Microsoft has surprised Mac users by making its Outlook email and calendar app free, with no license or Microsoft 365 requirement.
Microsoft’s Jeremy Perdue made the announcement in a company blog post:
Now consumers can use Outlook for free on macOS, no Microsoft 365 subscription or license necessary.
Whether at home, work or school, Mac users everywhere can easily add Outlook.com, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo! or IMAP accounts in Outlook and experience the best mail and calendar app on macOS. The Outlook for Mac app complements Outlook for iOS – giving people a consistent, reliable, and powerful experience that brings the best-in-class experience of Outlook into the Apple ecosystem that so many love.
There’s no denying that Outlook is the leading email client, especially in the business world. Mac users have long enjoyed using the app on their platform of choice, but it has always required purchasing a license or a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Perdue teases upcoming new features in a future release:
There is more to do and many more features we are excited to bring to the Outlook Mac experience. We are rebuilding Outlook for Mac from the ground up to be faster, more reliable, and to be an Outlook for everyone.
It’s interesting that Perdue mentions “rebuilding Outlook.” Microsoft revealed at the beginning of 2021 that it was rebuilding Outlook to be a web-based universal version that would work across both Windows and Mac. It’s certainly likely the upcoming rebuild is a reference to the web-based version. If so, it makes sense that the company would be willing to make its legacy version free.