Office 2008 Enterprise Series: OOF Coming to Entourage

I travel a lot. I'm in and out of our Seattle and Mountain View offices on a regular basis and spend way too much time sitting on the airplane. One of the most frustrating things about using Entourage 2004 is that every time I travel, I have no easy way to indicate to folks e-mailing me that I am unable to reply for the next few hours. Microsoft's culture is driven by e-mail communications and not responding to an important e-mail in the middle of a workday is the equivalent of skipping an important meeting or not answering your boss' phone calls. It’s a tough standard to meet when sitting offline at 30,000 feet.

There’s a real handy feature in Exchange, Outlook and Outlook Web Access called “Out of Office. ”Around here, we call it “OOF” (pronounced ooo-ph--see more historical details on the Exchange team blog). OOF allows you to configure your Exchange account to automatically reply to incoming messages with a quick note telling the sender that you are not able to respond because you are currently out of the office. Whenever I fly, I set my OOF to respond with the time I should be back on the ground and connected once again. The message is generated by the server, so I whenever I close my laptop and hop on the flight, I am confident that my coworkers are still notified of my current status.

This hasn’t always been very easy on the Mac. For years, you’ve had to launch Safari, log into Outlook Web Access, and hunt down my Out of Office settings. Then, after every flight and an Inbox full of new messages demanding attention, you must remember to log back into Outlook Web Access and turn the auto-reply off. Personally, I forget to do this a lot, only realizing my OOF message is still on a week later after a coworker replies with “are you still on vacation?”

With Entourage 2008, you now have the ability to configure your Out of Office settings without ever launching your web browser. It’s now right there, in Entourage’s Tools menu. Just like in Outlook 2007, you can configure your OOF to send separate replies based on who sent you a message and automatically turn on and off between certain date and times—no more worrying about remembering to turn off your OOF message.

For setting OOF, Entourage communicates with an Exchange 2007 server in the exact same way as Outlook 2007, through web services. As Craig mentioned, we’ve worked a lot with the Exchange team on determining ways we could bring new functionality to Entourage in the future and OOF is one of the first features taking this exciting new direction. For users on Exchange 2000 and 2003 servers, OOF will continue to work, though the more advanced features under “more options” are not available.

One question: the protocols we use to communicate with is exactly the kind of information we’ve included in updates to our Office Resource Kit and will be included in updates for Office 2008. However, we realize there's a lot more issues you’d like to hear detailed from us. We've been working on publishing Entourage-specific articles on TechNet. Any suggestions for topics that would make your life easier as someone in an enterprise with Entourage users?

Comments (89)
  1. tsokol says:

    Nice to see OOF will be available in the next version. It is a common request in our environment, especially users switching from Outlook to Entourage 2004. Are there plans to allow Entourage 2008 users to import their Outlook 2003/2007 PST files? Archiving of email is a big issue with email quotas in place on the Exchange server, especially for users utilizing both Windows and Mac OS X platforms. Many users will launch Outlook 2003/2007 using Parallels and Windows XP on their Intel based Macs only for the ability to read their PST files.

  2. Keep an eye on Mac Mojo for sneak peeks at new Office 2008 features including Entourage 2008. In his Office 2008 for Mac Sneak Peek Kick-Off Craig Eisler, MacBU General Manager, announces a commitment to Entourage in the enterprise and begins with a look

  3. Ed says:

    I hope Entourage will work going through an ISA Server configured with OWA authentication; we are really frustrated that our Microsoft ISA can’t work with it now.

  4. sladuuch says:

    Pessimist in me:  It’s about time!

    Optimist in me:  Thanks a whole lot for finally releasing some concrete details!

    Either way, good job, guys.  It’s this kind of information we’re looking for.

  5. Jared says:

    You’ve got to be kidding.  I should be getting excited about OOF?  Are you guys trying to punish us with this release?  I mean, really… what did we do to you?

    The refusal to mention "MAPI" is deafening.  Can someone explain why it’s so hard to 1. Get a MAPI client and 2. mention ANY ACTUAL FEATURES.  

    You’re waiting until January and I’m guessing Apple’s going to beat you at your own game come October as far as Exchange is concerned.

  6. gordon says:

    OOF is great, but we really need to be able to book EXCHANGE resources such as rooms.

    Optional meeting invites would be nice too.

  7. Kevin says:

    Thank you! You just made my life a whole lot easier come January.

    One question is if OOF and Exchange 2003 will notify you when you open up Entourage and tell you that it’s still on.

  8. Tim McBrayer says:

    I use Outlook 2007 as well as Entourage. I wish MS would just take Outlook and make a Mac version and be done with it. There are contact, scheduling and many other features that just are not in Entourage and for the life of me I don’t understand why. Maybe it’s just Bill Gates not wanting us Mac users to have everything that Office users on the Windows side have had for years. Another example, why can’t I be sent a message when my email has been delivered to its recepient, opened or even read? Outlook has had this for years but Entourage offers no such feature.

