Apple Mac users are cheering the release of a NEW Office for Mac client that has a more unified Microsoft Office look and feel, and supports modern functionality like email archives, ribbon, etc.
Until today, Apple Mac users have relegated themselves to the old Office 2011 for Mac version of Outlook, which is kind of like Outlook (better than Entourage), but lacked the same usability that Outlook users on Windows computers have enjoyed for years.
One of the big functions supported is the ability to access email archives that have become a norm for organizations allowing users to store more information, but instead of having it in their normal mailbox, to have the old information in their Personal Archives. The older Outlook 2011 for Mac does NOT support archives, so Mac users have had to drop out to an Outlook Web App (OWA) Web view of their emails to get access to archive content.
The new Outlook for Mac user interface mirrors the new modern look of Outlook found in Outlook Web App, Office 2013 for Windows, and even the Office App for iPads.
One of the key pieces to note is the application is licensed to work with Office 365, but not licensed to work with Exchange onpremise (again, back to Microsoft's Cloud First focus). Users on Office 365 can simply download the new Outlook for Mac software, activate the software by entering in their Office 365 logon credentials, and then the software will work. It is unclear if Microsoft will enable this version of Outlook for Mac for Exchange on-premise users, possibly when they release the full Office for Mac version rumored to be available next year.
Office 365 users have 2 options, they can run this new version of Outlook for Mac "side by side" with their existing Office 2011 for Mac software, or they can remove the old Outlook for Mac and replace it with this new version (just the Outlook component, the Word, Excel, PowerPoint versions for Mac have not been updated in this release, just Outlook). For step by step instructions, see Microsoft's deployment guide at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Running-Office-for-Mac-2011-side-by-side-with-Outlook-for-Mac-for-Office-365-dbea7d44-b212-4d8b-85bd-2722ca671c0f
For a direct link to download the new Office for Mac code, sit on a Mac system, go to https://portal.office.com/OLS/MySoftware.aspx and logon with your Office 365 logon to access a page with all of the Mac software that you can download. Scroll down toward the bottom and you'll see a link to download the latest Outlook client.
Microsoft's announcement on this release is up at: http://blogs.office.com/2014/10/31/new-outlook-mac-available-office-365-customers/
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