Microsoft updates Outlook for Mac preview tease

Still only available to Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft today updated its preview of Outlook on the Mac, the tease it offered Office 365 subscribers more than two months ago.

Tuesday's update was the first for the revamped email client, which sports a streamlined user interface (UI) and will look and work more like the next edition of Outlook on Windows than previous editions. Outlook for Windows is scheduled to arrive as part of the next-generation Office suite early this fall, alongside Windows 10.

Microsoft debuted the OS X Outlook preview on Oct. 31, 2014.

According to the support document accompanying today's update, the new build includes improvements and bug fixes for problems ranging from Exchange accounts repeatedly demanding a password to proper importation of Rich Text Format (RTF) messages. It also includes repairs for the "top crashes throughout the product."

The update is available only to customers with an active Office 365 subscription. Those subscriptions cost $80 for a four-year deal for college students, between $70 and $100 annually for consumers, and between $99 and $264 per user per year for businesses. "THIS RELEASE CONTINUES TO BE AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE OFFICE 365 SUBSCRIBERS ONLY," Microsoft plainly -- and loudly -- stated in the support document.

Users must be running OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 or later on their Macs.

Microsoft has said that it will release a public beta of the next edition of Office for the Mac -- it has not revealed a moniker for the suite -- in the first half of this year, and ship the final code in the second half. As per Office 365's premise, subscribers will not be charged for the upgrade -- although they must continue to pay the annual or monthly fees. Non-subscribers will have to pay an unspecified amount for the upgraded application bundle.

Current prices for a non-subscription license to Office for Mac start run between $139.99 and $219.99. Only the latter, the list price for Office & Business, includes Outlook.

Eligible Mac owners can download the Outlook preview from Microsoft's website, or from their Office 365 portal (commercial users) or account page (consumers). Those already running the beta can select "Check For Updates" from the program's Help menu to initiate the download.

Outlook 15 update

Microsoft's update to Outlook for OS X is typically enormous, weighing in at 289MB.

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