It’s About Time


During the planning and development of Entourage 2008, I’ve had a chance to meet with many Mac Exchange users and administrators to discuss the direction of Exchange in Entourage.  I’ve read the comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism from a variety of sources, including recently here at Mac Mojo.  One clear message has emerged from this feedback:  “We want an Exchange client on the Mac with features, performance, documentation, and reliability on par with Outlook.” Of course, we hear this in different and sometimes more colorful terms, but I think it boils down the same. Today, I’d like to begin revealing the steps we’re taking towards meeting these expectations in Entourage. Up first is an absolutely critical Exchange area that we’ve done a lot of work to improve… the Calendar.


 


  + Click to enlarge


In the Exchange world, “Calendar” means a lot of things: delegation, free/busy, attendee tracking, invite mail flow, updates, recurrence exceptions, cancellations… I could go on, but the point is clear, there are a lot of moving parts involved in coordinating Calendar interactions, especially when workflows like delegation are involved. I’m excited to finally be able to show off some of the work we’ve done in the Entourage 2008 Calendar to improve the feature consistency and reliability of this coordination.
 
Note: You’ll notice some new looks in these screenshots. They’ll serve as a teaser for an upcoming post that will dive into the new look and user experience of the Entourage 2008 Calendar.


Accept, Tentative, and Decline from the Calendar
Attendees will now be able to reflect changes in meeting status directly. Calendar management actions, like declining a previously accepted meeting directly from the event, are more straightforward and consistent with Outlook. This fills a big functionality gap and addresses a top sore spot.


 


Meeting updates and cancellations
As a meeting organizer in Entourage 2008, you’ll have more flexibility in managing your updates and cancellations. You’ll now be able to choose whether to update your attendees about a change or cancellation and include comments. If attendees are added or removed from a meeting, you can choose to update all attendees or just those attendees whose status has changed.


Reply, Reply-all, and Forward
One nice thing in Outlook is the standard set of mail actions for meetings: “Reply, Reply All, and Forward.”  It’s easy to quickly correspond with meeting participants through e-mail without opening or changing the meeting, just click “Reply” or “Reply To All.” Another useful Outlook option is what we affectionately call the “Party Crasher.” An attendee can easily “Forward” their meeting to others they think should participate. Those additional attendees will receive their own copy of the invitation and can choose to accept if they agree.


 


Stale Invites
One complaint we’ve consistently heard is that invites and their subsequent updates pile up in the Inbox. Despite the presence of multiple invites, only the most current invite is valid. Acting (e.g. Accepting) on a stale invite is at best confusing and at worst, the root cause of missed meetings and an unreliable Calendar. Sifting through multiple invites, finding the most recent, and acting on it is an effective, but ugly solution. Thankfully, Entourage 2008 is smarter here. By improving the identification and handling of incremental updates, stale invites are now labeled as “out of date” and more importantly its accept/tentative/decline buttons are disabled. This leaves only the current invite active and aligns closely with Outlook’s behavior.  To further improve the situation, processed invites (e.g. accepted) will be moved to Deleted Items, also consistent with Outlook.  This relatively small addition has a big impact on reliability.



Conflict and Adjacent Banners
Invite banner accuracy is another area we’ve improved, especially around delegation and single user concurrent Outlook and Entourage Calendar usage. In addition to shoring up the accuracy, we’ve added Outlook inspired time management banners: “Conflict” and “Adjacent”. When an invite comes in, its banner will indicate a conflict or if you’re running up against another meeting.



No response requested
There are times when an organizer doesn’t care to receive responses from attendees. For example, large company meetings will often have unmanageably large number of optional attendees and response tracking isn’t of much use. Entourage 2008 respects “No Response Requested” invites and will simply create the event on the Calendar without sending a response to the organizer.



Exchange 2007
Exchange 2007 users will see additional Calendar benefits in Entourage 2008. We’ve added support for Availability Web Service, which Andy mentioned in his Out of Office post. We’re extending Entourage’s free/busy feature to take advantage of the Availability Web Service. With the right permissions, full free/busy details (location, subject, status) will be visible to assist with scheduling meetings.


Also, Exchange 2007 has transferred the responsibility of automatically accepting meetings tentatively from clients to the server. This is another seemingly small piece of the puzzle, but will add another important layer of consistency between Outlook and Entourage. It makes a big difference. 


Another area where Exchange 2007 has taken responsibility from clients is Resource Scheduling.  Exchange 2007 Resource Booking allows clients, like Entourage, to book resources without requiring additional client overhead and UI complexity. (For Exchange 2003, look here and here)
There are other highly requested features opening up for Entourage because of new capabilities in Exchange 2007. You’ll be hearing more about this soon…


It’s good to be able to show off some results from our efforts to improve Calendar UI consistency and workflow reliability with Exchange. We’ve also made substantial changes under the hood to better handle areas like recurrence patterns, negative exceptions, single instance cancellations, attendee tracking, and shared/delegated calendar interactions. We’ve partnered closely with our friends on the Exchange and Outlook teams on some important fixes and design changes from their end. The steps we’ve taken to build up this coordination within and between the moving parts represent a big move forward for Exchange in Entourage. I’ve heard and read the stories. We know there is real pain out there. Delegation, for one, is a serious point of frustration. We’ll soon have much more to say about Delegation and other Exchange topics we know you’re anxious for us to get into. OK, back to work…


– Richard

Comments (134)

  1. Kevin Pilasky says:

    The big icon in the first image looks so good it should actually be considered as a part of the official new Entourage icon.

    No really, it is a lot better than the dull "E".

  2. haterade says:

    So… great.  Funny how you are boasting of working better with exchange, but fall short of being a full exchange client.  

    I’m sure these improvements will help, but I see no reason why I would go with entourage over other  solutions.

    I mean, I just don’t get it. Microsoft….zzz

  3. Beautiful! I love the new look of the icons, very bold and pretty. Entourage 2008 is looking like it will be a very powerful release that focuses on complexity with simplicity, very robust and strong in Exchange environment especially when it comes scheduling events. I can’t wait to see the entire UI.

    Seriously though, I need to know who is doing all these really cool graphics. So detailed and crisp. 🙂

  4. Jeremy says:

    It drives me crazy that notes and tasks in Entourage 2004 aren’t supported by Microsoft Exchange Server.  Is this being fixed for 2008???

    Come on… please!

  5. Dude says:

    This is what I was taking about in the other thread; good start, but keep it up.

  6. Eric T. says:

    This is great news!  Very exciting to see both these developments and that you clearly are getting the message that Mac users want / need / deserve / demand / must have a full set of Exchange functionality consistent with PC users.  The UI and other implementation can vary, but it’s encouraging to hear that you are moving in the direction of providing these types of functionalities for Mac.  In a connected (groupware) environment, it’s essential that both platforms be able to access this functionality.

