It’s About Data


In my Calendar post, I touched on some of the work we’ve done in our Entourage 2008 reliability focus. I’d like to continue that discussion today with some details about our efforts in another critical area, the Entourage Database.  Apart from a few exceptions (e.g. Rules definitions, signatures), essentially all Entourage user data is stored in the database. Reliability and trustworthiness here are our top priority. In Entourage 2008, we dedicated a large amount of time to identifying database areas with potential for new approaches and improvements. We found new ways to better detect database inconsistencies. We’ve also implemented tighter controls on data type enforcement and are smarter about reclaiming storage from deleted items. The end result is more confidence in the integrity of your data.


For those instances when inconsistencies are detected, the Entourage 2008 database recovery tool will be a more effective solution. In past versions, recovering your database was intrusive and required additional work to get things back into shape. Metadata like Categories, Project designations, and Links were lost. Mail filtering rules were also often victims when the clearing of IMAP and Exchange caches would break links between Rules and their related folders. In Entourage 2008, these are all preserved. Categories, Projects, Links, and Rules are no longer vulnerable to the process. The recovery is now more precisely focused on correcting only problem areas.


Compatibility with Apple’s Time Machine backup feature in Leopard is a database area that has received a lot of attention recently. Because Entourage uses a single file database, over time it can become large (sometimes really large). In those cases, Entourage data will not work optimally with Time Machine. Our recommendation is to exclude your Entourage Identity folder(s) in the Time Machine preferences and use alternative backup methods. We are committed to integrating with key Apple technologies and are weighing our options here for future releases.


When the topic of Entourage and databases comes up, it’s often about compatibility with Outlook personal store files (.pst).  Entourage 2008 will continue to work with the PST Import Tool for Mac. It’s important to note that this tool is used to import Mac Outlook 2001 .pst files into Entourage. Directly importing Windows Outlook .pst files is not supported in Entourage 2008. We have heard from many of you that a Windows Outlook .pst solution is important. This feedback is factoring into the database development planning for future versions of Entourage. For now, there is an AppleScript based solution that I think is worth a look.


Another important consideration here is how we interact with Exchange’s database, “the store.” We’ve made some welcome improvements to our WebDav synchronization performance with Exchange in Entourage 2008.  Through code reviews, customer feedback, and working closely with the Exchange team we’ve been able to find optimizations that will make the Exchange experience better. We solved efficiency bottlenecks and implemented smarter priority and thread utilization, especially with deep folder trees. You’ll also have more control over the order folders sync with smarter prioritization of selected folders. This will result in faster Exchange folder updates and Entourage responsiveness will sharpen.


To conclude, I’d like to reiterate a point from my first post, that we understand that our Exchange customers want “an Exchange client on the Mac with features, performance, documentation, and reliability on par with Outlook.” This is a goal that will be achieved in stages, through Entourage 2008, its updates, and beyond. In Entourage 2008, the Exchange focus has been weighted towards reliability, better meeting management, performance, and documentation. While we’ve added important new enterprise features like OOF, Managed Folders, and Compliance Labels, and delivered features that will help you focus you on what you need to get done, we’ve concentrated on making things right in some rough spots. We know that there’s more important work to do, notably in the area of Task and Note sync with Exchange.


I look forward to upcoming posts from our team that will reveal our security feature work and some cool things we’ve done around To Do Flags. Entourage 2008 is a big step forward and we’re all anxious for you to see it.


Richard Kmieciak

Comments (45)

  1. Josh S. says:

    Interesting, but sad that such a requested feature as .PST importing isn’t in the latest release. This is a MS product, after all. Are you purposely making it hard to switch from Outlook? Is that a decree from on high? It seems that way to many of us, true or not.

    Will Entourage allow us to link words in emails? If not, I’m switching to 10.5 Mail.

  2. Josh G. says:

    So still no task/note sync with Exchange?  Sigh…I guess it’s Outlook in Parallels for another ?? months.

  3. John Smith says:

    So many things just really seem like and end run.

    Pointing to 3rd party Applescripts to migrate an Outlook database?  Really, who is using Outlook 2001 for Mac?  Is this difficult to do, or are you just purposely making it painful to switch?

