How well does Outlook 2016 run compared to Outlook 2011?

The Big Question

If you are a Microsoft Office user on the Mac, you’ve heard the news about the Office 2016 for Mac preview. For people like you, it’s big news — the first major upgrade to Office for Mac in five years. While applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint are in “Preview” status, Outlook 2016 for Mac has been shipping since October, 2014.

The new Outlook is a complete re-architecting of the internals of Outlook: the database. As you may know, Entourage (in Office for Mac 2008 and prior) had very large databases, and had to duplicate data to support Apple’s Spotlight. Outlook for Mac 2011 was the first version of Outlook on the Mac (at least in a very long time). Outlook 2016 for Mac, however, was designed for performance from the ground up.

As you may remember, MacTech did extensive benchmarking on previous versions of Microsoft Office (2004 on Intel Macs, and 2008, and 2011). The big question, therefore, is just “How much faster is Outlook 2016 when compared to Outlook 2011?”

To answer that question, we put Outlook 2016 (version 15.8) through its paces on Yosemite 10.10.2, on a variety of Mac models to give you a good idea of how things perform based on the type of machine you are using. With about 3,000 tests, we looked at a variety of ways that Outlook performs.