Microsoft has announced a new version of its Outlook email client for the Mac, designed to offer a more consistent experience for people who also use other platforms, including mobile devices and the web-based client.
The new Outlook for Mac is available now for subscribers of Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based suite, including Office 365 commercial customers and Office 365 Home, Personal and University subscribers.
This release offers a modernised user interface, improved performance and reliability thanks to database improvements and a new threading model, plus Office 365 push email support for real-time email delivery, Microsoft said.
However, Microsoft is warning that users of the existing Office for Mac 2011 application should remove it before installing the new release.
While users can run Office for Mac 2011 and the latest version of Outlook at the same time on the same computer, they operate from the same set of preferences, so if a user changes the preferences in one version of the app it will apply automatically to the other.
"It is recommended that you remove Outlook for Mac 2011 to make sure you are working with the latest version of the application," Microsoft's support note explains.
Microsoft said on the Office for Mac blog that the new Outlook for Mac delivers improved performance and reliability and a "fresh look and feel that is unmistakably Microsoft Office".
This version offers a more familiar and consistent experience between Outlook on the PC, Outlook on the web and the Outlook Web App for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.
Microsoft also disclosed that a public beta of the next version of Office for Mac is slated for the first half of 2015. The final release is due later that year.
Office 365 commercial and consumer subscribers will get the next version at no additional cost, and Microsoft promised a perpetual licence of Office for Mac within the same timeframe.
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