    If Enourage 2008 is going to work with the Exchange Server 2007 just as Office 2007 on the PC side does then why not open up the feature set for us Mac users. It’s about time MS brings some equality to its email clients.

  9. This is a very important feature that came in handy during Hurricane Dean here during August.

  10. Mike dixon says:

    I work at a university that currently uses Exchange 2003 server. I’m assuming they’ll be updating to 2007 soon, but will Entourage 2008 and this OOF feature work with Exchange 2003 server?

    As far as other features we’re looking for, what about enhancing the Outlook Web access for Mac users so that it is as robust as the Windows version? I know, it’s a big hurdle, but with all the Web 2.0 out there, it must be feasible. This is likely a Exchange server guys question, but oh well.

    A nice feature we’d like to see is the ability to drag and drop gobs of e-mail messages from a folder (either one on the server or in a personal folder) into a local folder on my Mac…and have them saved as universally readable text files (not Entourage format). Administrators in particular save every single e-mail and want them in a format that will be readable long after we’re dead and buried (well, at least it seems that way). Currently, they click on one e-mail at a time and do a save-as and select the text option (Rich Text save-as would be nice too).

  11. This is certainly a welcome addition to Entourage.

    I do wonder about the syncing of "Categories" and "Projects" to the exhange server, so when I set the category in Entourage it will sync and have the same setting in Outlook.

    Any idea if or when this will be included?

    Keep up the good work , and please post mote screenshots!

  12. Roland Dobbins says:

    A desperately-needed option for OOF is the ability to send replies only to those who directly send email to you; otherwise, everyone on every list of which you’re a member will get spammed by your OOF messages, and they will all curse you for a fool.

    Another desperately-needed feature is the ability to write server-side Exchange rules from within Entourage.  This isn’t supported via OWA, and so the only way to do it is via Outlook on Windows, which doesn’t help folks like me who have no access to Windows nor a desire to run it if we did.

  13. Nick says:

    Archiving is a big thing for our department as well.

  14. Scotty says:

    I need:

    1) Ability to work in online mode instead of constantly caching every single folder.  I have a management assistant who uses Entourage to access her bosses shared mailboxes.  And because of Entourage’s ridiculous caching, her Microsoft User Data folder is 70 GB!!

    2) Outlook users always receive new information instantly while Entourage users have to wait for changes in shared folders to be cached and synchronized.  When a user adds or changes information in a shared folder such as contacts, calendar, public folders, notes, tasks, etc., the changes should be pushed instantly to Entourage, instead of waiting for Entourage to synchronize every few minutes.  

    3) Server based rules which are stored on the server and continue to work even if Entourage is not running.  Entourage should also be able to manage rules that were created in Outlook, and vice versa.

    4) Support for Notes and Tasks folders on the Exchange server, as well as the ability to configure sharing permissions for Notes and Tasks.

  15. Scotty says:

    How about native pst file support?  Instead of having to use a pst converter which takes several hours to import, Entourage should allow users to read and write to pst files directly.  Entourage should also be able to create pst files which can be used in Outlook.

  16. Bob says:

    Why can this not be configured from meetings in the calendar? Can i not have two check boxes in a calendar entry for 1. Out of office 2. (sub checkbox) Send OOF.

  17. Jeff Bernstein says:

    For those who think people are being too harsh on MS for the lack of Exchange integration are probably the same people who don’t use an Exchange Server. The reason there is such venom spewing is because it is completely ridiculous that there is not feature parity. MS has no one to blame but themselves. They claim that it is too difficult to port MAPI just like it is too difficult to release fully functional Office 2007 converters in a timely fashion.

    I must agree with another poster, giving us info in drips and drabs we desperately need to plan our future Office purchases just adds insult to injury.

  18. Asitha says:

    What features would I want to see in Entourage 2008?  Well the requirements definition is quite simple.  Start up Parallels, configure Outlook 2007 so that it runs with all our enterprise accounts using Exchange 2003 and above and voila, you have the right feature set!  I have a lot of respect for the office 2008 but really entourage in the enteprise has always been a stinker and Out of Office isn’t going to set the enterprise world on fire.  The really really simple requirement is for Entourage and Outlook 2007 to effectively work exactly the same (eg Office forms, public folders, account setup, pst file imports, etc etc).  Without this you could get Entourage 2008 to make a decaf latte, and purr while sitting on my lap but we still won’t use it!

  19. Mapi says:

    The only feature that Entourage really needs is MAPI.  OOF is handy.  Booking resources is handy.  MAPI is essential.  I’ll be first in the queue with my chequebook when MAPI is implemented but until then, I’ll keep using Open Office.

