Microsoft on Friday announced that it plans to release a new version of Office for Mac next year, with a beta version to be launched in the first half of 2015 and the full release set for the second half of the year. The company also announced that Mac users can now download a new Outlook for Mac version, as long as they’re Office 365 customers.

FROM EARLIER: Leak may reveal release details for next-gen Office for Mac and Android

The company said it is focused on Office for smartphones (iPhone, Windows Phone and Android) and tablets (iPad and Windows) following the Office 365 release, but it won’t ignore Office for Mac.

“Continuing our commitment to our valued Mac customers, we are pleased to disclose the roadmap for the next version of Office for Mac—including Word for Mac, Excel for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac and OneNote for Mac,” Microsoft wrote.

“In the first half of 2015 we will release a public beta for the next version of Office for Mac, and in the second half of 2015 we will make the final release available. Office 365 commercial and consumer subscribers will get the next version at no additional cost, and we will release a perpetual license of Office for Mac in the same timeframe,” the company added.

Recent leaks have already shown images of Microsoft’s upcoming Office for Mac release, suggesting a launch is near.

Furthermore, the company also mentioned the main Outlook for Mac features, as listed below:

  • Better performance and reliability as a result of a new threading model and database improvements.
  • A new modern user interface with improved scrolling and agility when switching between Ribbon tabs.
  • Online archive support for searching Exchange (online or on-premises) archived mail.
  • Master Category List support and enhancements delivering access to category lists (name and color) and sync between Mac, Windows and OWA clients.
  • Office 365 push email support for real-time email delivery.
  • Faster first-run and email download experience with improved Exchange Web Services syncing.
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