Microsoft releases surprise Outlook for Mac update, new Office due in 2015

31 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft’s new Office 365 search tool is like Minesweeper for Excel spreadsheets.

Office 365 subscribers can download the version of Outlook now, which Microsoft claims will offer “improved performance and reliability” alongside a “fresh new look”. Microsoft said Friday that it will release a public beta for the next version of Office for Mac in the first half of 2015, with the final release available in the second half of next year.

As Excel spreadsheets act more and more like Web pages—with data being pulled from many sources—the loss of just one data point can bring the whole thing crashing down. Outlook’s new look gives the software a modern feel tying it in with Microsoft’s PC, web and mobile apps, according to the company, and offers improved scrolling and agility. The overhauled email client includes a new look and feel, as well as search that extends to archived mail (whether stored online or on corporate servers), better all around performance, push email support and more.

However, following the release of Office 365 we made the conscious decision to prioritize mobile first and cloud first scenarios for an increasing number of people who are getting things done on-the-go more frequently. This meant delivering and continuing to improve Office on a variety phones (iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android) and tablets (iPad and Windows)—brought together by the cloud (OneDrive) to help people stay better organized and get things done with greater efficiency at work, school, home and everywhere between.

The new Outlook has a redesign that makes it look a lot more like its companion apps on other platforms, including Windows, and the web on both desktop and mobile. Using Outlook on a Mac is still mostly inconceivable to me, but then again, I rarely have to deal with a corporate email environment and unlike the bulk of large enterprises out there, we run a mostly Mac shop. Microsoft’s continued commitment to Mac users is a good thing overall, since it means more platform choice for those who have need of Office software.

Questions that it can answer, according to Microsoft, are which spreadsheets will be affected if you make a change to the spreadsheet in front of you. Microsoft says the reason its Mac software is lagging behind its usual update schedule relative to the Windows release this time around is because it chose to focus on those mobile apps mentioned above first this time around.

The new search capabilities are included in SharePoint’s search box, or as part of the eDiscovery Center in the Office 365 admin center (illustrated above).

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