I recently pitched my everyday PC for a Mac. I would prefer to use a Mac-based Exchange client, but I can’t find one that does what I need – mail, calendar, tasks, and notes. Here are the options that I’ve been able to come up with:
- Coble together a Mac app solution. You can coble together Mac Mail, iCal, .Mac, and Snerdware’s Groupcal. But this solution is dependent on 2 pieces of software to sync the calendar and task data, and notes remain landlocked on the Exchange server. To inflame matters more, Leopard (OS X 10.5) has broken Groupcal and Snerdware predicts a fix in Q1 2008.
- Use Entourage 2004. Use Entourage 2004 and accept that your existing tasks and notes are landlocked on your Exchange server and your new tasks and notes are landlocked in the Mac world.
- Go Mac only. Forget about that for me and thousands of other users.
- Run Outlook under Parallels or VMware. It’s a reliable solution if you can wait for everything to load. OS X loads so much faster than Windows. With this solution, you have to wait really long for everything to load, but it's what I'm doing for now while I wait for a better solution.
I figured that Microsoft would fix Entourage in Office 2008 and make it as good an Exchange client as Outlook. It’s very interesting though – Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit has been extremely quiet about Entourage 2008. So, I set out to learn what I could about it. Public information is sparse. We know that it will be better and have OOFs. That’s about it. So, I got hold of a beta of Office 2008 that was released in late September 2008. I figured that I would only see good news and full Exchange support. I was completely shocked to learn that it was only a marginally better Exchange client than Entourage 2004. It now has Exchange support for tasks created when setting a flag on an email message. Big freakin' deal!
The Internet is littered with blog and forum entries complaining about the poor support for Exchange offered in Entourage 2004. So, why isn’t Microsoft telling us that they have fixed this glaring problem? Beats me!
If anyone reading this post knows something more about this, please let me know. Also, if anyone knows of a reasonable solution to get full Exchange functionality in a Mac client, let me know. I sure hope that the Mac Business Unit is paying attention.
Please post a comment if this has been helpful to you.
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