    Like the previous poster, though, one of my biggest problems is NOTES and TASKS not being in sync when I’m using the Mac client.  I hope (pray) you will also address this?

    Anyway, thanks for starting to address Entourage on the blog.  This definitely should be your # 1 priority (after x-platform file format compatibility, which it sounds like is in the bag).  I am crossing my fingers and looking forward to future updates!

  7. Eric T. says:

    P.S. My other biggie is full HTML email support.  Right now in Entourage, when I go to forward a rich text / HTML email, it turns into goo…  it loses all richness and becomes a confusing text message with HTML codes that don’t get re-assembled at all, leading to quite a mess that is forwarded to the recipient.  I hope better handling for HTML emails will also be a priority for Entourage 2008?   Looking forward to hearing more!

  8. Dude says:

    Exchange 2008 Student and Home should support exchange, decent schools use exchange

  9. Raj Kadam says:

    Will this calendar sync with my iphone?

  10. John says:

    How about you guys start calling it Outlook again? THAT would be a ballsy move.

  11. Mike Sax says:

    Ditto on the Notes and Tasks for Exchange… is it fixed?

  12. Evan says:

    Okay, really odd request. Would it be possible to have the background used in http://blogs.msdn.com/photos/macbu/images/5460563/original.aspx?

    It looks really really sweet, and tasty.

  13. Ben Skelton says:

    Awesome update! Please keep the info on Entourage coming!!

  14. Jeff says:

    Ah, the fun stuff begins. Good start guys, these are real improvements that will significantly improve the calendaring experience. Proper treatment of outdated invites, and moving processed invites to the Deleted folder will clean up one of my big annoyances with Entourage. Hopefully you’ve made similar progress in other functions. Can’t wait to read more about it.

    I’d like to hear more about the under-the-hood improvements as well–have you improved the database, for example, and the responsiveness of the UI? These days, I have to wait a full second between clicking the delete button as I clear out messages or Entourage doesn’t even register the second click. Productivity goes down the tubes….

  15. pesos says:

    Ugh – people are excited about pretty icons?  How about rpc over http support – cached mode support – notes – tasks?  Any of this coming to entourage?

  16. Kit says:

    The blue in those icons is very difficult to see. ‘Tenative’ could be stronger as it kinda blends in with all the gray, but what i’m really concernd about is the ‘reply’ and ‘reply al’l buttons, there is so little variation in the icons and none in color that it seems like hitting ‘reply all" by accident unfortunetly just got a whole lot easier. But geez… you won’t miss that junk mail button.

    i’m in my 30’s, but am concerned about visability/usablity issues for folks my parents age and for people with impared vision (including color blindness). If I blur my vision ‘tenative’, ‘reply’, and ‘reply’ are all instantly identifiable as possible problems.

  17. Yvo says:

    Reply in regards to Dude’s statement.

    I agree about that universities use Exchange. I know of at least 3 colleges in the area that use Exchange for students. One is even a community college and is miles away from Microsoft’s campus in Redmond (specifically Bellevue Community College).

  18. Mark W says:

    Yep, NOTES and TASKS is another big problem for us 🙁

    Because "OWA lite" doesnt support half these things either, it makes the experience of Exchange for a Mac user pretty awful… and we have a large Mac user base.

    The other biggie is a proper Office Communicator client that can do the VOIPVideoLive Meeting and other OCS 2007 stuff!

  19. henka says:

    Hi, will it be possible to open PST files in Entourage???

  20. Fat Barstard says:

    OK so far.. so good…  now what about the rest of Entourage???  Look forward to hearing about notes and tasks integration with Exchange 2007…  does this mean I now have to beat up my IT people to get upgraded to exchange 2007 to take advantage of all this new stuff??

    Hope not!

  21. Mattatron says:

    I second @Pesos question! RPC over HTTPS is the killer feature!

  22. daniel says:

    entourage 2008 contacts/calendar fully syncs with iphone

  23. Gary says:

    I know you have had a LOT of stick about Entourage and Exchange over the last few months and I for one have been screaming for better Exchange and Calendar support. These changes are most welcome. We still use Outlook 2001 becuase Entourage has previously been completely unsuitable in a dynamic Exchange environment where delegated, shared, group and resource calendars are an essential part of our everyday life. These features go some way to making Entoruage the power-tool that Outlook 2001 was 7 years ago. I hope now that we can finally have non-syncing options so my 2Gb mailbox doesn’t have to copy to my HDD everytime I move to a new machine! Well done guys. Lets hope everything in Entourage ’08 is as well thought through as this.

  24. Matt Bland says:

    HTML formatting and tables/css support in editing and forwarding is my biggest request.

    At the moment I use Entourage but have been playing about with running Outlook 2003 under Parallels and Crossover Mac.

    If I can’t even forward an email without screwing up the content there is little point using Entourage.

  25. Yuri says:

    Wonderfull, I always believed that Microsoft Office in general is the best Microsoft product around.. Thumbs up.

  26. Christopher says:

    A lot of my customer ask for a version of my Mail.app Plug-in OMiC (http://www.restoroot.org/OMiC), which convert winmail.dat files, for Entourage.

    I found no way to write Plug-ins for the old Entourage, so there are any changes for Entourage 2008?

  27. Michael says:

    TASKS and NOTES…..PLEASE PLEASE!!

  28. LR says:

    how about some details of the chronic database issues that the current version of Entourage has. did Microsoft change this? will it support pst’s like outlook or will we continue to see over sized corrupt databases?

  29. Andy K says:

    This looks to be a very definite step in the right direction. Between this and the OOF improvements, that’s at least two of the small-but-significant glitches ironed out when using Entourage in an Exchange environment.

    I guess my only real issue with the current information is that it only answers a small portion of the needed information. Don’t get me wrong, in-depth information on the features is a good thing. But what many of us really want first is a general overview of what features are in there.

    Please. List of features first. Comparison of what is Exchange 2007-only and what is available with Exchange 2003 Server second. In-depth details on what function does what after all that.

    I know it’s probably asking a lot, but it’s really what people have been clamouring about for months now. We just want a feature list, and to know how much of an improvement Entourage 2008 will be over 2004 in an existing Exchange 2003 environment. Especially for those of us who are in organisaitons unlikely to move to Exchange 2007 any time soon, but would appreciate a better-hehaved Mac Exchange client.

    Again, I do want to stress that the information is genuinely appreciated. But in-depth articles can only really ever deal with a small amount fo features in one go. And too many of us have too many questions that would be best answerd with a basic list or table. And once we know what’s in there, the fully explorative articles will just mean so much more. For one thing, they’ll be in context of knowing what the full feature set is.