    In fact, MAPI is so important that I’ll even overlook the absence of VBA.  But seriously, what were you guys thinking when you removed the possibility of cross-platform scripting?  Can’t Microsoft see which way the wind is blowing (towards Open Office, which is genuinely cross-platform compatible).  Share your toys.  It’s what everyone else does (even Apple shares QuickTime and all it’s functionality, including DRM).  Don’t keep the bits that ensure corporate monopoly for yourself.  It isn’t nice and I’m not even sure it’s legal.

  20. Cyrus says:

    it’s about time. Please post some screen shots or at else give us a public beta as you did with office 2007

  21. Ben says:

    As a enterprise user – the OOF is a very welcome and long awaited for feature.  But i would have to echo the remarks for being able to reserve and create resources as well as better archival features and pst support.

  22. Eric says:

    are you kidding me? required functionality in entourage:

    1- read and delete flags implmented compatible with excange server and blackberry

    2- possibility to mark messages as private/confidential/

    3- request reply-confirmation

    4- request read-confirmation

    5- attach contacts in an easy way

    6- zip (archive) files when attaching

    7- optional attendees when scheduling meetngs

    8- resources in scheduling

    9- better synchronisation of mail folders

    10- better synchronisation of public folders

    etc, etc,

    need I go on, why don’t you just at least provide the same functionality outlook users have?

  23. eric says:

    just a few others

    11. Support for syncing Notes and Tasks with Exchange server

    12. delegation of tasks

    13. sync categories – compatible with outlook client

    14. better caching – synchronisation suport

    15. server-based rules

    16. edit mail in true HTML

    17. use word as editor for advanced editing options

    18. imporved contact managment (for requested functionality please look at Outlook from Microsoft!)

  24. JC says:

    One I would love is Kerberos support.  I have a cross-realm setup where my users are authenticated to AD via OS X’s support which allows for Kerberized services to support single-signon.  This would be nice as the only thing that continues to ask for a password is Entourage…

  25. Michael says:

    I need rich text edits in the calendar and

    tables in the mail body and

    some rich text features which are standard nowadays (line spacing…)

    Keep the good work going!


  26. Dex says:

    You know when I started reading this entry I was excited but then it got to the part about functionality loss if you dont use Exchange Server 2007. This makes me wonder how much of the new Exchange support will work with anything less than Exchange 2007. It would be completely unacceptable to me to add all this new Exchange support but require 2007 when most users are probably still on 2003 or 2000.

  27. Robert Accettura says:

    How about the ability to click on a sender/to/cc name and get their correct information.  Right now the best that can be done seems to be to go into the ab, select the correct ab and enter their name.

  28. Sketch says:

    1: to the bloke who said "MAPI", it’s my understanding MAPI is a dead protocol to even the Exchange team. It’s all about http these days.

    2: FINALLY!

    3: I echo the sentiment of online mode vs cached, server-based rules and all the other feature-parity comment, although at this point I suspect you’re pretty much feature locked, so if you don’t have it now you prob won’t

  29. As a current user of Entourage 2004, I’d really like to know that Entourage 2008 will improve on Exchange server support.  I’m hoping that this new OOF will work with at least the previous version of Exchange (2003) and not just with Exchange 2007.

    As for other features, it would be really nice to have full support for Palm syncing.  I rely on keeping my Entourage and Treo 755p (Palm) data synchronized each and every day.  Current support with Entourage 2004 is ok, but it could be better (synching birthdays, URL) and I am hoping for that with Entourage 2008.

  30. Guido says:

    Needs for enterprises? I can’t really say anything about that, but as a "professional email junkie" I can tell you what I need, because I literally live in my email app:

    1. Support for threads in mailinglists – is it really so hard to get a discussion thread connected together? I know that some email clients don’t send the reference id – but you can do something about it. Support threads in discussions in Entourage and Outlook and it is good enough to be helpful.

    2. Give the ability to show more information about category and project of a mail in the "three column view".

    3. Give us "tags" for e-mails. Settable by hand, settable by rule. Right now I do the same with categories.

    4. I need a better integration in the rest of my Mac OS X System. At least visually it should fit. I can understand why MS goes with their own address book and calender formats and so on, but AT LEAST make it look like a modern Leopard ready application.

    5. I want rule execution by keyboard shortcut, so I can configure rules to sort mails when I hit a key-combination. Like + Mail ActOn. That saves me minutes of time per day, which adds up over the time. It just makes handling email easier.

    6. Use an NSToolbar so I can configure the icons in the toolbar the way I need it and not the way you think I want it!

    7. Give up on that crappy none-working spam filter and license SpamSieve or something as good as SpamSieve to filter spam. Or provide some more man-power in doing it right and make it as good as SpamSieve.