    Must be really REALLY tough to be in the position of being told from upper management "Well, make this good, but you MUST break it in these 5 ways so we can protect our Windows products."  Because, given 4 YEARS to work on this, it’s really all you can offer is to point to some AppleScripts?  I mean, I know it’s balking to try and limit the spread of Macs into businesses, but it’s painfully obvious.

    I guess I can see with as much time has gone into the Entourage database why you couldn’t make it time-machine friendly, given you only had 1.5 years notice on that one :-/

  4. Leo says:

    You’ve had many months to be fully compatible with Leopard. You aren’t.

    Screw Office. I’m going to iWork.

  5. MGZ says:

    I’ve learned it’s pointless to respond to posts on this blog, because I never see any followup on all the feedback coming in on past articles. It’s like we live in one world, and the devs of Mac Office are living in another. (In that world "OOF" is a critical feature, but parity with Outlook? Not so much.)

    This blog is read-only.

  6. Lucky Lou says:

    Wow, can you blame me for feeling underwhelmed? Here’s a post saying you have recognized this, this, and this, and so on as the important features Entourage users want, then go on to explain how most of that is entirely missing from this release.

    It is great that you have focused on reliability, better meeting management, performance, and  – wow – documentation(!) in this update, although to tell you the truth, we kind of expected that with Entourage 2001, and then 2004. But glad it’s still important, don’t get me wrong!

    High on the letdown list is the continuation of the Entourage Database, when for years you’ve had widespread outcry for a change, through both user issues and literal outcry, as well as Apple’s Mail as an example of a good way to store messages.

    It’s weird to hear how much you’ve improved the repair process for the Entourage Database, too. On one hand, bravo for making smart improvements that are very much needed, and on the other big freaking hand that’s slapping you in the face -> why are you working so hard and so long to make such clever fixes for something that shouldn’t be breaking, instead of using that same time and brainpower to build the correct storage system you should have built in the first place?!?! Hey, we built a bucket that’s made out of straw and is full of holes, but have developed this amazing repair service that analyzes this and that and knows which holes need what kind of filling based on the how dense the straw is… Just build a new bucket out of freaking metal!

    Standard disclaimer time. I love Entourage and I use it every day. And I don’t hate Microsoft anymore, I am rooting for you guys. As I’ve said before, why do you make it so hard to love you?

    When you say your goal to get us to “an Exchange client on the Mac with features, performance, documentation, and reliability on par with Outlook,” could you try to dredge up that soup from the bottom so we get a little more meat in there? Feature parity is nice but why stop there? I think we’d all love all those things to be even better than Outlook. Can’t hurt to ask.

    Lastly, when you say this goal will be achieved in steps, you belie your misunderstanding of goals and possibly the reason we aren’t seeing them achieved to our liking. You don’t achieve a goal in steps. You either achieve a goal or you do not achieve it. You can make your goals smaller in scope and achieve those progressively. This may sound like petty nitpicking of semantics, but it is really about the subtle differences in what makes things happen versus what makes things drag on and on and on.

    We have been waiting for massive impressive changes for a long, long time. After Entourage 2001 came out we had a good list of things we wanted and really, it hasn’t changed that much. Entourage 2004 did not bring them and neither will 2008. You can’t seriously be asking us in December 2007 to wait until Entourage 2012! Do you really realize how long this is taking and why Microsoft is being targeted as a dinosaur in this industry?! Even if you come out with Entourage 2010, it’s a long freaking time, and many of us will likely have moved on, because surely between now and then, someone else will have a better solution, and our patience has not been rewarded.

    I wish we (I) didn’t come off as ungrateful. But this is an industry of great potential and great realizations and great expectations. It’s what makes it so exciting and the competition and sheer joy of creating something great keeps us well motivated. We HAVE to expect greatness from Microsoft and HAVE to be disappointed when we get anything less. Pretty cool here and really good there is just not going to cut it when we’re talking about our flagship product.

  7. Big Dave says:

    With a feature-set like this and the world renowned MS reliability it is no wonder my users are begging me to switch from exchange to google apps.

  8. It is disappointing that you are continuing to use such a limited database architecture. Mac users have been complaining about the one file system for years. To suggest that we "use alternative backup methods" is completely unacceptable. You’ve had four years to work on this. Will we have to wait another four years before you get this right?