  30. C. Lee Smith says:

    Andre, that was just lame. Microsoft is now astroturfing it’s OWN blogs. Anyone who simply clicks on your name can see your Microsoft employee blog!

  31. wmh003 says:

    speaking of dude’s comment, I agree as well.  My college uses exchange server.  Entourage definitely sucks at Exchange now and it appears that I cannot even get the student version this time around to work with my school…why hold out on exchange support from us, students are exchange users too you know

  32. Andrew says:

    There is no mention of connectivity to Leopard OSX Server’s iCal Server.  Will this be included?  What about Entourage 2004 connectivity to iCall?  To ingore iCal Server would not be wise given the rise in Mac sales.

    Thank You

  33. Jon Adams says:

    So, in short MAC is going to work with exchange without any problem?

  34. Jens says:

    I tried entourage years ago (2004) on Mac and wasn’t impressed with the bulk, slowness of it. 2008 actually looks pretty good. Will definitely give it a shot. I’m an hardcore PC user, but a friend of mine showed me her MacBook Pro and I have to say I’m impressed. I has an opportunity to look at Mac OSX Leopard, and WOW! I wrote a quick note on it here…

    http://www.whackfaqs.com/story.php?title=Mac_OS_X_Leopard_Oct_26th_-_Microsoft_Vista_Rest_in_Peace

    I still use Vista, but in the future, maybe on a VM on Mac OSX…I don’t know.

  35. Jeff says:

    Will we be able to view multiple Calendars in a single window like you can in outlook, what about group and resource calendar support?

  36. Macmonster says:

    RPCHTTPS would be awesome…also are those presence indicators for Live Communication Server?

  37. re: Conflict and Adjacent Banners.  Nice start, but I think you can do better. How about showing me *what* the new meeting request conflicts with. Knowing what the conflict (without opening my calendar) is key here- maybe I can bump the meeting for something higher in priority.

  38. Sam says:

    What on earth took you guys so long to do this? At my last job we used Exchange company-wide. My division did web development on Macs. In order to manage appointments we either had to run office 2007 on windows in vmware fusion or use the web interface. Please Please do not fall behind the windows client again.

  39. RageGuy says:

    Richard,

    In the REPLY/REPLY ALL screenshot, we see related buttons (R/RA/F), but why don’t they show up in ACCEPT/DECLINE screenshot? Both of these should be accepted invites on your Calendar sent by other organizers, right?

  40. R. Mansfield says:

    It is imperative that Exchange support be included in the education edition. The package is crippled otherwise and it’s difficult to justify the upgrade.

  41. ebow says:

    Looks like some good improvements so far…

    I’m curious about support for Categories. I make massive use of them in Outlook to organize my mail in multiple, flexible ways. They’re great… for Outlook, and completely absent from Entourage.

  42. Dan Crane II says:

    Well, it looks to me like so far its a prettier face, but for the most part this stuff (except stale invites) is already in Entourage 2004.  Out of Office Assistancnt was added, but missing features are still publish and subscribe to iCal calendars, full exchange support (not mentioned specifically) along with OWA connectivity, tasks and notes sync, category and project sync, sync, syc, sync, sync, sync.  Let’s get this thing connected properly before adding more stuff!

  43. nadyne says:

    Raj – Entourage 2004 (starting with 11.2) syncs address book and calendar data with any device that is supported by OS X Sync Services, which includes the iPhone.  Entourage 2008 continues this support of Sync Services.  Remember that Sync Services was added to OS X in Tiger, so you need to be running 10.4 or later.

    If you’re using Entourage 2004 right now, you have to enable a couple of preferences to sync your address book and calendar with Sync Services.  Go to Preferences -> Sync Services, then click on the checkboxes for the items that you want to sync.

  44. Chuck says:

    “We want an Exchange client on the Mac with features, performance, documentation, and reliability on par with Outlook.”  (???)

    So, you are saying that we’ll get the famous "performance" and "reliability" of Outlook…who ya gonna brag to about that?  

    http://www.satirewire.com/news/0103/outlook.shtml

  45. CJ says:

    to the comment from Dude: Exchange 2008 Student and Home should support exchange, decent schools use exchange

    Let’s not qualify schools by their use of Exchange as decent schools.  The fact is there are multiple alternatives to Exchange out there of which many are in use by a vast array of decent (and excellent) schools.   Trust me when I say that most universities wouldn’t go the Exchange route if their IT departments didn’t have such a  huge play in choosing what they use.  That being said, the sheer number of Exchange Admins out there makes Exchange an easier choice most the time for universities that want cheaper support.

    I’m not saying Exchange isn’t a decent product (with all it limits) but let’s be naive and make the assumptions that if the school runs Exchange its decent.

    The fact is Entourage is evolving and there are multiple reasons for its ‘limited’ feature base for Exchange.  The first stems mostly political but the others are Exchange issues that Microsoft themselves struggle with and all of them basically revolve around the design of Exchange itself.  MAPI support isn’t going to happen in Entourage as it would be silly to do so.  Microsoft themselves acknowledge MAPI is a dated protocol and severely poor on security.  Implementing in Entourage would be a waste of time.  Does that rule out MAPI/RPC over HTTPS?  Not really but is that the correct path?  Or is the current WebDAV that Entourage uses a better route?  Old time Exchange Admins will want MAPI but from a networking/security point of view I’d much rather have WebDAV.  Just one example of many that challenge the Entourage team I’m sure as they try to appease both sides.  Of course, the HUGE gap in timelines between Entourage 2004 and 2008 sucks, but again its back to the reasons listed above.

    Cheers,

    CJ

  46. John Livingston says:

    As a non-Exchange user (but I do use Outlook 2007 on my Windoze machine), I am still excited about your updates and especially the part about Stale Updates. I regularly cross-send invitations from my Mac portable to my Mac desktop. (Only way my Windoze machine gets it properly is to use a different FROM: e-mail address from my main e-mail account. Since Earthlink allows up to 10 aliases, that isn’t hard).

  47. ExchangeEnslaved says:

    So you won’t support resource scheduling unless my organization pays for Exchange 2007? Typical Microsoft greed–don’t fix your broken software, force your users to pay double (once for new Entourage and once for new server software) to get a basic feature they should have had several years ago.

    This is further, sickening evidence that Microsoft is adopting a strategy meant to drive Macs out of the enterprise market. First they dump Visual Basic and now they hobble the Mac Exchange client. Disgusting.

    And if the organization does do the Exchange 2007 upgrade it will certainly break the ability in the new Mac OS (Leopard) to authenticate SMB shared folders.

