“This is our initial Exchange solution and we’ll continue to work on it to provide Entourage X users with tools to communicate, manage their personal information and keep track of their schedules in a mixed PC and Mac environment, which is the reality for many of our customers,” Jessica Sommer, Product Manager for the MacBU, told MacCentral.
Included in Microsoft Office v. X, Entourage serves as a personal information manager for many Mac users, but the application lacked full support for Microsoft Exchange Servers. According to Microsoft, Exchange support will meet the greatest demand of the enterprise customer, shared calendaring, which allows users to view other Exchange users’ free and busy times.
“The single most popular request we’ve heard since launching Office v. X is that our customers need an Exchange solution for Mac OS X,” said Tim McDonough, director of marketing and business development for the MacBU.
Additional updates include a directory service lookup feature allowing searching of global address lists, the ability to synchronize the Entourage X calendar and address book with the Exchange server for offline use, and improved text rendering in mail received from users of Outlook for Windows.
“We’re very excited that the Microsoft Mac Business Unit will bring Exchange support to Entourage for X and this is a great example of their continuing commitment to Mac OS X,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Microsoft has done a great job of listening to Mac customers’ needs and then delivering on their most requested features.”
The free downloadable update for Entourage will be available in English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Swedish in summer 2003 and will be compatible with versions of Exchange 2000 and higher.
Outlook 2001 for Mac will continue to be the Exchange solution for users of Mac OS 9, but the product will not be updated as Microsoft turns its attention and resources to developing software for Mac OS X.
“We will no longer develop Outlook — Entourage has been chosen as the Exchange client for the Mac platform,” said Sommer.