  9. Jared says:

    Wow, what a cheery bunch of commenters you have on your blog…  I switched to Apple Mail months ago because Entourage 2004 just wasn’t cutting the mustard for me.  But if the calendaring gets cleaned up in Entourage ’08 and auto-archiving gets added, I’ll be coming right back to Entourage.  Sure, Mail is nice, but it’s definitely a trade-off.  So anyway, I just wanted to say I’m glad for all the work you guys are putting into this new version and I’m looking forward to checking it out in a month.

  10. Eric says:

    I’m sorry that Exchange support isn’t more advanced. WebDav? Why not MAPI? Or is that going away on the Windows side?

    Still, I’m really looking forward to this release of Office. But really, you had to remove Automator and Exchange support from the Student Teacher version? Lucky for me I saw the Black Friday sale on time. 😀

    My school uses Exchange! I hope our overall MS software agreement for Office covers Mac Office. The LAST thing we need is that photo database. We use Portfolio and Artesia Teams for our DAMS. And we need Exchange support. Automator would be good, but I guess we could live without that. Let’s hope our IT department isn’t confused and buy us versions of Office that don’t support Exchange. I can only imagine the hassle we’ll get from them for being Mac users if that happens.

    I don’t get the hostility here towards the MacBU. For all the little problems, and wishes unfulfilled, I really like using Office more now than ever before. 2008 ought to make it much better.

  11. germ says:

    Hello? It’s been 4 years since Office 2004. Not only is M$ about 3 years late, but Office will not take advantage of the latest Leopard technologies. Leopard has been in development for 2.5 years, with countless developer pre-releases. So, we get Office with LESS functionality than Office 2004 (visual basic macros, for one).

    Disgusting.

  12. PVK says:

    I have to agree with Lucky Lou–there are a lot of  us who sincerely appreciate what you guys are doing and really want Microsoft Mac products to be top notch. But some of the decisions on where to focus development time are truly difficult to understand from the outside. Why in the world is notes and task syncing still not implemented? Any Windows Mobile phone does it. There are third party solutions on various platforms that do it. A single developer even put together an over-the-air sync of all pim databases for palm-based Treos in a couple of months, but a Microsoft product that’s been in development for 4 years cannot sync with the company’s own groupware server! Why is this? If you guys just explained some of the constraints that shape these decisions, we wouldn’t be so frustrated. We waited for this version of Entourage for a long time. While the improvements are greatly appreciated, we honestly don’t understand why such basic features as sync of all Exchange databases are still not there.

  13. MacMacWA says:

    @Lucky Lou:

    Hear hear!!!!  I couldn’t have said it any better.

  14. Andy K says:

    I can’t get excited by this. I just can’t at this point.

    Very little we’ve been asking for seems to have been addressed. Information is still lacking. And some things are just too telling…

    You say that database repair doesn’t affect metadata as much. Yet this metadata is, in many cases, things should could (should?) be synced to Exchange anyway (Categories). So I guess we won’t be seeing the required/correct/true (delete as appropriate) level of integration afterall.

    And do you know what the worst thing about this is?

    If this level of information had been given during summer WHEN PEOPLE WERE ASKING FOR IT then we would have applauded the information. As at least ti would have been in enough time to prepare for it.

    Half a year is enough time to get used to what’s missing and decide to buy anyway. This risks people still being too annoyed when the product actually ships.

    "Oops"

    (apologies for caps, mild emphasis like italics is missing form comment field)

  15. Matt says:

    Can it be explained why the Outlook client in Mac Office was dropped in the first place? Maybe understanding the reason behind that change will allow me to better understand this journey back to an Outlook client.

  16. Nick says:

    I like how you are already trying to lower our expectations.  How sad…..build us up to expect nothing but a phenomenal product and then WHAM! bring us back to reality.  You better rest up over the holidays because come January you’ll be slammed.

  17. Eric Williams says:

    UGH! The monolithic database is the only reason I am not an 100% Office user! I was hoping this would go away. And no Time Machine integration. What a frakin joke. What was this release delayed so much for? Working between multiple machines is very important for many people and the inability to easily sync all my information through .Mac or some other method (these are all eliminated due to the giant single database file) is lame.

    Truly disappointed. As soon as Numbers does pivot tables I can kiss MS Office good bye.

