Microsoft Outlook for Mac Now Free, with Strings Attached

Originally published at: Microsoft Outlook for Mac Now Free, with Strings Attached - TidBITS

Microsoft has released its Outlook for Mac email and calendar app for free, but it displays ads, requires the “New Outlook” user interface, and asks to sync all your data to the Microsoft Cloud.

It’s not that I don’t trust Microsoft—the company manages email for hundreds of millions of users

Well, you -should not trust Microsoft- based on recent changes to their commercial outsourcing products. My home email domain is routinely tossed by Microsoft into spam folders or rejected (despite the domain itself being much older than ‘’, I’ve had this email address since 1985.) And since this is outsourced, the IT departments where this happens are both clueless and not accountable. Most recently, I had this with email to Other World Computing, where apparently Salesforce outsources email to Microsoft, because the ‘rejected email’ message I got back came from

But in general, in my view/experience, this is one reason why CIOs like “outsourcing.” They’re not accountable for what the 3rd party does.

Whether at home, work or school, Mac users everywhere can … experience the best mail and calendar app on macOS.

The Outlook for Mac app … brings the best-in-class experience of Outlook into the Apple ecosystem that so many love.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I don’t recall a single MS experience I’ve ever had on the Mac that I’d call “best in class”. Usually, “not even that bad” is about as good as it gets.

That said, it would be nice if Apple had some really good competition in the calendar and mail space. G*d knows we could use improvements to both of those apps on the Mac.

It all depends on your needs. I don’t know of another app that gives the user the same total control over fonts (both sending and receiving) that Outlook provides. Mail is extremely bad in this particular area.

Not entirely true. When data security and privacy are involved, CIOs have to ensure that an outsourcer is complying with any applicable security policies that the company is subject to. That actually requires the CIO to be more diligent. A CIO that simply throws up their hands and says “it’s their problem” if something bad happens or has an outsourcer that doesn’t provide the service in a manner that the business requires won’t be a CIO for very long, IMO.


And I much prefer Word, Excel and PowerPoint to Apple’s competitive apps.

You’re the first person I’ve ever heard who preferred Powerpoint over Keynote. To each their own but I’ve used both extensively and I’m genuinely surprised anyone with experience of both would come to this conclusion.

As for Outlook, I’m not a fan. I think it’s garish and ugly with a poor interface. Adding advertising and forcing use of MS services doesn’t make it sound any more attractive.

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I always hated Outlook and haven’t had to use it for years, And maybe I like Word, Excel and PowerPoint because I had to work with them for decades.

Compared to the app I replaced, Spark, I like the new Outlook experience (so far) better. More manageable interface, from an overall and customization POV. Pleased so far. It has replaced Spark on my iPhone, iPad and MBP. MS has done a good job with this app.

The above said, if Apple Mail actually had a working SNOOZE option I would just use that. But, Snooze functionality has become a lynchpin of my email management process.

Does Snooze work differently than Remind?

Bring back Claris em@iler :wink:

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I don’t use it but isn’t this what the ‘Remind Me’ function in Mail is for?

Unfortunately the remind me feature doesn’t work like almost every other snooze function works (eg hides the email away until a later time). It leaves the email in the same folder it resided in. Unhidden with, what is, effectively a flag for it to alert you later that it’s still there. Ineffective.

I am forced to use outlook on one of my Macs, supplied by work. God awful.

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I’ve used Outlook over the years for work but never on a Mac. I agree it was awful. Very clunky. One of my clients got upgraded a couple of months back and they haven’t stopped complaining yet. They said searches were very hit or miss.

Claris was good back in the day and Lotus had one I liked, though it was Windows only. It was visually just like a planner with tabs. About 10 years ago I tried to find something similar for the Mac and there were a couple, but they didn’t flow like that Lotus one did. On second thought I think Lotus was just a PIM, not email.


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That sounds like Lotus Organizer. The Mac version integrated well with Lotus Notes, but I recall it being a decent standalone product, too.

Claris Organizer also was a very good PIM. Claris later sold it to Palm, where it became Palm Desktop for Mac. As Palm Desktop for Mac, it could be used as a standalone PIM or as the desktop client for syncing with Palm devices.

Well, if we can indulge in nostalgia, I still miss Eudora!

haha I didn’t bring Eudora up only because it wasn’t a PIM!

And yes, Lotus Organizer was what I was remembering. I never used Lotus Notes on Mac but I did on Windows for a job.


Lotus was first and foremost a spreadsheet developer, and was first and foremost an Apple developer. But this was back in the pre Mac days and, and its reasonably priced app really did help put Apple on the map. But not long after, IBM bought them and decided to stop upgrading and development for Apple.

MS wasn’t, and still aren’t dummies, so they each developed 3-in-1 spreadsheet, database, word processing app packages, and at a what was then not terribly ridiculously priced for either large or small businesses as well as for individuals. And Steve Jobs developed Claris. Unfortunately, IBM pushed positioning it to sell it along with its OS2, and OS2 didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

Supposedly, a lot of the Claris Emailer team ended up at Microsoft, working on the Mac version of Outlook Express. Outlook Express eventually morphed into Entourage, which was the predecessor to the Mac version of Outlook.