Microsoft recently released a new Outlook for Mac for Office 365 users – the first major Microsoft release for OS X in years. The software is now available for download to Office 365 subscribers – including Northeastern faculty and staff currently using Office 365 email – through the Office 365 portal.
Installing the new software is more involved than a simple upgrade. The new Outlook is a separate software application, independent of Office 2011 and will install alongside any existing Outlook applications that are already installed on your Mac. Since Outlook for Mac does not upgrade Outlook 2011, and because it requires a manual download and installation, we recommend that you decide on performing this upgrade with due caution and care.
So far in ITS’s testing of this new software, outside of the upgrade process, there have been only a few reported issues. Notably, there are some reports of errors while trying to open Microsoft Office documents by clicking on a link embedded in an e-mail message, possibly due to compatibility issues between Office 2011 and the new Outlook for Mac. Please note that while the ITS Service Desk staff will always try its best to be of assistance with issues that may arise, this software is currently not fully supported by ITS.
Download and Installation
The new Outlook for Mac is only available for computers running OS X Yosemite (10.0) – Apple’s latest operating system, and the software must be manually downloaded and installed. Microsoft is continuing its “cloud first” strategy so the new Outlook for Mac is only available for download from the Office 365 portal. Once you are signed in to the Office 365 portal access the Software page by selecting the Gear icon > Office 365 Settings > Software > Outlook for Mac icon. Unfortunately, due to Microsoft limitations, the new Outlook for Mac cannot be made available via Self-Service on ITS-managed Macs. Both Microsoft and ITS highly recommend that you first back up your computer, and then install the new Outlook for Mac, before removing Outlook 2011. Microsoft has provided detailed instructions on how to uninstall Outlook 2011.
The new Outlook for Mac for Office 365 includes noticeably better performance and reliability than Outlook 2011, due to the use of a new mailbox database structure and a new threading model. ITS tests have shown that it is faster and more agile when switching between tabs, with improved scrolling, and provides improved synchronization with Office 365’s Exchange Web Services. The new Outlook also sports a new modern user interface that is aligned with the Outlook 2013 for Windows look and feel, and supports online archiving. For more information, please visit Microsoft’s blog post New Outlook for Mac available to Office 365 customers.
Coming Soon – New Office Suite for Mac
The new Outlook for Mac is the first of the next release of Office products for Mac: Word for Mac, Excel for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac and OneNote for Mac. Microsoft will release a public beta of the new Office suite during the first half of this year, with the final release planned for late 2015. This time frame will allow software providers, such as ITS, to prepare for the new software, and for ITS to test it out on the different environments used throughout the university.
Questions or concerns? Please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or firstname.lastname@example.org.