  18. HATERADE says:

    I just don’t understand how you guys can sit there straight faced and sell this as a business solution.   Can you simply explain to the business users why you can’t make a fully meshed exchange client?  It’s a simple question that you keep dodging and avoiding and now you are hedging with looking toward the future statements.  Give me a break.  This is now officially a waste of time.

  19. Shane Palmer says:

    Ever since Tiger and Spotlight have been released four years ago the main advantage of your database, allowing fast searches, has disappeared.  So instead of simplifying Entourage by getting rid of the database you chose to keep it complex.  If you would move Entourage to a system similar to Apple Mail (where each message is stored as an individual file) you would:

    A – no longer need a special Export routine to get messages out of the database

    B – no longer need create cached copies of every message in your database in order to get Spotlight searching to work with Entourage

    C- no longer need to worry about huge complex repair routines for a huge complex monolithic database that will lose ALL of your mail in one fell swoop if it gets to corrupt

    D- be able to integrate with cool (and VERY useful) new Leopard technologies like QuickLook to allow clients to view messages without having Entourage open or Time Machine to easily and automatically back up your hard drive.

    I have to say that as an IT person I am really getting tired of constantly rebuilding Entourage databases for my customers and defending you guys by telling them that maybe it will be better in the next release or even the next bug fix.

    This would have been the perfect time to make a big change like this since according to  some of the earlier posts on Mac Mojo you had to pretty much rewrite your code from scratch when switching from the CodeWarrior development environment to Apple’s developer tools in order to make your apps Universal binaries.

    I have to say that I am very disappointed in this news.  You say you understand what your customers want but from reading a majority of the responses to these Blogs you clearly don’t.  A majority of comments/posts noted they want the monolithic Entourage database chucked and Notes/Tasks synchronization.

    I hope that when I get the new version in hand that it is better than these your Blogs make it out to be but

  20. Shane Palmer says:

    Ever since Tiger and Spotlight have been released four years ago the main advantage of your database, allowing fast searches, has disappeared.  So instead of simplifying Entourage by getting rid of the database you chose to keep it complex.  If you would move Entourage to a system similar to Apple Mail (where each message is stored as an individual file) you would:

    A – no longer need a special Export routine to get messages out of the database

    B – no longer need create cached copies of every message in your database in order to get Spotlight searching to work with Entourage

    C- no longer need to worry about huge complex repair routines for a huge complex monolithic database that will lose ALL of your mail in one fell swoop if it gets to corrupt

    D- be able to integrate with cool (and VERY useful) new Leopard technologies like QuickLook to allow clients to view messages without having Entourage open or Time Machine to easily and automatically back up your hard drive.

    I have to say that as an IT person I am really getting tired of constantly rebuilding Entourage databases for my customers and defending you guys by telling them that maybe it will be better in the next release or even the next bug fix.

    This would have been the perfect time to make a big change like this since according to  some of the earlier posts on Mac Mojo you had to pretty much rewrite your code from scratch when switching from the CodeWarrior development environment to Apple’s developer tools in order to make your apps Universal binaries.

    I have to say that I am very disappointed in this news.  You say you understand what your customers want but from reading a majority of the responses to these Blogs you clearly don’t.  A majority of comments/posts noted they want the monolithic Entourage database chucked and Notes/Tasks synchronization.

    I hope that when I get the new version in hand that it is better than these your Blogs make it out to be.

  21. Jeff says:

    I’m with Lucky Lou and PVK, we very much want Office to be great–we depend on it–and we’re just disappointed. Compounding that is we’re not getting enough of the rationale for these decisions. If the database had to be retained for specific reasons, let’s at least hear a carefully-worded PR-approved reason. Because as others have said, such a fundamental issue should have been addressed over 4 years. Either that or tell us that Microsoft continues to believe that a monolithic database is the best solution.

    Again, I’m pulling for you all at the Mac BU. Believe me I understand all the constraints you’re operating under, including the ability to discuss these issues. But we in turn are providing what we hope is valuable feedback: we don’t see our needs and interests being addressed. So what is the rationale for these decisions? That’s what we’d like to know. Someone made the call as to what to put in this product, let them defend the decision. Or if that person is gone and it was just too late to change direction, tell us.

