Surprise ! Microsoft makes Outlook completely free on macOS: the famous messaging software thus becomes usable without an Office license or Microsoft 365 subscription. A nice gift that we would also like to have on Windows…
Microsoft sets out to conquer Mac users with a free version of Outlook as its weapon of seduction, its famous e-mail “client”, as the publisher has just announced on his blog. Until now, the only way to take advantage of the very popular software on Mac was to buy an Office license or to subscribe to the Microsoft 365 subscription (see our practical sheet), two formulas that are not given. In other words, it is one hell of a gift! Especially since the Redmond company has done its best to incorporate the service into macOS, taking advantage of all the possibilities of Apple’s operating system. In this way, it directly competes with Mail, the email client that Apple offers by default in its operating system. Outlook is downloadable directly from the Mac App Store. AT when the same for Windows users?
Outlook on Mac: a free version to compete with Apple Mail
AT At first glance, it would seem that Microsoft has not removed any of the functions present in the full version of Outlook despite the software being free. Like any email client, the service can accommodate multiple accounts from various providers, such as Outlook, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo and, in general, anyone who uses the IMAP (Interactive Mail Access Protocol) protocol. The company has taken particular care to integrate the software into the macOS environment, in particular by optimizing it for the Apple M1 and M2 chips. Users can activate a widget for quicker access to their calendar data and access a shortcut in the macOS menu bar to keep tabs on upcoming events saved to their calendar. Finally, Outlook integrates perfectly into the macOS notification center.
Of course, Outlook data is synced between iOS and macOS. Thus, the Handoff function allows you to continue on your Mac a task started on the iOS application, and vice versa. For example, the user can start writing an email on their iPhone, then finish it later on their Mac, once they have received all the information to send. Thereafter, Microsoft plan to integrate the function Concentration (Focus) from Apple within Outlook. Thus, it will be possible to silence the notifications of receipt of e-mails depending on whether they are personal or professional. That “will allow you to stay focused on your important work emails, without being distracted by your personal emails”.
The firm announces that other functions will come later and that the work is far from over. “We’re rebuilding Outlook for Mac from the ground up to make it faster, more reliable, and an Outlook for everyone” explains Microsoft. A way for the company to increase the number of users of its email client by drawing directly from Apple Mail. Indeed, the potential really free competitors on macOS are actually quite few. We can cite Mozilla Thunderbird, Opera Mail or Vivaldi Mail, but their interface and their integration into macOS is not yet at the level of the service provided by Apple. It is also a way for users to get a foothold in the Microsoft ecosystem, and then be tempted by the Microsoft 365 subscription. the right too, which would be just as much as they paid for the license to use the company’s operating system!