back to article Microsoft tweaks its 'New Outlook' for Mac – but no support for Exchange on-premises yet

Microsoft has plugged some key gaps in its "new Outlook" for macOS, currently in preview and given a fresh update just a few days ago, but the product still has puzzling omissions that drive users back to the old version. The revised Mac Outlook was first revealed at the Ignite event in late 2019. It appears to be a complete …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No support for standard protocols like POP3 and IMAP etc

    That will be DOA for a good number of the MacOS users I support then.

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: No support for standard protocols like POP3 and IMAP etc

      The "problem" with standard protocols is that the clients don't facilitate your monetization. I wonder how long it will be before Google's increasing contempt for "less secure apps" leads to their access being terminated.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: No support for standard protocols like POP3 and IMAP etc

        There would be a reason why I have gone from having about a half dozen Gmail accounts to zero Gmail accounts.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: No support for standard protocols like POP3 and IMAP etc

      And for all, repeat, ALL, users around here, home and office, especially including me. Apple Mail and Thunderbird, neither of them particularly great, will run instead.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is screen real estate really so unimportant to these UI designers?

    The inbox screenshot shows only 11 messages in that view. I get that many messages in a minute. Unless they’ve added the ability to have one message in the inbox list take up a single line of text, while having the reading pane open on the right, they’ve done nothing for the long suffering user experience. (Imagine seeing 50 messages in that list, using the familiar “details view” table paradigm. You know, with columns...)

    The author laments the UI in Outlook on Windows, but its bevy of options affords customization which can be very important for people with email-heavy workflows.

    1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

      Re: Is screen real estate really so unimportant to these UI designers?

      Yes but these are Mac users. They don't do "actual" work. The boxes just sit there on or around a desk looking pretty while their owners drool over pictures of the next upcoming iphone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is screen real estate really so unimportant to these UI designers?

        Nice try, but to hit the 10k downvotes I hit as of today* you have to do better.


        Have a nice weekend.

        * That's against 64k upvotes, but that's just plain boring :).

  3. katrinab Silver badge

    "but the first full Mac version did not appear until Outlook 2011, and even that was not very good, slower than the Windows version and missing some features, such as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)."

    Does anyone use VBA on Outlook apart from virus writers?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Outlook has always been the ugly duckling

    It is insane to imagine that Borkzilla would make a mail client these days and choose not to include protocols that have been used since the dawn of email. It's not like POP3 and IMAP are nebulous, abstract things you need an engineering degree to grasp. Who signed off on this nonsense ?

    And, as for the new UI to come, I wouldn't put too much stock in it. We're talking about the company that made Metro, remember ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Outlook has always been the ugly duckling

      Who signed off on this nonsense ?

      The same person who signed off on the second-to-last photo in the article.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Outlook has always been the ugly duckling

      Embrace, extend, extinguish.

      If they kill off protocol in their client what's the chance you'll use a non-exchange server? What's the chance you would migrate to another system?

      This is why I don't do MS. They have so much monopoly power that serving the customer is not really a requirement.

  5. Evil_Goblin

    "like Exchange pubic folders"

    YAY! It's Friday!

    Booo - it got corrected :(

  6. _randomandy_

    My biggest gripe that has stopped me using Outlook on macOS is its complete inability to support calendar sharing with .ics files or an ability to add a CalDAV plugin. If IMAP is going AWOL as well then it doesn't seem to have much going for it!

  7. BenDwire Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    This is not a high bar

    It will be the best Outlook yet, perhaps on any platform, in terms of appearance and design. This is not a high bar:

    In my opinion, it's more of a trip hazard.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: it's more of a trip hazard.

      nope. It is a plane crash of uselesness.

  8. Spoon Monkey

    Is there any news on supporting aliases?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't speak Open Standards: no, thank you.

    One of the core reasons why we opted for Mac desktops is Apple's long term support for Open Standards in most of its built-in applications, IMAP, SMTP, carddav, caldav. Yes, there's the occasional hiccup and I haven't checked if they fixed their painfully slow webdav implementation as we have worked around that, but in general it ensures a peaceful coexistence with Linux.