    So, that is just a quick collection of what annoys me most in Entourage as of today.

  31. Cameron says:

    I too would like to ask for the synching of Notes. I have many many notes to myself that I need to access.

  32. Jp says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me.  If this is what’s causing me to wait for Office ’08, then perhaps I should just go ahead and purchase the Pages ’08 demo on my Macbook now and not wait until January…..Maybe I’ll just keep using Mail and NeoOffice.   Come on Microsoft, I love my Mac but am still willing to use MS Office.  Throw us a bone……!

  33. Even if Office 2008 is as nice as 2007 and has better OOF support, the key for me is Exchange support.  Entourage is awful, and the only reason I’m forced to use a PC at work.  Just make Outlook, or have Entourage not use WebDAV.  Why, Microsoft, why?  I’m trying my best not to believe in just the stereotypes and think of you as a nice software company.

    Instead, I’m pushed more towards using iWork and  Fine by me, but I think you’d want the business of Exchange users.

  34. Keith says:

    Just to echo a few comments above, I absolutely loved Outlook 2003, and groan every day when I start up Entourage 2004.  The import process was particularly painful (I lost a lot of attachments and messages when trying to use O2M), indicating a sore need for PST support.

    Syncing to a Palm Treo is also painful, since the conduit between the two leave a lot to be desired (locations of meetings don’t sync?  no field mapping ability?  come on).

    I also really miss archiving of my messages.  My mail database on my Mac gets bigger and bigger each day, with no end in sight.

    So essentially, put Outlook into Mac form and we’ll all be happy.

  35. Peter Thorn says:

    I would like:

    – the ability to see subscribed calendars side-by-side

    – better os x integration in address book, so you can send sms via your bluetooth and mobile phone, like you can in Apple Addressbook

  36. Kevin says:

    Requested Entourage Features that would improve our Enterprise:

    1. Single sign on, from login credentials or Kerberos.

    2. Auto-account creation, again from login credentials, so that you can skip running the set up wizard.

    3. Ability to detect changes on the server side, such as a mailbox move, or public server change. These are now fixed as preferences at the time of account creation.

    4. Booking of resources

    5. Move calendar appointment out of inbox after they are accepted.

    6. True read/write support for PST files, not just import

    7. Ability to work in non-cached mode (keep all email on server and don’t sync locally)

    8. Receipts

    9. Ability to send HTML mail (we use a 3rd party script for this now)

    These are all real issues, limitations and complaints that I have encounted in supporting Entourage in our Exchange environment.

  37. ADAXL says:

    What I would like to see in Entourage:

    1. OOF is nice, but requires good integration with spam filters. I don’t want to tell all the spammers that my account is active.

    2. Make it play nice with Exchange. Yes, really.

    3. Allow it to import and export e-mail without problems in formats that can be read by Apple Mail or Thunderbird.

    4. Give it the full functionality of Outlook on Windows. If it can do more, so much the better. If it does less than Outlook, not good.

  38. AL says:

    Here’s one more vote for NOT requiring Exchange Server 2007 to use the "new" features of Entourage 2008.  We just recently got our IT group to update to the *last* version of Exchange, and upgrading again is not going to happen.

    Right now each of our Designer has a old PC sitting next to their MacBook Pros just to use Outlook.  I use Parallels myself, but the result it the same.  It’s a ridiculous, unacceptable waste of resources.  

    If the MacBU can’t find a way to work with the Windows Office team, they need to just kill Entourage completely.  Just ship Office 08 with a copy of Parallels and PC Outlook, and stop punishing your Mac base.  

  39. MacNZ says:

    How about not using a monolithic database, I don’t care if it is proprietary but backups can be huge even if only a few messages may have changed each day.

  40. Grae says:

    "Anyone outside my company"?

    1– I only want to send OOF messages to people *inside* my company. People need an easy way to avoid sending OOF messages to e-mail lists.

    2– Ditch the database & go with text files

    3– Full Outlook feature list

    2 out of 3 will be fine.

  41. Mike says:

    Exchange 2007?  You can’t be serious.

    While I’m sure Microsoft would love to see everyone migrate to Exchange 2007, in the real world Exchange 2003 is where the vast majority of your users live for at least a couple more years.

    To think that all the expectations you’ve built for Entourage 2008 will require Exchange 2007 is a monumental let-down.

    Say it isn’t so.

  42. Jhporte says:

    Please add in the ability to sync notes and tasks with the Exchange Server!

  43. AndyRuff says:

    Exchange features in Entourage 2008 will *not* require Exchange 2007.  However, some features will work better with Exchange 2007 than 2000 or 2003.  Out of Office is one such feature–it works fine with 2000 and 2003, but the more advanced options (everything on the bottom half of the screenshot) only work with Exchange 2007.  Outlook 2007 works the same way, basic OOF options are available against older servers and more advanced OOF options against Exchange 2007.  The limitation is more so because older versions of Exchange simply don’t support the more advanced options.

