top Entourage questions at Macworld Expo today

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!

Comments (12)

  1. Fabio Pigagnelli says:

    Hi Nadyne

    i’m a student giving private sessions about office and computerproblems in common to a woman. just some basic stuff about excel, office etc.

    she’s got a blackberry bold, an sonyericsson xperia, and a macbook pro with office 08. she’s got a Exchange Account and for some reasons about 7 other POP accounts (gmail, yahoo, swissonline, and other stuff).

    since she really needed task and notes synchronising, i had to install parallels and office 2003 on her computer. now she’s using entourage for mail/calendar/addressbook and outlook for notes/tasks.

    its kind of a quirky enviroment, because parallels sucks up lots of resources, and having two mail clients isnt the best solution.

    since she’s working mainly with mails its important for her that the mail applications workes well.

    so, i’m really stuck between my decision.

    should i install the beta for her since its got notes/tasks syncing and she could ditch parallels/outlook.

    or should she not install the beta if its yet unstable?

    so the basic question is just, how stable can we expect it to be.

    will it crash a lot? will it maybe even delete some mails? will it work with over 150mails a day (mostly spam though)? will it work with multiple accounts (exchange+~6POPs)?

    thanks for the question

  2. b5lurker says:

    Will these changes allow for Exchange server rules to be edited in Entourage as well? That is the one thing that I am missing most in Entourage. Without it I have use IE on a Windows machine and log into OWA to modify my rules.

    Looking forward to the beta to get the EWS changes!

    Thanks, Steve

  3. Fabio – As always, using beta software is at your own risk.  If you do choose to have her use it, ensure that she understands the risks involved in using unsupported beta software.  Also, of course, ensure that you do a backup of her Microsoft User Data folder before installing the beta.  

    That said, I’ve been using pre-alpha (not even beta!) code against my own Exchange 2007 account for several months.  I receive much more than 150 emails per day (at least twice that).  I haven’t experienced data loss, and I haven’t seen a crash in months.  

    We haven’t touched the POP or IMAP code, so that should all be the same as she’s using now.  We’re not going to send the beta out if we think that there are crashing bugs that you’re going to hit or if it’s going to lose data.  

    So … she should do it if she’s comfortable with it.  Oh, and ensure that she’s on an Exchange 2007 SP1 or later server.  It will not work with anything else.

  4. b5lurker – Right now, that’s not included in the beta.  It’s definitely a feature request that we’re aware of.  (I have to do the same thing that you do, since I have an iPhone that syncs with my Exchange server.  I don’t want allllll of the email that I get to show up in my iPhone’s inbox!)  When you take part in the beta, you’ll have the opportunity to offer feedback about what additional Exchange support you’d like to see us add and prioritise that.

  5. Thanks Nadyne for the following up.

    i think she’ll be happy to hear that.

    another question, the beta is as of speaaking not yet available, is that right?

    and when it goes online, is this ( ) the page to download it?

    and, if installed the beta of entourage can both of the entourages be used, or is there a point of no return? e.g. when something doesnt work as it should with the new beta, can we move back to using the 2008 entourage, or wont it work because the database might have changed?

    and further, maybe this question will be answered when the beta is here, but where can we give feedback to the beta if we see something? (after all, thats the purpose of a beta 😉 )

  6. Fabio – All of your questions will be answered when the beta arrives. 🙂  It’s not available yet, and is scheduled to arrive this month.  I don’t know the URL for the beta yet, but I’m sure that the page you link (as well as this blog, and probably a hundred other locations 🙂 will be updated with the correct download information, as well as information for how to give feedback.  You should backup your database before installing the beta so that you can fall back to Entourage 2008 if you so choose.  

  7. How different was working in the booth this year?

  8. One question that I’ve been getting a lot is "should I participate in the Entourage public beta ?" First,

  9. Sebastian 76 says:

    I would like to have multiple Exchange-Accounts in Entourage.

    Will this also work with EWS? I’m asking, because I’ve got two employers and therefor also two different Exchange Accounts which I have to sync together…

    The old WebDAV-way was good for that, but doesn’t work on both machines ’cause they are Exchange 2007! 🙁

  10. Sebastian – Yes, we’ve left that in place — we know that some of our users use it.  In fact, it makes life easier for us, since many Entourage team members have accounts on multiple Exchange accounts so that we can test Entourage against various Exchange versions.

    Both of your employers will need to be on Ex2007; if one is still on Ex2003, you’ll need to stick with Entourage 2008.

  11. In the weeks before Macworld Expo , it’s pretty easy to guess what the majority of the questions are

  12. I just published a new post at Mac Mojo

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