  22. Peter Yang says:

    The comments so far list one positive comment – and that’s the single user who’s not complaining about Exchange support.

    I notice you guys respond very selectively to the comments in these blog posts. You don’t address -any- of these negative posts, but other questions that I’ve asked have been promptly answered by MacBU staff. This shows you guys are purposely ignoring these sorts of complaints, since Exchange complaints have been here since 7 years ago (remember 7 years? that’s around the time that Mac OS X started emerging. In other words, that’s a lifetime in computer speak.) At first I thought it was that you could all pleasantly surprise us with a big nice post screaming "FULL EXCHANGE SUPPORT," but the pleasant surprise turned out to be "wait for Entourage 2011 for full support." For the largest Mac development team, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Isn’t this feature the Number One "I Want It" request from your users? Since when was OOF more important than full compatibility with Exchange? Since when was anything more important than compatibility?

    There was a link from Daring Fireball about Apple looking for someone to work on Exchange support for the iPhone. It would be interesting to see if Apple ends up beating Microsoft at their own compatibility.

    The only reason I’m even buying Office 2008 is because I hear it will run faster on Intel and that there are bug fixes. That’s it. The very "MacBU wants it" thing you talked about when you introduced Office 2008 – compatibility – has been discussed to very little degree. It’s very frustrating.

  23. Scott says:

    Have you guys NOT noticed that some colleges DO IN FACT use Exchange? Automator is one thing, that’s just petty, but really not the END of the world. But NO Exchange support? I’m flabbergasted.

    On the plus side, I’ll MAKE DO with something else, and save the couple of hundred bucks. Was that what you were hoping?

    Why don’t teachers and students need email? No really – why don’t they?

    Ok. You win. But F-U too. I’ll save my money.

  24. Horatio says:

    No, it’s not about data. It’s about what your are told you can and cannot do to create parity between Outlook and Entourage. It’s about what your are told you can and cannot do with regard to integrating Apple’s technologies – specifically one database file.

    "One database to rule them all, One database to find them, One database to bring them all and in the darkness bind them"

    My company has 20+ licenses to Office 2004. As the IT director I am recommending that we not upgrade to Office 2008, switch entirely to Apple Mail, and start to migrate to Numbers. We already use Keynote for presentations, and see no reason to use PowerPoint. Every user has the ".docx -> .doc" translator, so compatibility is not an issues with Office 2007 for Windows.

    Personally, I prefer Entourage to Mail, but as my company migrates to Leopard, and we provide small hard drives to implement Time Machine for our mobile users (the majority), Entourage’s single database makes it an unsuitable choice.

    Too bad

  25. Dude says:

    <sounds of crickets chirping>….

    Are you guys serious? Did the MBU just hope everyone just missed something here? Got news for you MBU. I called it like this two months ago, Thursday, October 11, 2007 10:07 AM to be exact:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/10/08/update-on-office-2008-progress.aspx#comments

    I’d like to say that I’m surprised, but frankly, I’m not; in fact its painful to be spot on with this one.

    I (and many others) called you out on this months ago: Exchange connectivity will be in no way, shape, or form where it needs to be. And low and behold confirmation that we are again stuck with WebDav. If I recall I’d rather have the bad news now (then October) then later (now), guess that fell on deaf ears too.

    You knew this all along, hence the stonewalling until the very end, and then engaged in the time honored Microsoft tactic of deliberately setting the bar so low that anything will look good in comparison while simultaneously promising that it will be fixed down the road.

    So this begs the question in between all of the back-slapping, BBQs, margarita parties, Work-o-holic Wednesdays, Pizza Scavenging from Work-o-holic Wednesdays- Thursdays, Art of Office debacles, “How rewarding our Work is and how I love the Mac and Microsoft” diatribes, self congratulatory topics, etc etc, ad naseum… just what were you guys doing for 4+ years???? Apparently the x-box at the lab wasn’t lonely for the last four years that’s a certainty.

    Because all we see is a change of code base, and attempt to make Office Mac into a version that mimics Office 2007… Did I miss something here? Oh yes the Exchange part, That we want you guys to actually mimic but refuse to do it.