  44. Eric says:

    What about winmail.dat, will you fix that problem?

  45. Rob says:

    This is nice but……. I really need MS Access for Mac. Not because I want to use it but people keep sending me Access database that they want me to work with.

  46. eponymous coward says:

    OK, folks, you know what?

    Shut up already about MAPI.


    Let me explain why.

    Imagine that I showed up tomorrow with a Mac Exchange client that was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT feature compatible with Outlook for Windows.

    You ask me "Does it do MAPI?" and I say "No, it uses tin cans and string", and I show you the tin cans and string… and also demonstrate that it does anything Windows Outlook would do.

    Would you CARE if it did MAPI? Or would you just use the tin cans and string, and have a fully-featured Mac  Exchange client, and not care how it did what it did?

    Here’s the thing- what you want is something that lets you access your data on Exchange just like Windows users do. It doesn’t matter if it uses MAPI, or DAV, or tin cans and string. What you want is functionality. What MAPI, DAV or tin cans and string are, are what we in the trade call "implementation details". And guess what? You aren’t a programmer, so you have NO IDEA how any of this stuff works- or what the best way is to get what you want (a full-featured Mac client) to you.

    And if y’all think MAPI is easy stuff to do… well, how is it the only people who sell a client that talks MAPI to an Exchange Server is Microsoft? Could it be that they are the only people who know all the tricks to get it working? I’m going to have to go "yup". Because, well, I AM an informed observer.

    Don’t believe me? Go read the MAPI documentation here:

    I defy you to tell me where calendaring is documented. Or any NUMBER of features Outlook has. It ain’t. Trust me- I have a copy of this book on my bookshelf. Not. Documented. Anywhere.

    But hey, look at the Table of Contents…

    But guess what, the folks over at Snerdware HAVE a native Mac client that supports Exchange calendar and contacts…

    Choice and competition is good, people (or so Steve Jobs tells me)- and the reason Snerdware has this for you to choose (if you’d rather not use Entourage) is because Exchange opened up their protocols to non-MAPI clients, through DAV and other means, and DAV is a very transparent protocol to sniff and reverse engineer. Unlike MAPI, which requires knowing stuff like Microsoft’s (nonstandard) implementation of RPC, and OLE, and COM, and umpteen bajillion little tricks and so on, which mostly give me a headache and make me want to hurl my Inside MAPI book through a window.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. You have every right to say "YOU SUCK FOR NOT LETTING ME ACCESS 100% OF MY OUTLOOK AND EXCHANGE DATA" to the MacBU. Say it every day until they get it right in Entourage.

    But telling them to use MAPI? That’s like giving laymen giving advice to brain surgeons on how to remove a tumor. Bad idea- you have no idea what you are doing. You have every right to expect the tumor to be gone and for a surgeon to DO their job- but you don’t have the informed expertise on HOW to do their job… which is why they are a brain surgeon. Or, in this case, a programmer.

    So really, shut up about the MAPI already… and keep hounding them until they get Entourage working right for you. Remember: protocols aren’t important for you, the end-user, but features are.

  47. Phillip Roncoroni says:

    Is this a joke? Why the hell don’t you guys just take Office 2007 and port it entirely using Cider or something?

  48. As an Apple Consultant, I can tell you the top 7 items and their priority (as ranked by my clients):

    1) Out-of-Office support (Which, I suppose, is taken care of)

    2) SSO/Kerberos (OR at least, ability to do a password change for the account via Entourage)

    3) Better performance…even on G5s some actions (moving thousands of emails) can be painfully slow…and rainbow-invoking

    4) Package-based installers and updaters….hello, ARD anyone? Pretty sure the MacBU has this…

    5) Receipts/Confirmations

    6) Archiving/Auto-Archiving

    7) True…real…HTML

  49. Regarding TechNet articles, I suggest that these should be included under the actual Exchange Server 200x Deployment articles. Certified Partners will appreciate this, instead of having to hunt the article down into MacTopia.

  50. Sean says:

    In regard to full HTML support: tables are definitely needed, but I also need to have the ability to edit the HTML my self. We create signatures for everyone in our office, and they only work on Outlook. Entourage just shows the HTML code.

  51. ASV says:

    How about syncing with WIndows Mobile phone?  Can you add a native support in Office 2008 for smartphone syncing?

  52. Dude says:

    The bar is set @ Outlook 2001 for Mac as the benchmark in terms of functionality.

    I applaud the MBU for posting this, this is a good first step. Notice I did not say last step.

