I put out a call on this blog last week to help me find some users who are Entourage and PowerPoint users. I had lots of responses, and as of right now, that particular study is filled. I want to thank all of you for reading that post, responding to it if you fit my needs for that study, and forwarding it on to people who you thought might be interested. That was immensely helpful to me, and I look forward to meeting those of you who will be participating in the study next week.

I'd like to remind you that you can always sign up to participate in usability studies. Whenever I make a study request, we always start with the people who have already signed up. If you signed up some time ago and some of your information has changed (your address, your phone number, your email address, or the products that you use -- for example, you've started using PowerPoint since you filled out that page), please use that form to update your information.

Comments (5)

  1. Hadley Stern says:

    Couple of questions, are you guys going to release a beta of the next Office like you do on the windows side…and are you going to (please!) support native mapi in Entourage instead of the IMAP compromise?


  2. Tony Brown says:

    I wasn’t able to get the usability survey form to work for me… once I submitted the form, I got a server-side "Not Found" message. Anybody else having this issue?

  3. eponymous coward says:

    <I>are you going to (please!) support native mapi in Entourage instead of the IMAP compromise?</I>

    Entourage 2004 uses DAV to access Exchange, not IMAP (unless, for some unfathomable reason, you SET it to do IMAP to Exchange and deliberately cripple it). That changed after Entourage v.X.

    DAV is a “native” format for Exchange- Outlook Web Access uses it as well as Entourage, and you can access Exchange XML schemas programmatically through DAV. There are very, VERY good reasons why Entourage should not waste their time implementing MAPI support that have been gone into in other threads here, but the summary is if there’s something Entourage can’t do via DAV that Outlook via MAPI can do, the correct thing to do is expand Exchange’s DAV and XML schemas to support Entourage (and other clients) as first-class citizens, not to waste time having the Mac BU reimplement what already works in a closed and sometimes inscutable protocol that is owned by Microsoft.

  4. Hadley Stern says:

    eponymous coward,

    Thanks for the response. What I don’t understand is why MSFT won’t give the same product experience on the Mac as they do on Windows. Using Outlook in a corporate environment is much much better on a Windows machine than it is in Entourage (and my apologies for the IMAP mix up). Apart from a few features missing (inability to forward invite, inability to see number of attendees who accepted, off the top of my head) there is the fact that Entourage isn’t always connected to the server. This leads to some strange behavior (and not only for me) including sync issues, etc.

  5. eponymous coward says:

    Firstly, it’s real simple, and I’m going to say a brutal truth that I suspect some MBU people know, but don’t like to shove in the faces of their customers. For every 1 Mac user in a corporate environment, there are probably 10-20 Windows users. If you had a finite number of engineers, would you allocate 50% of your resources to helping 5-10% of your user base? Even if that 5-10% of your user base is passionate, important and produces cash for your company, the bottom line is they don’t represent your average user.

    It sucks that there’s a bunch of built-in biases for Microsoft to use Windows-specific technology (many of them introduced by Microsoft themselves, to many people’s eternal irritation), but the answer is NOT to port Windows-based technology to the Mac. The solution is to push to make platform-neutral technology stronger so that anyone can play in the game, and you aren’t stuck with Microsoft-only solutions. Really, honestly, truly. The reason the Mac isn’t in the same graveyard with OS/2 right now is the Internet- where nobody CARES if you use MAPI to talk to a POP server, since the standard is there for everyone to adopt, open and plain as day.

    Secondly, Outlook 2003 and 2007 also use local data and syncs to the server (it’s called "Cached Exchange"). It’s really what you want to be doing. Otherwise, you get a network interruption and Bad Things Happen (seriously, I’ve seen the OS tank from Outlook getting a dial tone from Exchange at the wrong time).

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