    It never ends. Microsoft sells the Mac users crippled software, and brings it up to par with what Windows folks had five years ago and charges the Mac users for it. Meanwhile, the Mac is ten times more capable than any Windows OS, but retains the appearance of inferiority thanks to Microsoft’s proprietary standards dominating most office environments.

  48. Ishan Bhattacharya says:

    I reall appreciate all of these "sneak peeks" and "teasers" even if the sneak peek graphics are blurry. What I–and I suspect many other Mac users–would find infinitely more useful is access to a beta seed program so we can actually USE the software and note both the positive and negative interface/usability changes, compatibility with Microsoft Office for Windows, etc. Enough already. Please release a time-limited beta so those of us who depend on Microsoft Office for the Macintosh for a living don’t have unpleasant surprises waiting for us come January 2008. Thank you.

    Ishan Bhattacharya, MD

  49. Jeff Hanlon says:

    I am hoping that attachments can finally be removed from emails.  This bug makes so many users’ mailboxes gigantic at my company.  I also hope there is a better method for archiving and dealing with corrupt databases.  And the icons look nice, but I’d rather have a real exchange client first.  Might just have to stick with Outlook and Parallels Desktop. Oh and everyone in our IT dept would love to test drive a beta too.

  50. Chris Millar says:

    Hmm, seems cool, looking forward to seeing Entourage in all it’s glory.

    My wants:

    1. Sharepoint Integration

    2. Faster GUI

    3. Good Exchange Integration

  51. Lou says:

    It would be great if appointments that are accepted and on my calendar would still have any documents that were attached to the invitation be available.  Right now, I have to remember to save the attached documents away, somewhere, before accepting an invitation, otherwise they’re gone (or at least not accessible from the calendar).

    I also need the ability to book resources with appointments with my existing Exchange platform, again, having parity with the LookOut users in the rest of the organization.

  52. JP says:

    One: RPC over HTTP. Must have, against Exchange 2003 and abobe (i.e. not just Exchange 2007). There are too many companies with Windows only firewalls BUT they also have RPC over HTTP opened and having it in Entourage would solve a major issue.

    Two: I am glad to hear about Exchange 2007 suport. But can you clarify what will be available with Exchange 2003?

  53. I would like to know too, will you guys support importing Outlook .PST? I think the focus on Entourage should be making it easy for someone from Windows/OfficeWin to adjust easily to the environment that Entourage. First impressions are always best.

  54. Aaron says:

    Great work so far!

    of ALL features.. Tasks is by FAR the most needed.

  55. ewelch says:

    Great news! This is very good. And the look is terrific! Keep up the good work.

  56. Ben Toms says:

    [quote]# Horrendous

    So you won’t support resource scheduling unless my organization pays for Exchange 2007?[/quote]

    Please, please, please advise as to whether or not this is correct!!!

  57. Rogier says:

    These new features are definitely a huge improvement, thanks for giving us something that starts to look like an outlook client. Any word on the public foldering support?

    Kind regards.

  58. Andrew Cook says:

    Entourage 2004 has a habit of not showing all appointments on an exchanger server in its Calendar. Outlook shows them fine. I’m told this is because an Exchange server will let appointments have identical unique IDs. Outlooks doesn’t care, Entourage only shows the first appointment.

    This one huge bug stops a large number of people in my organisation using Entourage. Everything else which is wrong with Entourage 2004 is a niggle, – this is a catastrophe.

    Has this been fixed in Entourage 2008? (I know the actual bug is in the Exchange server, but while programme should be strict in the information they send out, they should do their best to interpret information which come in. Outlook can do it – Entourage should to.

  59. craigontour says:

    We all want an Exchange client that has all the features and performance of Windows versions, but that is likely to be the case.

    So, without an exact dup of Outlook, what is good Exchange integration?

    This calendaring update seems a good start – lots of bits fixed there!

    But I also think these are needed: better OWA client, improved reliability and performance, PST support, archiving support and better handling of large accounts.

    I don’t care whether it’s MAPI or WebDAV (i’m sure those who know will)… I just want Entourage to work regardless how much email there is in the account (i mean Exchnage isn’t complaining!).

    Is there anything i’ve missed?

  60. Shane Palmer says:

    I am not sure why everybody keeps asking about importing PST’s.  Microsoft released a "PST Import Tool for Entourage 2004" right around when Entourage 2004 was released.  The tool can be found under the Office 2004 section of their downloads page at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx.

    Don’t get me wrong because I am not trying to defend Microsoft since I have spent way to much time working around and training people on the short comings of Entourage 2004 compared to Outlook 2001 (and Outlook for the PC).  However, if everybody is really referring to the fact that they would like to have Entourage natively read/write to PST’s then I am definetly on the me too list, especially if they insist on keeping the monolithic Entourage database format that requires me to spend way too much time synching our users many gigabytes of data everytime their databases become corrupt (which for some of our users has happened way too often).

  61. Scotty says:

    I need Entourage to have an option to disable caching and work in Online mode like Outlook 2003.  There are so many problems caused by Entourage’s need to cache every single bit of data from the Exchange server:

    1) Consistency of data between multiple users.  Since Entourage only works by periodic synchronization and not all Entourage users synchronize at the same time, Entourage users often experience discrepancies when working with shared calendars and folders.  When several people access a shared calendar and multiple people are making changes, those changes are not immediately updated in Entourage.  This results in missed appointments, overlapping appointments, duplicate contact entries and other issues due to lack of consistency.

    2) Disk space.  Every email message, email attachments, calendar event, and contact entry in Entourage are copied to the user’s hard drive.  When an Entourage user opens a shared calendar or another user’s shared folders, those contents are also copied to the user’s hard drive.  If an Entourage user has to access multiple shared folders, every single folder gets coped to the user’s hard drive.  I have seen an  assistant who has a Microsoft User Data folder that is 70 GB in size due to accessing several large, shared folders.

    3) Time to synchronize.  If a user has a large mailbox, setting up Entourage for the fist time can take several hours because Entourage has to download every single email message, attachments, calendar appointment, contacts, etc.  And if Entourage has not been used in a long time due to vacation, for example, then Entourage has to go through the same slow sync process.

    All of these problems could be avoided if Entourage could be set to keep all data on the Exchange server rather than caching everything.

  62. Scotty says:

    >I would like to know too, will you guys support importing Outlook .PST?

    Microsoft already has a PST Import Tool for Entourage 2004 which imports the contents of a pst file to the Entourage local database.  It works very slowly and some pst files are unreadable.  I would rather have Entourage work directly with pst files like Outlook does, rather than converting it between different formats.

  63. PeL says:

    I also agreed on that this icon (the big one in the first picture) would be far better as the default icon. This icon-concept adapted to all office programs could be a nice refreshing on Office for Mac. And something to real consider for this 2008 release.