    From a Enterprise deployment perspective:

    1) Single signon

    2) Voting

    3) Resource scheduling

    4) Better connection on the back end then Webdav

    5) Ability to set it up in true Enterprise mode , rather than having the "Folders on my computer" and all that entails. no end of confusion for the end users.

    6) PST support

    7) Calendar view ability before excepting a meeting.

    8) Support for multiple calendar sync to iCal. For me this would be huge.

    Once these any others "laundry list" of improvements are done/worked on, what have you. Then focus on the "valued added stuff" Such as:

    the Art of office

    My Day

    Project Center, etc…

  53. Brett_x says:

    The OOF announcement is a very welcomed piece.

    1)Please use flat files rather than the Entourage Database. With changes coming in Leopard, this is a big deal. Synching people’s home directories (aka Time Machine) is very likely to cause a problem if the person is logged in.

    2) I echo the post requesting .pkg or .mpkg files. It’s 2007 already. There’s no benefit to using proprietary installers. In fact, as an enterprise administrator, It’s nearly impossible to restrict the ViseX installers from running, but I sure can make sure Apple’s "Installer" doesn’t launch. This step would help us make sure we’re within our licensing agreement. It would also help greatly in deploying/updating your products.

    3) Please allow customization – even if it’s obscure (e.g. using Apple Dev tools to do so). When the message "your password is expiring.. see your administrator" comes up, guess who’s phone rings. I’d rather be able to point them to the documentation in that message. That should be pretty straight forward if the message is written into the localization files in plain text.

    4) Voting would be nice, but really, 100% accurate calendaring is the most important thing.

  54. AlexF says:

    Let’s hope a beta is available soon.

    Agree with many posts regarding need for features which are standard for Outlook users:


    scheduling of resources (critical)

    ability to change password

    Sharepoint interconnectivity

  55. HK says:

    Honestly, what a joke.  I appreciate your efforts, and I’m sure you work hard, but can anyone out there actually be pining for improved OOF support given all the other CRITICAL issues with Entourage?  

    You know what I love about Entourage connecting to Exchange- how the database daemon locks up every few hours, and I get to force quit Entourage and start again.  Seriously, it’s a lot of fun.  You should try it.

  56. Rick says:

    Not to worried about OOF, I just want to make the next version of Office solved the single MS Database issue in regards to backups.  This is the most important issue to resolve.  The ever changing single database file forces a complete backup every day.  And for an average use with over 1 GB database file, this is a real problem.  Please fix this.

    Thank you.

  57. Knanyahu says:

    I agree with the comments above that we need 100% Outlook functionality.  One feature I would include that has not been mentioned above is something equivalent to OL2003/2007 RPC over HTTP.  I work in a large company full of Outlook and Exchange users.  There are many of us who are home office and want to use our Entourage Clients outside of the firewall and yet still be able to connect to the Exchange server.  RPC over HTTP provides that functionality on Windows.  Outlook is the only reason I run VMware Fusion at this point.  Please, pretty please?  


  58. Thomas says:

    I’m a bit shy of mentioning this, since the rest of the world seems to be on Exchange, but: Our company uses the IBM Lotus Notes/Domino groupware.

    So I would like to know if there are any plans for a Domino integration other than just accessing mail via POP3/IMAP4? Be it from Mac BU, IBM (no, I do not expect any form of cooperation between two groupware rivals, even though I would love to see it) or a third party ISV?

  59. Jeremy says:

    Knanyahu, Entourage already has the RPC over HTTP functionality that you are looking for; it uses WebDav to do it but in essence that is how it connects to Exchange.  Ironically they had it out before RPC over HTTP was added to Outlook.

    Anyways, for the guy who called me a Tool of Microsoft on my last response to a response to you is "your mom is a tool"

    I use Outlook 2007 running in VMWare and honestly there are so many features that I use that I probably have no idea what is not and won’t make it into Entourage.  Every aspect of calendaring that is possible in Outlook 2007 is what I would request. Shared calendaring and how it keeps a nice little list of previous calendars you have opened up, the category synchronization, all of the options available for creating a calendar appointment and scheduling resources and people.  All of it

    The search feature at the top of the Inbox or whatever "folder" you are in within Outlook is nice.  I understand Spotlight integration but that quick ability to just click right there and type is nice

    Contacts and Global Address List – I’d like all of these offline and not requiring me to add the LDAP account to work with AD for the GAL because that means when I’m outside of the company (which is 100% of the time) I can’t access the GAL because there is no way in hell our IT staff would open up that access from the outside world.

    Sharepoint and OneNote integration would be nice.

    General layout of Outlook 2007 – Honestly the way that Outlook 2007 is laid out is very nice and easy to work with.  If it goes against Apple’s design principles they can deal with it seriously make the layout of Entourage 2008 look as close as you can to Outlook 2007.