    And I’ll head off the retort should anyone from the MBU be reading this in the midst of the “Margarita mixer” you got going on there to “celebrate” the RFM: Don’t give us a canned answer of “Well we had to switch to Code Warrior, it was tough, blah, blah”. I don’t care if you had to use two potatoes tied together with a string to make Exchange connectivity work better. I don’t care to hear the excuses. You know what I care about: A product that works with the features that the majority of us have been asking for, for a number of years.

    And the contention of “We’ll be adding stuff later”…. Just who thought this up? That’s supposed to give us comfort that “sometime, down the road” we’ll get some updates? Well slap me silly and call me Sarah if I’m under-whelmed on that one. Considering the “pace” that you guys worked on for this release it’ll be a wonder if the next Ice Age doesn’t come around first…

    Lastly, I’ll point this out as disingenuous at best…

    http://blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/07/11/the-story-so-far.aspx

    Actually I take the above back, the MBU was in fact more transparent, was more open, and blogged more… about all of the topics/features that people were NOT ASKING about.

    In closing: This blog has done nothing but further my deepening mistrust of Microsoft.

  26. jb says:

    Some of us have few options at the moment. Like it or not, my users require access to Exchange from their Macs. Like it or not, we exchange documents with people who use Word for Windows. All we want is a version of Office for the Mac that can do all the same things as Office for Windows. I don’t care about "better" or "mac-like" if Word for Mac can’t even open Office 2007 documents. Hell yes feature parity is important.

    I’ll wait to be disappointed until I actually have the new product in my hands. For now, Office 2008 is my only hope that my users don’t revolt and make me switch them back to Windows — and then find another job.

  27. Joe Dijon says:

    It’s disappointing to learn that the new Entourage database won’t be compatible with Time Machine.  For all it’s faults, Time Machine is an effective backup strategy for many users.  I used to use other backup methods, but the simplicity and integration of Time Machine with the OS, means that it is my way of ensuring that I always backup routinely.

    I will still probably use Entourage.  It just works better for me than Mail as an application and I use Exchange hosting mainly because I love Outlook webmail.

    Problem with this is that the Time Machine issue has me looking into alternatives whereas before I was a happy Entourage user.  I know that for the foreseeable future I will use Time Machine and will have to exclude my Entourage database from backups.  No big deal, but it is awkward to not have the same peace of mind about my local email data (server is backed up) that I do about the rest of my data.

    I think the frustration in the posts above comes from people like me that want to use MS Office exclusively, but feel underserved due to issues like this.  I don’t want to move away from Entourage as my email client, but you are making me look into alternatives when i don’t want to.  🙁

  28. Barry says:

    1) If it doesn’t sync with Exchange, it’s useless to me. "Notes" and "Tasks" are just buttons that taunt me with their unfulfilled promises. It would be better if they weren’t there.

    2) Lack of compatibility with Time Machine is absurd. "Alternate backup methods?" Perhaps we should print everything out and file copies?

    This is truly second rate software.

  29. Andrew Kearns says:

    I have never posted a comment, ever.

    In this case I must. I have never seen a group of people so disconnected from their clients in my professional life. Everyone at MacBU should be have their employment terminated on 1/15/2008, if full exchange and leopard support is not available. You have had four years to fix the former, and two years to address the latter. I am trying to run a business, I pay you for software to run said business. I need what every post here tells you, not excuses. At the last minute we get some BS about tasks and notes not syncing..truly pathetic. No beta version, just stupid screenshots, from time to time. You do not deserve my business. In fact, at every opportunity you have chosen to frustrate me, no mas….

  30. Andrew Kearns says:

    Google are getting all this tripe?

  31. 60six says:

    so you have taken 4 years to sort out the database repair, and in this day of intel macs, nobody considered making entou-RAGE 100% exchange server compatible?

    There is only one thing worse than no updated software at all – updated software that isn’t an update at all.

  32. Jack says:

    Leopards don’t change their spots, so why are we surprised about your stance even after both the US and EU governments have pursued successful antitrust prosecutions! There are no legitimate reasons why MS cannot offer a PIM product which is on par with Outlook in its ability to work with its server product, Exchange right now. The only logical reason is that MS is terrified that offering a comparable product on the Mac will make Vista look even more mediocre than it already is. Shame on you both corporately and individually for believing that you can continue to treat $$ paying customers in this way. The world has fundamentally changed with the Internet, open source and other disruptive technologies. MS is looking more like Kodak every day! Bloated, Arrogant and a misguided belief in its own importance to the world.

