Buying Macs to run Windows

Reader Jesse Adams has received some questionable information from his company’s IT department and seeks clarification. He writes:

The company where I work plans to provide all Macintosh users with new iMacs. This is fine, except they plan to replace our current email program, Entourage, with Outlook. I’m not sure why this is, unless they plan to have the entire staff on the same application? The problem is that they believe all email contacts from Entourage will be lost in the switch, as the export/import option isn’t reliable. There must be a way to save the hundreds of contacts I have, right? Please help before the changeover later this month!

Jesse, I chose this question for two reasons.

1. To tell you that the IT department is all wet in regard to exporting Entourage contacts.

2. So that the Mac-savvy IT portion of our readership could comment on the notion of purchasing a slew of Macs and then asking them to run Outlook (and, thus, Windows).

Before I address Reason One, in fairness to the IT department, Entourage is not Outlook and it’s quite possible that there are some Outlook features not supported by Entourage that your company requires to be available to every employee. In unfairness to the IT department, I’d hope that it would research alternatives (which I hope those who care to comment will provide) before forcing you into Windows to send and retrieve email.

Now, let’s set IT straight about those contacts. To export your Entourage contacts, all you need do is open Entourage’s Address Book, select a contact, press Command-A to select them all, and drag them to an empty folder on the Desktop. Do this and the contacts turn into individual vCard (.vcf) files that Outlook is more than happy to import.

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