    Any update on Visio 2008 for Mac?

  60. Over the coming months make sure to keep an eye on the Mac Mojo blog where they are releasing sneak peeks

  61. carlivar says:

    Server side rules editor.

    Server side rules editor.

    Server side rules editor.


  62. Thomas says:

    Make Entourage work like Outlook. Period. End of Story.

  63. Dan says:

    1. request a Read receipt * THIS A MUST*

    2. Request a Delivery receipt

    3. Attach contacts in an easy way

    4. zip (archive) files when attaching

    5. optional attendees when scheduling meetngs

    6. A much better synchronisation of public folders

  64. Paul says:

    This is going do sound really trivial – but having colours on the calender sync between Outlook and Entourage.  Being the lone Mac user in a Windows Department, my boss colour codes appointments by colour – which I don’t see.

  65. jlwasmer says:

    Will Entourage 2008 support the IMAP IDLE command (RFC 2177)?

  66. Ben says:

    Nice with OOF and all – but the main thing here is that you’re actually sharing information. I think we all appreciate that.

  67. Josh says:

    As said earlier, I need EVERYTHING that is available to Outlook 2007.  I don’t care what the underlaying protocols are, or if it requires me selling my soul to the devil!  All of my mac users are still using Outlook 2001 on their G5s to access our exchange system for calendar and email and next summer everyone gets a new intel mac so we’ll be dead in the water.  I can’t sit and wait for Entourage 2004’s horrid sync to try to sync 30,000 items in public folders on top of a user’s 500 mb mailbox.  When I tested 2004, it took 10 – 20 minutes depending on the number of sub folders and what public folders they had acesss to to sync which is crazy.  Also, I use network home directories so all of that crap gets written back to a server which leads to numerous database errors which has made Entourage not an option for us.

  68. Adam Nash says:

    Please, please, please tell me that Office 2008 includes Exchange resource scheduling from Entourage.  Mac users currently have to book meetings with OWA because Entourage won’t let them claim a meeting room.  🙂

    – Adam

  69. Dustin Harris says:

    Hey, wouldn’t it be a neat idea to have OOF integration for popular POP based webmail accounts like Hotmail and Gmail, for those of us who have a 1 computer, self-employed set up?

    🙂 I knew you guys would like that one too.


  70. NA says:

    With the current Entourage, although sent items appear in OWA sent items, for some reason, it does not appear in the sent items folder in the BlackBerry running BES. I believe this is because Enoturage sends the message using the local outbox as opposed to the Exchange mailbox. It would be good if this could be rectified so that you can view your sent items from the BlackBerry (using BES).

  71. Don Montalvo says:

    I agree with a previous poster – make Entourage work like Outlook.


    Don Montalvo, NYC

  72. Chris says:

    "But telling them to use MAPI? That’s like giving laymen giving advice to brain surgeons on how to remove a tumor."

    But it’s not like we’re asking them to implement MAPI. They did that already in Outlook 2001, remember?

    Outlook was so superior to Entourage, and MAPI was so trouble-free compared to what replaced it, that it is no wonder people suspect foul play.

    I, for one, have never heard any compelling evidence that Microsoft did not use OS X as a chance to cripple Exchange support in Office. I will give Entourage 2008 a chance but I doubt it will offer enough to dispel that myth.

  73. Kevin says:

    "Would you CARE if it did MAPI?"

    I, for one, care. Twice recently, the WebDav service on some of our Exchange servers has died, or has gone down during some update. I don’t know if it’s the fault of our Exchange administrators, but I can’t control that. Due to the nature of our business, they won’t restart the mail servers to restore WebDav during the day. This leaves the Mac users I support with no email (as well as OWA users). User and their managers, who don’t understand protocols, blame "the Mac." The Exchange admins ask me why Entourage doesn’t support MAPI, as if I decided that.

    Having supported Outlook 2001 on Mac OS 9 (a MAPI client), and now Entourage, both in an Exchange environment, I again vote MAPI, which left mail on the server without endless syncing.

    While I appreciate the sentiment that we shouldn’t care about the protocol, only the functionality, I guess Microsoft hasn’t proven to me that WebDav can achieve equivalence, and it has come back to bite me as a support professional.

  74. Josh S. says:

    This is a nice little feature, but I’m nervous that there has been no Entourage 2008 screenshots.  Entourage needs lots of work — I mean, we can’t even make links in our emails and it takes weeks to delete or move lots of emails. And it’s not even compatible with MS’s winmail.dat from outlook. I would expect that with Thunderbird or something, but not from a Microsoft product that is billed as "Microsoft Office for Mac."

    But hopefully those sorts of things will be addressed. Otherwise, I’m moving to Apple Mail or Thunderbird.

