After recent leaks of screenshots for the next version of Outlook for Mac surfaced on a Chinese site, Microsoft officially released Outlook 15.3 (the version number noted by Ed Bott at ZDNet) — but only for those with an Office 365 subscription. Offering a user interface that’s more consistent with the Windows edition of Outlook, the new Outlook for Mac promises enhanced performance thanks to a new threading model and database improvements, as well as improved scrolling when switching between Ribbon tabs (according to an Office 365 blog post). The update also receives online archive support for searching Exchange archived mail, push email support for real-time email delivery, and improved Master Category List support for syncing Outlook across platforms (Mac, Windows, and Outlook Web Access). It’s compatible with Macs running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and later.
The new version of Outlook for Mac is available for commercial customers and Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, and Office 365 University subscribers. If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, you can try it free for a month, after which you’ll be charged a monthly fee. Subscriptions range from $6.99 per month ($69.99 annually) for Office 365 Personal (for a single user) to $9.99 per month ($99.99 annually) for Office 365 Home (for up to five users). Microsoft’s Office 365 blog post also notes that public beta downloads for the next version of Office for Mac will become available in the first half of 2015.