One of the more important selling points of an Office 365 plan is the fact that many subscriptions come with full versions of Office which are always the latest available. For Mac users however, updates are usually well behind the Windows versions. This is starting to change, as Microsoft has recently introduced a new version of Outlook for Mac users while also announcing a plan for new versions of other Office for Mac apps.
New Outlook for Mac
Historically, when a new version of Office has been released, Mac users have had to wait six or more months for Mac versions to be introduced. With Office 365, users have had to wait even longer, as the company decided to focus on developing mobile apps first. This has now changed, and a new version of an Office app for Mac users – Outlook – has been released.
There are a number of improvements being implemented with the new version of Outlook for Mac, including:
- A more modern user interface – Throughout the past year, Microsoft has been steadily updating the look of Outlook across all devices and versions, to create a more modern style. The new version for Mac introduces this updated design, which brings it more in line with the other newer versions of Outlook. Beyond this, scrolling has been made smoother which makes the program feel as if it runs much better.
- Increased performance and reliability – Because email is an integral part of any business, Microsoft has re-tooled the database that supports Outlook for Mac and the way the program uses resources. This relates to increased reliability, less crashes, and generally faster performance.
- Office 365 push email support – If you enable this for your business’s Office 365 accounts, emails will be pushed automatically to users. This means messages will be delivered faster; in real-time for many.
- Enhanced online support for searching Exchange archives – If your business employs either an onsite or hosted Exchange server, the new version of Outlook for Mac will enable online searching for message archives stored on Exchange.
- Faster first-run and email downloads – When you first open Outlook to check your email, you will now see your emails far quicker, with email downloads faster too thanks to better syncing with Exchange servers.
There are a number of new features included in the latest version of Outlook for Mac. Overall, it looks much better and many users will notice that it is not only easier to use but also faster. If you would like to update to the newest version you can do so by:
- Logging into Office 365 via your browser.
- Pressing the Gear icon followed by Office 365 Settings.
- Selecting Software followed by Outlook for Mac.
- Downloading the program and installing it.
Before you do this however, we strongly recommend contacting us. We can help ensure that all of your files are backed up and ready for an update. Beyond that, we can work with you to ensure that the program is installed and set up so that you can simply open the program and go.
New versions of Office for Mac coming soon
Upon announcing the new version of Outlook for Mac users, the company also introduced their roadmap for the release of new versions of Office programs for Mac users. The company has noted that in the first half of 2015 they will release beta versions of the next versions of Word for Mac, Excel for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac, and OneNote for Mac. Final releases will be made available in the second half of 2015.
From what we know, businesses with Office 365 subscriptions will be able to update to the new versions for free, while other users will likely have to wait, as a price list has not been made available at this time.
If you are looking to learn more about Office 365 for Mac, or any other system, contact us today to see how we can help ensure tech developments work for your business.