    Probably they should be adapted to fit well in minor sizes as well, but the concept is the key thing to consider here. Microsoft designers can perfectly brainstorm to come with something from that example.

    The actual icons are way too violent and do not reflect the correct understanding of Mac values (or not done by people who are in touch with Apple products everyday). Even if they are, doesn’t give that impression and i consider very important from Microsoft to consider this. Microsoft is – naturally – put under judge by people where I consider key to identify this focus and transform into exceed on expectation for its followers, so the product can be more trustworthy recognized.  

    I’m not a Mac fan, but i understand those factors as key to push this version into something more competitive. Also, being somehow part of Mac could help to bring and develop the idea that with Mac it’s also possible to our for business purposes, which is something that right now even with actual software is not the same than the PC.

    Of course this is not all by an icon, but this will be the first thing users will see the first time they will install it or even before it. Also, is going to be what they will see everyday then and finally, the graphic identity for the program itself.

  64. Sherwin says:

    What about integration to Exchange the same way that Outlook does, not through that WebDAV interface?  I can’t see all my emails in Entourage 2004 if they have an "&" or a "…" in them!  This is really frustrating.  Hope this issue gets addressed in 2008.

  65. Amirhaq says:

    I see a lot of questions here, let me try to answer them one by one.

    1. Support for “RPC over HTTP” in Entourage

    Though its incorrect to use this term “RPC over HTTP” with Entourage as it uses only HTTP to talk to your mailbox on an Exchange Server, but I understand most people mean to ask if Entourage can connect to a mailbox on an Exchange Server which is inside the secured corporate network of a company when user connects from an external location, like home, hotel, etc. And the answer is YES! it can. How?Please read this blog entry on Entourage blog website: http://blogs.msdn.com/entourage/archive/2005/09/24/473634.aspx (I plan to write a more detailed blog entry soon on my own blog website)

  66. Amirhaq says:

    Let’s move on to 2nd issue:

    2. Resource Booking in Entourage & Exchange

    Using Entourage users can easily book resources in your Exchange organization just like an Outlook user. And yes, the experience is identical!

    For Exchange 2003, you will need to use "Auto Accept Agent", for that see all details here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996253.aspx

    Please make sure, you install this hotfix after you install and configure Auto Accept Agent on your Exchange 2003 Server. This is required for proper functioning of Entourage clients. See KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933093

    For Exchange 2007, the feature is now called as ‘Resource Scheduling’ on server side, Entourage clients just work by default against them, no fix or any special configuration is required on server side. Create & configure a Resource Mailbox and its ready to be booked or scheduled by your Entourage & Outlook users. Again the experience is identical for Outlook & Entourage users. See all details here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996338.aspx

    Note: Keep in mind that Entourage does not support "Direct Booking" feature, which is available to Outlook users. Frankly, this should not be taken as a genuine limitation as most people who have used "Direct Booking" in past know that it has long been replaced by "Auto Accept Agent" (AAA) on server side and Exchange 2003 was the version when Microsoft did that. Using AAA is preferred over "Direct Booking", to know why, please reead this blog: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2006/02/22/420275.aspx

    (I plan to blog about this as well soon on my blog website, it will surely be before Entourage 2008 gets into your hands)

  67. Amirhaq says:

    Sherwin,

    I think you are running into the issue described in this KB Article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935973

    If its true, then a hotfix is available to resolve this issue. It was an Exchange Server side issue, not an Entourage issue.

  68. Jonathan says:

    HTML formatting and tables/css support in editing and forwarding is my biggest request.

    I use Entourage but havehave to use Outlook 2003 under Parallels hwen I need to forward a n email with a table.

    If I can’t even forward an email without screwing up the content there is little point using Entourage.

  69. Hi,

    Icelandic character support would be highly appreciated in From To and Subject… Body works fine in current version.

  70. when will be a Messenger update with new features? such as audio & video or support for off-line messages

  71. From a WIn user about to switch to Mac:

    It’s looking good, but as a development direction, will you allow Active Tasks for Selected Days to be viewed BESIDE the Calendar? Outlook 2007 awkwardly squeezes the list UNDER the calendar, where it does me little good – I hate the extra scrolling that I didn’t have to do in Outlook 2003.

    For further information, contact the good people at Priority Management and order their Working Smart with Microsoft Outlook.

    http://tinyurl.com/2utffm

  72. From a WIn user about to switch to Mac:

    It’s looking good, but will you allow Active Tasks for Selected Days to be viewed BESIDE the Calendar? Outlook 2007 awkwardly squeezes the list UNDER the calendar, where it does me little good – I hate the extra scrolling that I didn’t have to do in Outlook 2003.

    For further information, contact the good people at Priority Management and order their Working Smart with Microsoft Outlook. It REALLY helps people get the most out of Outlook.

    http://tinyurl.com/2utffm

  73. eponymous says:

    Nice try guys, but this is looking like it’s going to fall short of the mark.  Either it’s Outlook that runs on a Mac or it isn’t.  I’ll just keep using Outlook 2001 and skip this upgrade.  Thanks for saving me a few thousand in my budget.

  74. JOHN says:

    PLZ SHOW US SCREEN SHOTS OF MESSENGER!!! ITS THE MOST IMPORTANT APP IN MY LIFE!!!!

  75. Ed says:

    It’s about time, yes its about time that MacBU talks about Messenger on Mac.

    When can we expect a new release. I heard the Live Communication server ( Or Office Communication server ) has been released and yet there are no sigh of new messenger.

  76. dehvid says:

    I think MS is doing a fantastic job.  Keep up the good work guys!

  77. bronze says:

    Is this version gonna support delegation of your calendar?? It woul dbe nice if your product work smoothly for both windows and Mac users out of the box. Let’s face it Vista sucks no more windows as the only business OS. You guys need to make sure our solution works across platforms or Mac Os X mail servers will soon be replacing Exchange servers.

  78. Siren says:

    I apologize if I missed this in an earlier post, but I’ve been searching everywhere to see if Office 08 is offering pdf support and I can’t find that information anywhere. I know Office 07 has a free download that allows the user to save in pdf, and I’m wondering if it’s the same in this version as well.

    Also, I know the focus is on office these days but we would love to see absolutely any news or updates, no matter how small, regarding Messenger.

    Keep up the good work, all the best.

  79. Marco says:

    Great job, really, but i think many people, expecially in europe, are gettin’ a bit disappointed ’cause no one can understand why the mac BU is ignoring the tons of request about messenger. If there was no time / there’s no certain plan / no code has been written for the next release, why don’t you say it?