  75. Ryan P says:

    Here are my suggestions, stop all of your work on all the other areas of office and focus on duplicating as much of everything that Outlook 2007 has for Entourage.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say we can all get by with what we have in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for now.  We all NEED a fully functional Outlook for the Mac.  Once you have Entourage figured out, then go back and continue the development of the rest of office, paying close attention to sharepoint integration.

    Anway here are my top requests:

    -Ability to recall messages

    -Ability to resend messages

    -Synch notes and Tasks

    -Side by Side comparison of co-workers calendars

    -Full HTML functionality in composing mail

    -Synch notes and Tasks (is this sinking in yet?

    -Attach contact cards in emails

    -optional Attendee request for meeting invites

    -Approve,Reject,Yes or No voting features

    -read write PST file support

    -As mentioned earlier, color labels do not come up in entourage, so when I add my Avis reservation, it shows in OWA and outlook but not on my mac, because Avis automatically color codes the event as baby blue travel.

    I appreciate what the MacBU is doing.  However, if a lot of the requests that have been repeated on this forum are not addressed or seen in the future release, I think we all deserve an explanation of why we shouldn’t boycott purchasing the upgrade for our voices not being heard.

  76. Gatling says:

    This is the sort of feature that makes me livid. No doubt, MBU folks are really excited about this, but, if you read the blog comments, we, the customers, want MS Outlook parity and ability to import and export to Outlook PST. Therefore, if these are out core needs, you can appreciate that hearing about these peripheral feature gets us really aggravated. It’s as if you’re not listening, and you’re fixated on things that you regard as important — but you customers are asking you just to focus on the core important things, rather than distracting toy features.

  77. Josh S. says:

    It seems everyone wants a better Entourage. The rest of Office is fine, but Entourage needs to be improved.

    Maybe you guys could do a blog post about all the new features in Entourage so that we can all settle down. However, of Entourage is the same with just a couple little features like this tacked on, I don’t think you’ll find most of your users very happy. We’ve been waiting 4 years for an Entourage upgrade.

  78. House of MisterE says:

    I’m convinced you Mac/Microsoft guys are NOT listening to your customers concerning Entourage and Outlook compatibility. So, the only improvement I see over Entourage ’04 is an "Out Of Office" reply? Give me a break. When you folks figure out how to implement the most common requested features for Entourage, I MIGHT purchase Office ’08. In the meantime, quick pumping sunshine up our collective asses and implement what we want.

  79. Mac Mojo says:

    During the planning and development of Entourage 2008, I’ve had a chance to meet with many Mac Exchange

  80. Zoot says:

    As a Mac user and an IT guy I don’t want MAPI because I think I’m missing out.  I want it because WebDav is seriously f’ed up in Exchange Server.  You can read about it here:

    This has been a HUGE problem for us.  And despite the workaround listed in the link above we’re still having major problems.

    "April 13, 2007

    Several readers responded to Wednesday’s article about large numbers of Entourage users degrading Exchange Server performance. After some testing, the author concluded that there is a problem with the way Microsoft implemented WevDAV. Several readers agreed, pointing to Microsoft knowledgebase articles and their own experience. Several readers also provide some techniques that help. One reader, however is not seeing the problem with 120 Entourage clients."

  81. Joffrey D says:

    Coming from Windows/Outlook 2007, I am pretty dissapointed with Entourage. No decent sync with exchange? Is this some sort of strategy to have people buy VirtualPC or Parallels with XP for roundabout 250 bucks and then run Outlook???  

    PLEASE make Entourage 2008 be able to sync categories, tasks and notes with exchange servers….PLEASE!

  82. stikman says:

    not sure if it is in here or not (don’t really want to read through the garbage just to give a solution) …

    if you use outlook web access, you can set your "oof" message under the options tab.

    not exactly as easy as having it available in entourage, but it does work.

  83. Kat L. says:

    so?  Will we be able to sync notes and tasks?

  84. Jaye says:

    Will the layout of the Address Book be more like Office 2007 for Windows or will it remain basically the same?  Thanks.

  85. TomT says:

    All these questions and only ONE response?

    Huge +1 for dumping the perpetually corrupting single database file.

  86. Jason says:

    Entourage already has the RPC over HTTP functionality that you are looking for


    Then please explain to me, the end user how I take the instructions for setting an RPC over HTTP connection using SSL, proxy servers, and a certificate to connect via webdav?  I can’t for the life of me figure it out on my Mac with Mail, or Entourage 2004.  It works great with Outlook 2007 in Parallels (the only reason I need parallels).

    Please help.

  87. what’s the story behind MAPI support in Entourage?

  88. Mac Mojo says:

    In my Calendar post , I touched on some of the work we’ve done in our Entourage 2008 reliability focus.

  89. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the Entourage beta, so here’s some answers.

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