Microsoft said Friday that it will release a public beta for the next version of Office for Mac in the first half of 2015, with the final release available in the second half of next year.
The company has not released a new version of Office for Mac since its 2011 edition. In a blog post, the company said:
Historically we have released a new version of Office for Mac approximately six to eight months after Office for Windows. 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. This meant delivering and continuing to improve Office on a variety phones (iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android) and tablets (iPad and Windows)—brought together by the cloud (OneDrive) to help people stay better organized and get things done with greater efficiency at work, school, home and everywhere between.
Office 365 commercial and consumer subscribers will get the new version of Office for Mac at no additional cost, and the company will also release a perpetual license of Office for Mac in the same timeframe, according to Microsoft.
The company also announced Friday that the new Outlook for Mac is available to Office 365 customers.
Microsoft touts the new Outlook for Mac as delivering improved performance and reliability, as well as “a more familiar and consistent experience between Outlook on the PC, Outlook on the web and Outlook Web App (OWA) for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.”
Instructions on getting the new Outlook for Mac is here.