Users of Microsoft Office for Mac have probably started to wonder if the folks at Microsoft forgot about them. Fortunately, now it looks like a rumored Microsoft Office for Mac 2015 update will finally coming sometime in the Spring of 2015. It includes OneNote, improvements to Outlook and OneDrive syncing found in the Windows versions of the office suite.
The report comes through Chinese site cnBeta, via MacRumors, in the form of some leaked images showing the Office for Mac release timeline, showing that the beta version of the office productivity suite saw undisclosed beta testing towards the end of 2013 and all of this year. Then it shows that in either Q1 or Q2 will see the “Next Office for Mac” with some indications of what’s included.
It lists four key areas of improvement:
- A new user interface with a “modernized look,” taking advantage of OS X Yosemite’s new look
- Full retina display support to make it work better with Microsoft’s latest laptop and desktop releases
- Better integration with Microsoft OneDrive cloud syncing and backup service
- Big changes in Outlook
- OneNote getting added into the suite, since its been available in the Mac and iOS app store for a while
We’ve not seen an update to Microsoft Office for Mac since the 2011 version came out in late 2010. It’s started to look very outdated, and users wondered when Microsoft would finally bring the user interface in line with the latest version of Office for Windows or OS X Yosemite. They compounded the problem with the release of Office 365, which gives users an online version of Office that users can enjoy along with a subscription to either the personal version of Office 365, which lets users install the suite on one machine, or the more complete version that gives users installations on up to 5 machines plus the mobile versions.. It syncs nicely with the Windows version of Office, but doesn’t work well on a Mac. Users can click on Open in Word, Excel or PowerPoint button on the Office 365 toolbar, but they can’t easily save it to OneDrive like they can on Windows.
Apple released a new iMac with Retina Display, a 5K resolution Mac desktop. They’ve sold Retina versions of the MacBook Pro 13 and 15-inch laptops for a while. Many hoped the company would release a Retina version of the MacBook Air, but did not this year. A Retina-enabled version of the office suite will make it look better on those Macs with super high-resolution displays.
We also learned the new version of Office for Mac 2015 will bring a significant overhaul of Microsoft Outlook, the company’s personal information management tool that includes calendar, email, tasks and contact organization.
The Apple Mac App Store already lists Microsoft OneNote for Mac, which gives users a free and somewhat limited version of the note-taking and information organization tool.
Here’s a few other enhancements Office for Mac users can look forward to enjoying in 2015.
- The Quick Access Toolbar from the Windows suite comes over to all the Mac applications
- Better tools for organizing and formatting content
- Excel 2013 style functions
- Threaded comments
- PowerPoint Presenter View enhancements
- Word gets a”Expand and Collapse” paragraph views
- Reply Comments improvements