Entourage Mirage

By Tiffany Maleshefski  |  Posted 2008-01-14 Print this article Print

Besides not offering full Exchange support or support for importing .PST files, Entourage 2008 is incompatible with the Time Machine backup feature that ships with the latest version of OS X, which means that users will have to seek out alternative backup methods.

Still, this e-mail and PIM application does tout some across-the-board improvements, including the modest addition of an Out of Office Assistant function that works with Microsoft Exchange server and enables users to create individualized e-mail replies. Other Entourage enhancements that make the application more Outlook-like include meeting reminders and the option to keep multiple meeting participants apprised of last-minute changes.

Entourage 2008 also includes the new My Day tool, which opens a window into your calendar and to-do items, and can run separately from the main Entourage application to provide a quick, lightweight agenda reference. This feature has been added as a flashy substitute for the product's missing support for Exchange-synchronized tasks. While the My Day tool is handy, it takes up a large chunk of space on the screen.

Besides being unable to access my Tasks and Notes in my Exchange account, I was also unable to access my company's public folders, which we use to reserve conference rooms and access shared documents such as human resources department forms.

Considering the ways in which Entourage fails to offer parity with Outlook, it's worth considering how much different Entourage is from Mail, the free e-mail and PIM client that comes with Mac OS X. When all is said and done, there's not very much that separates the two applications.

The big differences lie in the Exchange-backed calendar functions, where Entourage 2008 works and looks much more like Outlook than Mail does. In Apple's Mail, calendar items stored on Exchange get shoehorned into the IMAP model, showing up as e-mails rather than events. The calendar feature in Entourage 2008 also lets users color-code events by category. However, this feature does not work with multiple calendars simultaneously, which is another ongoing request from Office for Mac users.


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