very well (long delays when receiving emails), and now is even worse under Yosemite. Also, Apple Mail is woefully under-featured compared to Outlook for Mac (which is itself under-featured when compared to the Windows version). Although I would love to rely on Apple Mail for my business Exchange account, it is too unreliable.

     

    I've compared my various Exchange options, and Apple Mail always comes dead last in terms of delivery:

    OWA Exchange and Outlook for Windows: instant delivery

    iPhone: almost instant delivery

    Outlook for Mac: delay of 5-6 seconds

    Apple Mail: delays of anywhere from 30 secs to 2-3 minutes to never...

  • Reply 13 of 48
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,354member

    Microsoft makes no product that I am interested in buying. Not hardware, not software.

     

    What still kinda pisses me off is what I see when I look at my wrist. You know what I see when I look at my wrist? My wrist! Com'on Chairman Honeycrisp, get with it!

  • Reply 14 of 48

    Considering how crappy the current Outlook is, they really should have made this update available to everyone. I don't use it, but a great number of my coworkers do and have to keep rebuilding their databases, etc. Microsoft knows that selling just outlook would cut into their suite sales next year with it is done though. Good news for O365 users as it looks like they actually tried to fix architectural issues. You don't normally tout threading models and database improvements unless you know what you have been pushing is crap and that the customers know it too.

  • Reply 15 of 48

    Just out of interest, does anyone know if it's possible to subscribe to 1 month of Office 365 for £7 and get the Outlook download?

  • Reply 16 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    No one is; people are usually down when using their products.



    Kidding aside, the other programs I understand people using, but why Outlook if you’re on OSX and have Mail.app?



    I'd love to use the mail app in OS X but it sucks for business use.  I can't tell you how many times I've tried to attach something to an email and it doesn't go through.  Or I'll drop the attachment into my message and all the text after where the attachment appears won't show up when it's received.  If there was a way to correct that attachment issue, I'd go back and use it again.

  • Reply 17 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by webweasel View Post

     

    Just out of interest, does anyone know if it's possible to subscribe to 1 month of Office 365 for £7 and get the Outlook download?




    Nope - it's a 1 year commitment. 

  • Reply 18 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Polish View Post

     

    Somehow the real story has been lost. The actual news is:

    New Outlook for Mac is available TODAY for Office 365 subscribers.

     

    I just installed it.




    And what about those of us who own Office 2011, and intend to buy (rather than subscribe to) new versions of the Office apps when they are available? Do we have a way to take advantage of the new Outlook before it's made available as a part of a future version of Office, or are we SOL until a year from now, unless we're willing to become Office 365 subscribers??

  • Reply 19 of 48
    Given the four-year-long bugs of Mac Office 2011 and the omissions that never got fixed despite promises (CalDAV sync, for example), no way I'd update, subscribe or buy this thing.

    Microsoft showed immense incompetence or disinterest with Mac Office 2011, to the point of negligence. I would have fired every single project manager for that software.
  • Reply 20 of 48

    From my perspective the only real issue I have is that both mail and iOS mail do not recognize established mailing groups...also the way mail deals with attachments.  Otherwise you are right on with your point.

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