  80. Juliam Smith says:

    Better Exchange integration for Entourage? Fantastic, but come on, do what one of the earlier posters said and call it Outlook. We could shift so many more units that way. In fact swallow the pride, and just bring out Outlook 2008 for Mac…

    We’re a Microsoft Partner, our customers are telling us this!

  81. Amy says:

    My biggest question is this:  Right now I’m having serious compatibility issues with opening and using files from others in my organization who have upgraded to WIN Office 2007. I’ve downloaded the coverter, which allows me to open the files, but with powerpoint at least, I loose all of the formatting. This is really hobbling me and my ability to update documents and exchange them back and forth. Will these compatibility issues be fixed in Mac office 2008?

  82. Matthew Yohe says:

    This comment says it all:

    “Exchange 2007 Resource Booking allows clients, like Entourage, to book resources without requiring additional client overhead and UI complexity.”

    It sounds like Entourage is still the same old WebDAV connection, but with Exchange 2007 server doing any heavy lifting.

    I think these features will be great though.

    It does make me wonder, since I am assuming that Exchange 2007’s “Resource Booking” is the reason Entourage can now do it right: Does this mean that it will work in 2004?

  83. DREZ says:

    READ MY LIPS – WE NEED OUTLOOK 2007 FOR THE MAC!… o yea, and a Groove Client..thank you.

  84. Shane Palmer says:

    Siren,

    You can can convert any file in any Mac OS X application by selecting Print and then save as PDF from the PDF button.  If you are looking for more advanced features you should buy Acrobat Standard or Pro which adds those functions as Toolbar buttons within your office applications.

  85. Shane Palmer says:

    bronze,

    I am not sure why somebody from Microsoft hasn’t chimed in on this yet, but Entourage 2004 already supports Delegation.  It may not be as smooth as the PC version of Outlook, but it is there.

  86. Ian Stanton says:

    I’ve been doing some research on what is going to happen when I get my new Mac at work, and put it on our Windows network.  I need to come to a decision of how to deal with my mail and what kind of integration I will have with the existing Exchange Server.

    Having read this blog, I wouldn’t dream of buying Office for Mac.

    One of the things that seems common with Mac users is that they seem to enjoy using their computers and applications.  Perhaps enjoy is the wrong word, maybe they are relieved at finding a solution that works well and appreciate that.

    One thing that seems common in this blog is that people are genuinely disappointed and frustrated with what seems to be very little integration between Exchange and Entourage.  What’s more, it seems that functionality has dropped since the Mac version of Outlook.

    While I would not want to discredit the efforts and achievements of the development team here, who seem to be trying hard to do a good job, and take pride in their work, there seems to be a lack of support to provide the needed resources to allow that team to develop a software solution that will allow Office for Mac users access to Exchange server services.

    Would it be fair to conclude that Entourage is not a viable client for Exchange services and that basically if you want to use a Mac in an exchange environment you are going to have a very difficult time and be given a disappointing subset of functionality Outlook users have?

  87. John says:

    The current version requires forms and does not support cookies like the default setup in exchange 2k3 and 2k7.  Inexcusable oversight.

  88. Ron says:

    I really appreciate the ‘looks’ we are getting. From everything I can see — MACBU has spent time trying to put together a cohesive product that will appeal to the majority. There are always going to be some who want more, but for the most part from what I have seen – I like. As to the more, it may be more I would like, but one little thing keeps me from using your product on a daily basis: forwarding an email message from PARTY A to a group. The issue is this — the person who sent the email (PARTY A) that I am forwarding is a member of the group. I would like to be able to forward the message to all group members EXCEPT the person who sent me the email and is a member of the group. I have found no easy way to do this. With Mail.app I don’t have a problem, when I type in the groups name all members are displayed and I can select the member I need to exclude. This can not be done (at least I have not discovered how) in Entourage. The group name only appears in the send to list, cc or bcc list. And though I can double click to open the list, removing the sender’s name removes it permanently from the group. This is very frustrating and hopefully it has been corrected. I have a few other gripes (not Exchange because I do not need it) but they are all minor compared to working with groups. I look forward to your updates — January will be here before we know it.

  89. Jason says:

    Good start. Thanks much for the info. Tasks, Notes, Categories syncing with Exchange. CRAZY important… Is there still time!?!

  90. eponymous coward says:

    "Nice try guys, but this is looking like it’s going to fall short of the mark.  Either it’s Outlook that runs on a Mac or it isn’t.  I’ll just keep using Outlook 2001 and skip this upgrade.  Thanks for saving me a few thousand in my budget."

    Uh, so you’re not using any Mac with an Intel chip?

    Hint: Classic doesn’t run on Intel Macs. Second hint: Outlook 2001 runs in Classic (and not all that great, from the reports I hear- you have to do some hackery with things like read-only disk images to make it work right in later versions of Mac OS X. I imagine Leopard might make things worse on that score.)

    So, how do your Mac users feel about being stuck with aging PowerPC Macs for the indefinite future?

    And also: you do realize Outlook 2001 never supported syncing to a device or HTML mail, right- and also can’t be used through a firewall like Entourage can?

    Also… people. Outlook for the Mac’s dead. It’s not coming back. Get over it.

  91. ewelch says:

    Eponymous coward: Here’s a clue. Er, two clues.

    Parallels.

    VMWare.

    Drop Outlook 2001 and use Outlook 2007.

  92. Jeff Clayton says:

    So… will Entourage 2008 talk to Exchange via the Web Services API, or will it be WebDAV as in Office 2004? A little advance notice would reduce the number of times administrators have to say, "I’m sorry, the decision has already been made." TX/jc

  93. eponymous says:

    "Would it be fair to conclude that Entourage is not a viable client for Exchange services and that basically if you want to use a Mac in an exchange environment you are going to have a very difficult time and be given a disappointing subset of functionality Outlook users have?"

    yes

  94. eponymous says:

    "Uh, so you’re not using any Mac with an Intel chip?"

    Not yet b/c our current G5’s are working just fine.  When we do finally upgrade, I’ll switch to parallels and 2007, but for now 2001 is better than Entourage.

  95. eponymous coward says:

    Yes, thank you for pointing out the obvious, but please reread what the OP I quoted SAID he was going to do: keep using a 7 year old Outlook version instead of upgrading to Entourage 2008.

    Of course, if everyone does what you suggest, enough copies of Office for Windows running on a Mac crowding out Mac Office licenses… and there’s hardly any reason for a MacBU, is there? And keep in mind:

    (running OL for Windows on a Mac)

    – cost of licensing Windows

    – cost of licensing Windows CALs for Windows Server

    – cost of licensing Exchange CALs for Exchange Server

    – cost of licensing Parallels/VMWare

    – cost of licensing Windows Office (unless you skip it- legally, you can run a copy of Outlook without Office if you just have Exchange CALs… but then, no Office for joo)

    Vs.

