Today, I worked in the Office 2008 booth at Macworld Expo. My day was spent answering questions about Entourage. For those of you who aren’t here at MWSF, I bring you the top questions that I answered today.
What’s this about Entourage? Later this month, we’re releasing a public beta of the next version of Entourage. This beta is aimed squarely at our users who are connecting to Exchange 2007 servers. Instead of using WebDAV to communicate to Ex2007, we’re now using Exchange Web Services (EWS). EWS is faster and more reliable. Additionally, it gives us the ability to access Exchange features we weren’t able to get before, most notably additional synchronisation (tasks, notes, categories).
What if I’m on Exchange 2003 or earlier? If you’re not on Exchange 2007 (actually, to be specific, Ex2007 SP1 or later), you should not use the Entourage EWS beta. Entourage EWS does not support accessing Ex2003 or earlier (except through IMAP).
If I’m not on Exchange, should I update? We haven’t made changes to our POP, IMAP, or Hotmail support. You can check out the beta if you want to, but there’s no pressing reason to do so.
Why are you doing a public beta? Making improvements to our Exchange support is very important to us. We’ve been consistently making incremental updates, but moving to EWS is a big investment. We want to make sure that this release works well with lots of different Exchange 2007 environments. That’s where you come in: download the bits and tell us how it works for you.
Besides EWS support, what else is in Entourage EWS? This beta release is only about EWS. We haven’t made changes elsewhere for this beta. We’re making huge investments in Entourage for the next version of Office; stay tuned for that.
Edit, 20 January 2008, 11:58am: The public beta for Entourage EWS is live now.
Edited on 17 August 2009: The final version of Entourage for Web Services is now available, so you should update!