  33. Shurafa says:

    Wow Your All Fired…

    Wow I was hoping that the reason this topic was  not discussed earlier was that it was such an obvious feature you would rather focus on discussing more exotic and esoteric additions. Sadly this is not the case.

    I would rather have Office 2004 with 1. PST support. 2. Full Sharepoint Integration 3. Task/Note Sync then every other pointless "upgrade".

    You had 4 YEARS to complete this simple and necessary tasks.

    Ironically this means even more money for M$ as the alternative is Parallels with a copy of XP SP2 and Office 2007. We really need a good open source or apple created solution of I fear things will only get worse and worse…

  34. It is unbelivebel!

    We get no *.pst Import for Entourage 2008 from windows

    I bought a new iMac with entourage 2004 and ordered yet the 2008 version. I worked with a windows pc for years and I am using there offive 97, 2000, 2003 and now Office 2007. I thought it is claer that we will have an pst Import form office 2003 ore 2007 into entourage 2008. But I was wrong. MS had 4 ears time to develope this tool. We should quit working with mircosoft application.

    Michael    

  35. Eric says:

    How about email formatting?  Right now, whenever I forward an HTML email, it gets horribly munged.  That’s really really retro and unacceptable and makes ME look bad.  Is that at least fixed?  I mean, seriously, full HTML support is about a decade old feature so I am hoping that’s in this release.

    I think we need a serious timeline for this — I am getting sick of running Parallels just to use email and without knowing when Microsoft will improve Entourage, I am going to start investigating migration options off of Exchange.

    Like many shops of late, we’ve gone 100% Mac and if Microsoft cannot seriously realize that full Exchange support is URGENT, then I think that’s very sad.  I’m just going to refuse to keep running Windows just to get my email.  I was doing it as a transition since I thought these issues would be addressed, but mis-prioritization at the Mac BU has been really bad here.

    I’d love to hear other readers solutions for alternatives to Exchange.  (The key thing for me being sync between computers in multiple locations.  I have 3 computers I use and want them all to sync which is why I use Exchange.)

    Is there a way to get these kind of sync capabilities with Google?   I am seriously looking at a Gmail or Y! mail solution here and ripping out our Exchange server.  This is just too too painful and after months of waiting and stalling, we hear there is NO support for tasks or notes — I mean that’s serious data that is NOT synced?   After four years?

    Sorry, I’m just frustrated.  I really am.  Is there at least some good news that HTML emails can be forwarded properly or is this really just Entourage 2004 running a little faster with OOF?

    Timeline and commitments, folks!  Put all your developers on this.  I’ve been pretty patient, I think time is running out.

    BTW, iWork really rocks.  I’m using that now for all my office stuff except email.  For other readers, you really should give it a try.  For Microsoft, Keynote just kicks PowerPoint’s butt, especially the presenter view.

    But my # 1 app I’m in all the time?  Email.  Too bad Microsoft cannot deliver on that.  Really sad.

  36. Rob Coleman says:

    Sorry to echo what others have said, but I can’t believe that after years of development, Entourage doesn’t have the functionality in Outlook. Why does MS think that Mac users want different Office features and functionality than Windows users? They made the same mistake with IE and finally abandoned it.

    Look at Adobe CS3 apps. They have identical feature sets across platforms and ship on the same date. Even Firefox is able to do this.

    So my dream of not needing to run XP in Parallels is not going to be realized anytime soon.

    Hey Mac Office Team: It would be nice for you to respond to these posts in some fashion so that it at least seems like you’re listening.

  37. Franz S. Hinner says:

    How about a straight answer…. will Office 2008 Mac allow scheduling of a RESOURCE?

    I have seen more posts on this topic then anything, it would really be nice to know that Microsoft makes sure to build in essential functionality into this product that is used DAILY. I saw all the Out of Office buzz, OK that could be helpful, but do I use this daily…NOP!

    Do I book resources and would like to make someone optional, yep DAILY! Not that there are not other functions or shortcomings of Office on the MAC, but frankly I can live with all of them if I can just do my essential work without switching to the web interface.