    Outlook's ONLY support for an open standard is a grudging implementation of POP/IMAP/SMTP, probably because that allows them to slurp data from other mail services (only kidding, of course). Eventually we gave up and abandoned it, which was pretty much the last thing that tied us to Office 365 in general. We don't have the sort of deep Excel needs that would be the only other argument for MS Office, so it's now LibreOffice all the way - also because that now can handle the sort of VFB sheets that previously required Excel (vfb = very effing big).

    I'm not sure we'd be able to contain the MS addicts if Outlook supported Open Standards, because then its integration of calendar, address book and mail would be a much stronger argument so, from our perspective, MS has shot itself in the foot. It saves us quite a bit :).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it not only looks pretty"

    Sounds like this may be heading the way the more recent version of Skype started; something was released that "looked pretty", with the (necessary) functionality being added by future updates (it only now nearly has everything back in, but is still not as usable as it was).

  11. James O'Shea

    Latest Insider version allegedly does IMAP

    One of my Minions(™) (now all I need is a hollowed-out volcano and a white Persian cat) paid a visit deep, deep, DEEP within the Borg Collective and reports that one of the Insiders chained to the rowing bench said that IMAP works. No word about POP3, but if IMAP works, that and SMTP should also work--unless they are truly mad in the bowels of The Beast. I have not myself tried it, nor will I run it if IMAP takes a hike.

    May I sugest that others venture inside the Collective (take plenty of phasers) and report on conditions. Frankly, removing POP/IMAP/SMTP is _exactly_ what I expect from the Borg.

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: Latest Insider version does not do IMAP

      A second Insider has raised his head above the parapet, but this one says, with a screenshot to back it up, that the 'new' Outlook supports only, Office 365 (presumably including Microsoft 365, because even the Beast wouldn't block their own, would they?) and 'Google' (presumably Gmail) accounts. Users who have any other type of account, including Apple iCloud accounts, may revert to the 'old' (that is, working properly) Outlook. The default is to push onwards into the brave new world without IMAP, POP, or SMTP. Or, Exchange Server. You'll notice that Exchange Server is NOT on the list of supported tech. The Borg _is_ blocking their own.

      I join everyone else is saying: not on my machines. Kiss these (about 200) accounts good-bye, Borg.

      I think that they pulled POP, IMAP, and SMTP support deliberately and with malice aforethought. I think that their reward should be fewer sales.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "has dialogues buried within that have not changed for decades"

    Yes, it will be better when they get replaced by the new gigantic, sparse, touch oriented "settings panes" where you can't actually set anything useful, nor there is no way to hit "Cancel".

  13. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Another pass

    I get by with a very vanilla email client and I'm just fine. I take pains to limit the amount of email I get by creating throw away accounts I can use to verify with some web site to get free goodies and they delete it when they start sending me a dozen ads per day and "share" my address with their "partners". Translated to "sell their list to everybody with a few quid to spare".

    I've had to use Outlook at on job and found it tedious. From the outside, it seems that on a regular basis somebody's Outlook client is hacked to send out a bog wodge of phishing attacks. I'm good at spotting those since I don't even trust people I know, but worry about my old mom. I visited her the other day and I ran down the list of current phishing email and I'm happy to report she spotted them all, whew. It's good test to see how she's doing. I don't expect a big inheritance but I don't want to get a call that she's been robbed of her savings and needs to move in with me.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outlook, like the rest of Office, is a steaming pile of dung on the Mac. It's sat there gobbling up 3.26 Gb of memory, which is more than some highly sophisticated genome alignment algorithms we run - when they're actually doing something, which Outlook is not.

  15. deejinoz

    Three questions immediately spring to mind. Will they have fixed:

    1. Global address lists... Changes to this can sometimes take days to reach connected Mac clients. Microsoft's own Mac support subject matter experts claim that they don't even know how this works!

    2. Drag and drop of events in the calendar. In the Windows version it is easy enough to reschedule or create new meetings, based on previous one, simply by right-click dragging the even to a new day and then telling the context menu to move or copy the event there. The current Mac version of Calendar is just pitiful and simply won't do even something so basic as this

    3. Formatting of text between Windows and Mac clients getting screwed up, in Calendar? Even for the same user accessing the same account. Open and edit the text in a Calendar event on either platform, then go and look at it on the other platform and the formatting gets all screwed up. Yes folks, this is simple text formatting on the same email system and even the same account?

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