New Outlook For Mac Available To Office 365 Customers – What Mac Owners Need To Know

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 help@neu.edu.

The Outlook Exchange You Know Will Soon Be Office 365

Information Technology Services has been planning the implementation of new and innovative productivity tools and services – Microsoft Office 365. All Northeastern University faculty and staff will transition to Office 365, starting this fall with the migration of email. Rest assured, ITS will provide assistance through each part of this transition and information will be widely available through a variety of channels.

What is Office 365?
At its core, Office 365 is the same suite of Office products and services you recognize, now provided through the cloud. Through Office 365, Microsoft offers more features in and greater access to the tools you use, both at work and at home, while providing the latest releases to its customers.

Office 365 is different in that it:

  • Is cloud based, meaning hosting will be provided by Microsoft servers and not Northeastern servers
  • Is a subscription-based service, giving Northeastern easy access to the latest software releases
  • Offers web-based access to software previously limited to a local installation

ITS is dedicated to a phased rollout of the different Office 365 products and services, starting with an email migration and certain software applications.

What to expect this fall
The initial focus of the Office 365 rollout will involve migrating faculty, staff and sponsored account email from being hosted on our internal servers to being hosted on Microsoft’s Office 365 business-class servers. As a result of this server change, your login credentials will change slightly and you will need to update your email settings after your migration on your laptop or desktop, and any mobile devices.

We’ve worked to make this transition of your email as easy as possible for you. As a result, there will be NO CHANGE to:

  • Your email address
  • Your password

What will change?
The information below will need to be updated on your laptop or desktop, and any mobile devices, for your email to work properly.

  • The username used to access email
    • Your new username will be [myNEU username]@northeastern.edu, so if your myNEU username is kinghusky, your Office 365 username will be kinghusky@northeastern.edu.
    • This username is ONLY required for Office 365 services (details here).
  • The server that hosts your email
    • The new server is outlook.office365.com
  • Outlook Web App (OWA)

What is the timeline?
Email accounts will be migrated to Office 365 in groups, primarily by department, in a coordinated effort between ITS and each department. This is intended to reduce the impact on university business. We will keep you informed, and look forward to partnering with you as you move. After working with university departments, a schedule will be posted on the Office 365 Migration page for your convenience.

What is new?
When your email account migrates, depending on your role at the university, you may also gain access to Microsoft Office ProPlus for Faculty/Staff.

Through Northeastern’s Microsoft Office 365 subscription, faculty and staff with E3 licenses (details here) can download the latest version of Microsoft Office – currently Office 2013 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac – on both unmanaged Northeastern computers and personal computers. You may install Office 365 on up to five (5) non Northeastern-managed or personal machines.

DO NOT install Office 365 ProPlus on Northeastern-managed machines. If your machine is managed and you want the latest Microsoft Office software, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or help@neu.edu.

Office 365 ProPlus also includes OneDrive for Business, an online file storage service, with 1TB of storage space, and access to online versions of the Office applications. Details can be found on the Microsoft Office 365 – Faculty/Staff ProPlus page.

Looking forward
Following the email migration, ITS will evaluate the university’s needs and plan the phased rollout of other Office 365 services as appropriate.

Helpful links
Migrating to Office 365
Important Migration Steps