Summer Update Of Entourage v.X To Bring Support For MS Exchange To Mac OS X

Microsoft Exchange is one of the corporate worldis most heavily used installations. It offers e-mail, "collaboration" tools, calendaring, and enough other bells and whistles to make an MSCE in search of job security get all tingly inside. Though usually described as "hellish" on the back end, end users tend to love Exchange, and the Outlook client on Windows, but thatis where Mac users have sometimes been left behind.

With the release of Office 2001 for the Mac, Microsoft reintroduced Exchange support to the Mac platform after a multi-year absence. Office v.X for Mac OS X, however, did not include Exchange support, leaving many Mac users to either stick with Office 2001, or to be without access to their companyis Exchange services. In a corporate environment, that can be a severe disadvantage to Mac users, and has often been used as a reason to keep Macs off of many corporate networks. Such is the reality of the corporate world.

According to C|Net, an upcoming revision to Entourage v.X will finally bring the ability to access Exchange servers to Mac OS X. Sometime this summer, the company will be releasing a free update to Entourage, a component of Office v.X, that includes Exchange support. Many of Entourageis features are similar to those of the Windows Outlook client, but Exchange support brings those features to new levels of usefulness in the corporate world. From C|Net:

Microsoft offered several cumbersome workarounds to allow Mac OS X users to get access to Exchange information. The Redmond, Wash., company also has a Web client of Outlook that can access Exchange information via a Web browser. Microsoft suggested customers might want to remotely access a PC that was running the Windows version of Office to get address book and calendar information from an Exchange server. E-mail from an Exchange server can be downloaded by many mail programs because Exchange supports various e-mail standards.

For more than a year, Microsoft said it was studying the issue of how to add Exchange support--whether to update its Outlook for the Mac program or add Exchange access into Entourage, the e-mail, calendar and contact program that is part of the Mac OS X Office suite.

The software giant eventually concluded that updating Entourage was the most efficient and timely approach, said Jessica Sommer, product manager.

"We couldnit let it wait any longer," she said in an interview, noting that Exchange support was one of the most requested features from Microsoftis Mac customers.

There is more information on this subject in the full article at C|Net.