Microsoft is offering a new version of Outlook for Mac to customers, even though the new release doesn’t support some of the most popular types of email account.
The refreshed design for Outlook for Mac brings the visual style of the email software much closer to the forthcoming macOS Big Sur, which is set for release later this fall. However, a new look is a about as much use as a sombrero in a hurricane if you can’t actually read your email using the software.
A pop-up messaging is offering the new version to Outlook for Mac users, but only once they agree to try the new design does Microsoft reveal that certain types of email account – namely IMAP and iCloud accounts – are not yet supported.
Users can at this point cancel and return to the old-style Outlook, but to release a major new version of Outlook without support for two prominent types of account seems utterly bizarre. Microsoft has promised that IMAP and iCloud accounts will be supported “soon”.
IMAP is one of the most popular email protocols out there, and is often used to collect email from a user-owned domain. iCloud, meanwhile, is heavily used by Mac/iPhone users.
Microsoft claims the revamped version of Outlook for Mac will be faster and more reliable than its predecessor. Among the new features are a revamped search engine, a new People (or contacts) section that allows you to start Microsoft Teams conversations with colleagues, and the ability to create meeting by clicking and dragging over vacant time slots in the Outlook calendar.
The most noticeable change is that refreshed design, which veers from Microsoft’s previous strategy of making Outlook for Windows and Mac look as similar as possible.
Outlook for Mac has long been regarded as something of a poor relation to the Windows version, however, with the Mac version lacking many advanced features that are available to PC users.
The new version of Outlook for Mac comes in the same week that Microsoft ended support for Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac.