Microsoft is making Outlook for Mac free to use today. Outlook is now available free in Apple’s App Store, and you no longer need a Microsoft 365 subscription or Office license to use it. It’s a surprise move that coincides with Microsoft’s push to make its Windows desktop Outlook email client more web-powered.
Outlook for Mac includes support for Outlook.com accounts, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, and any email provider that has IMAP support. Microsoft redesigned its Mac email client in 2020, with a user interface that’s optimized for Apple’s latest macOS design changes.
Outlook for Mac is also optimized for M1 and M2 chips and has a macOS widget for calendar entries and native notification center support. Outlook for Mac also supports handoff with iOS, so you can pick up tasks where you left off between iOS and Mac devices.
Microsoft will also add a menu bar peek option soon to quickly see calendar entries within the main Outlook for Mac app. The software maker is also planning to support Apple’s Focus experience with new Outlook Profiles coming soon.
Microsoft’s move to make Outlook for Mac free comes just as the company is in the middle of rebuilding its Outlook for Windows app. Microsoft has been testing a new web-powered version of Outlook for nearly a year, with plans to combine the Windows Mail app and Outlook for Windows into a single email client. The new “One Outlook” app is essentially Outlook.com as a Progressive Web App (PWA). Much like Outlook for Mac, this new client will also be free (just like Windows Mail) and support a variety of email providers.
After this post was published, the company clarified that there are no plans to update Outlook for Mac to a progressive web app. According to Michael Palermiti, a partner product group manager for Outlook, “The new Outlook for Mac is a native macOS app. Microsoft plans to continue building and maintaining best-in-class native apps on macOS and iOS. No Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are planned for Mac Outlook.”
That doesn’t mean the company won’t have updates for it soon. “There is more to do and many more features we are excited to bring to the Outlook Mac experience,” says Jeremy Perdue, a product manager for Outlook for Mac. “We are rebuilding Outlook for Mac from the ground up to be faster, more reliable, and to be an Outlook for everyone.”
Update May 6th, 7:11PM ET: Added detail from Microsoft that no web apps are planned for Mac Outlook.