    (cost of running Entourage on a Mac)

    – cost of licensing Windows CALs

    – cost of licensing Exchange CALs

    – cost of licensing Mac Office 2008 (I don’t know if you can get Entourage 2008 by itself the same way you can Outlook)

    (There’s also more esoteric options like Windows Terminal Server/Remote Desktop, if you’d like to go there. Outlook runs just fine on the server that way.)

    Now, it’s completely true that if your IT workflow depends on VB/VBA support, Outlook Forms or stuff like that that’s completely Windows-centric, you pretty much have no option but to run Outlook… but it’s quite possible you could get away with Option 2 if all you need is scheduling/email/contacts support cross-platform, at significant savings. This is true for a number of people.

    The proof’s in the pudding, though- did the MacBU do an adequate job of enhancing their Exchange support in Entourage 2008? Only time will tell.

  96. I don’t know what everyone’s whinging about, I use Entourage at a Windows-centric company and 99% of it works great – I would certainly hate to live without it or be forced to use Windows! Stale invitation awareness is a great idea.

    I’d really like to be able to specify calendar display duration as a number of weeks. Showing one month at a time is a really artificial constraint and not the way the real world works – if one is in the middle of a month, one wants to see the first few weeks of next month. I often like to plan 6-12 weeks out, too.

    I agree with the folks asking for better HTML support, tables, etc. And the other thing I would REALLY like to see is the format painter tool that Word and Excel have. Such a timesaver.

    The font selection pulldown menu is very slow and cumbersome if one has a lot of fonts, hopefully you’ll upgrade to an OSX-standard text-picker dialog box like Mail’s. Or at least put recently-used fonts at the top of the list, as I think the other Office apps do.

    My database seems to get corrupted after I do a number of complex searches through my mail messages (or at least the database manager thinks it’s corrupted…), hopefully that will be fixed.

    I like the auto-correction feature that fixes doubled caps, letter transpositions, etc., but PLEASE remove the rule that capitalizes anything after a period! It’s so annoying when I want to type "…" or "i.e." or "e.g." etc.

    I’m really happy to have found out that Office 2008 is in the works and coming soon, can’t wait to try it out, thanks! Excel is the most useful and versatile application in computing history, and Entourage ain’t so bad either.

  97. Carsten says:

    Notes and Task sync with Exchange Server is essential for real business users. Please add or it will be a no go for upgrading.

  98. Kevin says:

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    TASKS

    …with categories 🙂

    Otherwise, looking great!

  99. BigB says:

    This is encouraging news. In my taskload I rely heavily on the categories, which provide clarity between event genres. Why do they not simply sync with categories on Exchange? How hard is that?

  100. Evan Baxter says:

    RPC over HTTP is a must.  There are many ways that an overly paranoid IT Dept can break OWA or even turn it off completely.  Notes and tasks sync would be swell, but most importantly it must be able to connect to exchange.  And not just 2007. Many companies are still using 2003.  That being said, I do lIke OWA.  One problem is with Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 on a perimeter network and it’s connection to Entourage:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909268

    I quote from their article:

    ISA Server uses the CookieAuth.dll file to perform forms-based authentication. Entourage cannot use the CookieAuth.dll file for authentication.

    So not only is  RPC over HTTP completely missing, but now with this common ISA security paradigm, OWC is broken to Entourage.  The article lists ways to fix it, but good luck asking Back-end  server guys to make a change to security settings to accommodate some silly Mac users.  

  101. Heather says:

    While I am not looking to use Exchange and I know that Entourage is not Outlook I would still like to see some features finally added into the 2008 version of Office.  My Day seems to be a nice addition, but only if the calendar is worth using.  Where is the ability to use multiple calendars and view them overlapped like in Outlook?  Where is the ability to use .ics files?  And where is the ability to subscribe to a calendar?  After 5 years you would think that by now the calendar would be useful…. Looks like I will have to stick with iCal for my calendar needs.

  102. Kurt says:

    I don’t think anyone’s asked this, so I will: will Entourage 2008 keep "Projects" that 2004 has?  This is a great piece of functionality and I’m getting nervous since I haven’t heard any talk of it in 2008.

  103. Samuel Patrick Pineda says:

    M. Amir Haque – can that OWA trick to access mail without VPN be done with Outlook in windows?

    Also, please fix the html handling of entourage… I hate what it does to tables during forwards/replies and how it makes me need to use OWA 🙁

  104. LeRoy says:

    Please allow groups that are created in Outlook Web Access to be synced through Exchange so that they show up in Entourage, and vice-versa. Thank you, and keep up the great work.

  105. nadyne says:

    Kurt – Projects are still there.  🙂

  106. MotoBell says:

    Thanks for the regular basics – reply, forward, actions from invite etc.. but we need the ability to propose alternate times and accept proposals – this is fundamental and basic to exists in a corporate environment full of outlook users.

    Can be that hard, c’mon.

  107. Jon @ Avant says:

    >And the answer is YES! it can. How?Please read >this blog entry on Entourage blog website:

    >http://blogs.msdn.com/entourage/archive/2005/09/24/473634.aspx > (I plan to write a more detailed blog entry soon > on my own blog website)

    RPC over HTTP is NOT THE SAME as "checking email" using Entourage in OWA mode. If Entourage does not support RCP over HTTP then it cannot be called an Exchange client. RPC over HTTP allows Outlook user to connect to more than email messages, it allows users access to Public folders, COmmona Address books, etc, etc.

  108. Nikola Paunovski says:

    What about sharepoint lists and sharepoint calendar support?

    Will this be available in entourage 2008?

    Will Office 2008 for mac integrate with WSS 3 the same way 2007 for windows does ?

    I think those are the questions that everybody would like to know the answers to.

  109. Justin says:

    Will I be able to sync Tasks and possibly Notes with our Exchange 2007 server using Entourage 2008 ?

  110. Tytan says:

    It would be GREAT if Entourage would finally sync categories and labels with Exchange…

  111. jit says:

    one of the pains i have moving to Office on MAC was the fact that when viewing other peoples calenders in MAC this took a long time to come back as Entourage took some time trying to sync there calenders rather than just presenting this. in OutLook other poeples calanders are not cached’ed locally on your system, so the response time if really fast!!  Can we have a non-cached option for viewing other users calenders?s

  112. Enrique García says:

    I vote for recalling it Outlook 2008:mac

  113. J-F says:

    Is Exchange 2008 still using a database to store?  Because the corrupt database problem is THE main reason why all of our office stopped using Entourage 2004.

