Macintosh questions re Exchange/Outlook/browsers

I am going to be switching my co. to an outside-hosted email service. Exchange environment. However, I have one guy who uses a Mac. Changing him to a PC is not an option. The hosting service says it will work with Entourage on a Mac. Apparently there used to be Outlook for Mac that worked with Exchange but that ended in 2001.

Questions for people who have used both, or who have a Mac:

  1. How different is Entourage from Outlook?

  2. Have you ever used Entourage with Exchange email?

  3. Does Internet Explorer work on a Mac? Or, does the Outlook Web Access on Safari look more like the interface when using IE or when using Firefox? Because it’s a lot more “normal” looking in IE. Unless there’s some kind of update for Firefox. As of now, for instance, in IE OWA I can highlight a bunch of messages and delete them all, just like if I had my regular Outlook open. In Firefox, I have to click that stupid little box for each one and it’s a pain in the ass.

Thanks for any advice.

I use Microsoft Entourage for the Mac. I used Outlook until I upgraded from OS 9 to OS X, when Outlook was no longer supported.

One pain in the neck is that Entourage cannot import Outlook .pst files, so I have no easy way to import my Outlook contacts into Entourage.

It’s my understanding that Entourage includes Exchange Server support, but realize that starting with MS Office 2008, the Home & Student version no longer includes Exchange Server support (probably not an issue for you, since your user would be using the Professional version).

Finally, Microsoft dropped support for Internet Explorer for the Mac about 4-5 years ago. The last version was 5.2. Microsoft recommends that users migrate to Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox. I use Firefox.

OWA on the Mac using either Safari or Netscape doesn’t look much like OWA on the PC with IE. None of the ActiveX stuff works so it’s a much more static presentation.

Until recently, I was using Entourage with and Exchange Server and would say it worked OK. It was slow and a process hog to my mind, but the the biggest drawback was with certain calendaring situations. Entourage didn’t play well with updates to existing events. Nor did it like the ‘proposed time’ function. It wasn’t a killer, as you rarely lost a meeting, but I did frequently end up with multiple copies of a meeting, one at the original time and then one at each updated time.

The new version of Entourage may or may not have fixed that stuff.

Does this guy have an Intel Mac? Could then run Fusion or Parallels, I suppose.

The Mac guy wouldn’t be using the calendar function or anything else except reading emails, so he wouldn’t have to worry about that. Oh he’d probably look at the contacts but not add or modify any.

I didn’t realize that OWA was that much different on IE vs. Firefox until yesterday (I mean on a PC). Unless I just need a Firefox update or something. The IE version is MUCH closer to what “real Outlook” looks like. The Firefox version is much clunkier. I haven’t actually seen the Mac that this guy has yet so I don’t know anything about it other than it’s a laptop. A PowerBook, I guess.

…and that’s how it’s gonna be. The IE version you’re familiar with uses all sorts of ActiveX code that doesn’t exist on the Mac. MS could redo it all, AJAX-style, but don’t hold your breath.

I realize that this is kind of a late reply, but if your guy isn’t doing any calendaring, he could just use the Mail, the client that comes with OS X. It has no problem sending a receiving mail using an Exchange server. Set up the LDAP too, and all the contact will auto-resolve, too.

Yes, it can.

Yes, it has.

If all he’s going to do is to get and send email, he should have no problem. He’s not switching from a PC to a Mac, so he won’t have to import outlook files viz Robby’s concern. (Robby, there’s a program called O2M, available here, that lets you transfer the emails. It runs on the PC side and translates them into something that Entourage can import.)

For three years I ran a mixed (3 macs, 8 pcs) network with an Exchange server for all of our email, there were no platform-specific issues at all. Macs all ran Entourage. Apple’s built in Mail program should work as well, worth a try at least if he doesn’t like Entourage.

I still run Internet Explorer very occasionally on my Mac, but Microsoft stopped supporting it a while back. I use Safari 3, the new one, don’t know how that would work in your situation. I also run Firefox for some specific tasks.

I wouldn’t expect problems from the presence of the Mac. If you come up with more questions as you go along, or if you have more now … askem …


I wish that were the case. Unfortunately, my contacts are from my old work computer, which was a PC running Outlook 2003.

The import utility doesn’t work for any other .pst files other than Microsoft Outlook 2001 for Mac (emphasis added). It doesn’t work with Outlook 2000 files .pst files (for PCs), and doesn’t work with Outlook 2003 .pst files (for PCs).

Pretty stupid, eh?

I know. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do me much good, since I don’t have access to my old work computer anymore.

I thought that saving my Outlook 2003 .pst files when I left my old job would do me some good, but they have been useless so far.

I have Outlook 2003 here at my new work computer, but unfortunately the IT policies here are pretty draconian, and I don’t have Administrator access to add any programs to my own computer. :rolleyes:

At least I can add my old contacts to this new work computer (I think), but I still have no way of getting those contacts into my Mac at home.

The solution might be for the Mac user to dual-boot Windows XP. That’s what I do on my Mac to connect to work.

Oh, he cannot possibly dual-boot. It’s out of the question for him.

I think most likely he’s just going to continue to use Outlook Web Access for his own email. Since he doesn’t use contacts or calendar or meeting invitations it just seems like the easiest thing for him would be to keep using OWA. Plus he already vaguely knows how to use it, whereas he’d have to learn Entourage (however basic it might be to everyone else) and that will just annoy him.

Thanks though for all the info, everyone. It might come in handy at some point.

The bain of my existence. And it’s not good enough to merely import PST’s anyway; they need to be interoperable. What good is using my PST from my Mac if I can’t change it and use it with Outlook again?

I guess if our Exchange server allow multi-gigabyte email space, then it wouldn’t be a concern, but we’re limited to only 100 megs incoming, and can’t send when you’re occupying 20 megs or more. :mad:

I still think that Mail would be a good alternative. But that’s filtered through my own experience. I get way too many “hot” :rolleyes: emails a day to use a mail tool that can’t notify me that something’s landed in my inbox.

Pork: does that download the mail via POP3 or is it actually connected to an Exchange server? I can’t have downloaded mail; it has to be a live just-in-time version of the mail. I access it and he accesses it at the same time and any changes must be instantaneous between us.

The other problem is that this Mac machine is in Florida and I cannot actually do anything to it–check programs, settings, etc.–until I have it in my hands in early May. And the guy who is using it cannot do any of that. And I don’t want to remote in, even if I could explain to him how to do it.

He’s a rather complicated case and, paradoxically, the simpler things are for him, the better. :slight_smile:


I recommend going to Mactopia and complaining about it in the Entourage forum. Someone there with more knowledge than me about ERage may have a workaround for this.

Well, Mail can be set up as POP, IMAP or Exchange (IMAPish). So you have your choice, but your last paragraph has led me to rethink things and agree with the idea of using OWA.* I* would hate working that way, but I can fix all my own stuff so I don’t have to.

Here’s a walkthrough of the Exchange settings in Mail in case you like looking…

It’s apparently a well known problem. As this website writes about Entourage 2008:

For this issue to persist this long, Microsoft must be intentionally hobbling the interoperability and functionality of Entourage. :rolleyes:

I’ve been using Entourage with Exchange servers for years. In several cases without the support or even knowledge of the IT staff. It works very well – including calendars, scheduling, contacts, even delegating. Some functions work better in Entourage than they do in Outlook under Windows (I use both). The only function I’ve found which doesn’t work in Entourage is surveys.

You do have to enable a few settings on the Exchanger server. These mostly enable WebDav access which is generally done anyway. There is a wealth of information on The Entourage Help Page.