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Microsoft to Update Office for Mac Next Year; Mac Outlook Gets Refresh Now

Redmond said it made a conscious choice to focus on mobile and cloud versions of Office.


It has been some time since Microsoft had a new version of Office for Mac users. And while there is an upgrade in the works, it is going to be a while before it debuts.

A public test version of the new Office for Mac is due in the first half of next year, with the final release planned for the second half of the year. It will come as a free update for Office 365 or as a paid version for those who prefer not to get Office on a subscription basis.

Typically, Microsoft tries to have a Mac version every couple of years. But the company said it chose to focus on tablet and mobile development over the last year or so.

“Historically we have released a new version of Office for Mac approximately six to eight months after Office for Windows,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “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.”

More immediately, Microsoft said Friday it is ready now with an update for Outlook for the Mac, with the new version designed to be more similar to the Web and PC versions of Outlook.

Microsoft’s comments follow a leaked roadmap of the company’s Mac plans.

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