  114. RobbL says:

    I used Entourage (X and 2004) for a couple of years, but eventually switched when Tiger came out and I could use Spotlight and smart folders in Mail, even though I lost my beloved “categories” field.  One of the big reasons was Microsoft’s stubborn insistence in keeping Entourage “self-contained” and not offering (even as an option) the ability to integrate with standard Mac components like the Address Book and iCal.  The new Entourage looks pretty, but I see no reason to upgrade if Office for Mac is going to continue to ignore common services used by multiple Mac applications.

  115. Marco Castro says:

    Lets talk about tasks. In many of my customers exchange/entourage environments, “task” has been a huge issue. Unlike outlook, in entourage “tasks” assignment/tracking simply do not work. Will there e any updates to this much needed feature? We truly look forward to a release of Office 2008. We support over 300+ customers using Mac Office suites. Do you know if there is a beta release?

  116. photek says:

    https over rpc is a MUST for me. If its in Office 2008 my company buys it. If not we will stick with Mail.app over IMAP and use Snerdware for iCal and AddressBook integration.

    Come on guys.. Is Bill actually stopping you/delaying you including features in MS Mac products or what?.. I read somewhere that Video Chat in Messenger for Mac was due early 2009!!!! that cant be right can it??

  117. Conrad Flynn says:

    I cried… this is my happiest moment as a Mac user since converting! FULL Exchange support in Entourage… its glorious!

  118. danielsh1 says:

    Why not synchronizing —tasks— with the Exchange server? And how about notes?

    The real single most important AND productive advantages over other server solutions than MS Exchange will not get synchronized???

    Moreover, I have an educational license of Office 2004 now. What is the deal with the 2008 “Home and Student” version: Will the Exchange support be excluded?

  119. Rocky says:

    I have to add to the RPC/HTTPS band wagon.  I work for a huge corporation and they have enabled this feature.  Were I to have it on my MAC I would have everything I need.  Webmail blows on both firefox and safari.  

  120. I access my company Email through a proxy server from anywhere on the Internet using Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 as they both have a proxy setting for the Exchange Server. I could not do that with Entourage 2004 and I hope to see that feature on Entourage 2008.

    I also would love the see the "Preview Unread Emails" feature.

  121. steve barry says:

    we need TASKS and NOTES and CALENDAR and CATEGORIES etc to sync over networks and remotely via Apple iSync .  Not through iCal and Address Book, but directly through entourage and iSync.

    We have so much trouble trying to sync our tasks and notes and calendars with all of hte categories etc, over multiple computers in different locations. if Entourasge was fully compatible with Apple Sync Services, all that would be solved.

    and if Microsoft is not going to build it in, at least build in support so that 3rd parties couls hook in and make it possible.

  122. Klaus says:

    – Will it be possible to sync notes/tasks with exchange?

    – Will it be possible to view multible calendars side by side?

    – Will it be possible subscribe to other users calendars on exchange?

    – Will it be possible to view and edit calendars/tasks/notes in public folders?

    In other words is it worth the wait or should we just buy go out and buy Kerio mailserver today?

  123. Mark Berry says:

    Do tasks have start dates? I can’t see any way to use any task list without – with no start dates, it’s impossible to filter by "currentness", and if you can’t do that it’s impossible to plan a days work if you have tasks you either can’t or don’t want to start until some date in the future.

    Re syncing, the fact that Entourage 2004 puts everything into a single calendar called "Entourage" within iCal is a major major issue, meaning that all category info is lost. Not a problem as such in iCal ’cause you could argue that if you’re using Entourage you don’t need iCal, but it is a deal breaker when it comes to using Entourage and any device you sync via sync services that does support categories, such as a WM device.

    Using Missing Sync to sync a WM device with sync services translates category into calendar and vice versa, which is what Entourage should do.

    Mark

  124. Roger Rebetsky says:

    Hey, are you including the ability to synchronize to-do/task lists via Exchange Server in Entourage 2008?  This is KEY for productivity, and a big Achilles heel in the current product.  Thanks!

  125. DaveMAve says:

    Has someone made these screenshots in Panther or is Microsoft bringing back the striped GUI?

  126. KnightRyder says:

    TASKS

    NOTES

    CATEGORIES

    RPC OVER HTTP

    If these features are not part of this release the MS Mac Business Unit is useless and obviously not listening to anyone!

    Everyone could care less how pretty the icons are if they can’t implement the program with their business/schools networks.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen to the comments here and get on the things that put it on par with Outlook.

    Thanks!

  127. bdplatts says:

    What about the address book. I use Outlook 2000 under VPC because the Entourage 2004 address book is a dog’s breakfast. i.e.

    I want ALL the contact info on one page – not a series of tabs

    I want the notes section under the contact info to be full page so that it can be read and maintain a history

    I want you to get rid of those stupid links that nobody uses

    I want Entourage to read PST info natively

    Otherwise…

    You can keep Entourage and I’ll continue with Outlook

  128. I think Office : Mac has been great.  Looking forward to the additions.  One major issue to address though if you want to boast cross-platform compatibility.  – PLEASE ADD PST SUPPORT!  As a systems admin I have TONS of e-mail that I keep in Entourage databases and PST files, too bad I can’t use the same program to access them both.

    -Also, I know a lot of university students are going to show up with the teacher student edition, hoping to hook up to our exchange environment.  We’ll have to tell them they need to upgrade to the better version to have that feature, which equals angry college students who are your customers… why not just include exchange support in the teacher student version?

    Thanks!

  129. Jason says:

    I just can’t figure out why it’s so hard to read pst files, and get full access to exchange servers like windows, in every manner.

    If I don’t use RPC of HTTPS, I can’t get into webmail for work, and I can’t access pst files at home on my mac without outlook (the only thing I have windows for, at all).

    I’m sure it’s difficult, and going intel native was a lot of work, but if BacBU doesn’t get it right then MSFT could watch more offices go to open office, or some other open platform.  PST is closed enough, and exchange is closed too.  The other tools are going to gain popularity if MSFT can’t get their act together.

  130. Douglas A. Brace says:

    Will Entourage 2008 support Windows Live and Office Live e-mail accounts.  Entourage 2004 does not support them.

  131. Exchange support for Notes and Tasks is a must. If it is still missing in January I am going to be very pissed. I am sick and tired of all this half-assed Exchange support.

  132. Tim B. says:

    PST support and/or auto archive to some readable format by Spotlight.  Archive to PST might be fine and then maybe we can get read support of PSTs in Spotlight.

    I’m an Outlook PC user who archives all of my email to PST and then I use X1 desktop to search old emails.  I have no way of doing anything close to this on the Mac with the ease of doing it on the PC with Outlook.

  133. Paul G. says:

    PST support !  

    No import, no file conversion!  I just want to do File, Open, and point to my PST file.  

    Why is this such a big deal?  

  134. Mac Mojo says:

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