    Oh well with Leopard the new Mail client and calendering allows scheduling resource, given not easily…but you know….

  38. JohnJohn says:

    What’s really the point of having an Exchange sync based email, task, and calendar tool if you can’t categorize the data.  Good luck on getting Entourage users to upgrade.  Apple users are already using iWork and just keeping your guys around for Entourage

    Apple beat you guys down again.  Knowing the Exchange flaws in Exchange Office 2004 they release iWork.  All us Exchange Office2004 users bought it and fell in love.  All the while using Entourage 04 to keep things sync’ed and forgetting about Word/Excel/PP.  

    Now Office08 comes out, and without a true Exchange sync I am going to use iCal/gCal a Blackberry.  At least I can sync different Calendars that way (business/personal).  I can manage tasks with a wired plug-in sync tool.

    Tossing my Exchange Server and my WM6 Tilt will be hard, but not that hard.  Just to think, I could have been saved with task/note sync and category sync.  Too bad really.

  39. eponymous says:

    I loved reading these comments and remembering that Macbu’s "love letter to Entourage" is still posted on this site.  Same planet, different worlds.

  40. MacManWA says:

    Apparently you actually have to go to other Web sites to get the real scoop from the Mac BU (although you’d expect it on their "insider" blog).  Heaven knows this question has been asked many times before (and never answered) on this blog:

    http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/174096756/m/349003459831/p/2

    <snip from Ars Technica>

       quote:

       Originally posted by irfoton:

       Schwieb,

       Don’t know if you can answer this but why maintain a single file database for entourage? That makes backups via Time Machine very unattractive.

    Apple announced Time Machine at WWDC 2006 in August 2006. You may recall that Office 2004 shipped in late spring 2004, so by WWDC 2006, we were more than 2 years into the development of Office 12 (aka 2008) and had long-since investigated, weighed, planned, and begun implementing the major architectural changes for this new version.

    In broad strokes, that investigation and planning was based on the state of the Mac OS and our customer base in mid 2004, and at that time rewriting the database storage ranked below other important architectural changes and desired features. If we’d known about Time Machine in May 2004, perhaps it would have ranked higher, but I’d need a real time machine to know. In any case, by August 2006 our development cycle was pretty much fixed.

    As for future versions of Mac Office, that planning is going on now, and will be taking into account the state of the Mac OS and our customer base circa late 2007/early 2008. As to exactly what that means we’ll be working on, well, I can’t talk about that for quite a while… Smile

    Schwieb

    MacBU Dev Lead

    </snip>

  41. Brian MICKEL says:

    Hmmm. so many features in the new Office for the PC like the Business contact manager and now the new Accounting program. We use Mac for our mobiles but I am really disappointed to see the lack of transparency and ability to use Entourage like Outlook.

    I don’t have any answers or criticism as this could go on and on for months and years (look like it has..) just a big sigh and a question to MS of why? Why is is it so hard to make this application an extension of the mothership product(s)? Why is compatibility such an issue? Why are the templates for the PC version so much better and more professional than the MAC ones? The MAC ones are really really bad. Look they were made by 7th grade students.

    I mean as much as I would love to see iWork become something it is really painful to use in a consulting business setting.

    Maybe it would be a great chance for some open source office or other vendor to throw their hat into the ring and make something happen. I would pay $100s for a license if it could work the way we need no matter the platform.

    Our business is in reselling and consulting in the mapping and GIS field, and so far the PC version of everything seems to have most of the answers I need. Its really too bad, but I will hold out and "try" the next MAC office and see if it has improved to be a business tool and not some college dorm-like program. I’m in business not school.

    Good luck, I hope this time it works out …better.

  42. Luke D says:

    I cannot believe that Office 2008 will not have a tool to import a .pst file from Outlook 2007. Can someone at MS please explain this fault?

    Why can we not have Outlook for Mac?

    Using Entourage is akin to dental surgery. It is a horrible experience.

    This is forcing me to convert to Apple Mail. Once I convert, I am never coming back!

  43. Luke D says:

    PS:

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PST

    PLEASE GIVE US .PST COMPATIBILITY!!!

  44. Duncan802 says:

    I need Outlook for my job, and I am an Mac type person, but it looks like I’ll have to purchase a PC. So Sad!