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Microsoft Outlook to Be Offered With Mac Office in 2010, Will Replace Entourage

August 13, 2009

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Microsoft on Thursday said the next version of Office for Mac will arrive by the 2010 holiday buying season, and it added that the new version will include a version of Outlook.

Outlook for Mac will replace Entourage, the current e-mail and calendar program in the Mac Office suite. Although it will still differ from the Windows version of Outlook, it will add support for more Exchange features, such as public folders and rights management features.

Office for Mac had a version of Outlook in its pre-Mac OS X days, but Microsoft switched to the Entourage program with Office for Mac version X because that version lacked a good connection with Exchange.

One major obstacle to use of Macs in the enterprise has always been the absence of Outlook. Sure Macs have Entourage, but the program just doesn’t cut it for business users entrenched in the ways of Outlook. Those set on using a Mac have often resorted to partitioning their hard drives or installing programs like Outlook2Mac to access the program.

Soon such tactics will no longer be necessary, as Microsoft has announced the availability of Outlook in the next version of Mac Office. The change will likely be implemented in the new version of Office that is set for release in time for the holidays in 2010. In the mean time, those using Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition will enjoy steps Microsoft has taken towards making the experience more Outlook-like.

The release comes as part of a new business edition of Mac Office designed to provide Mac users with better connection to Microsoft Exchange Server and improved compatibility across platforms. Microsoft’s Mac unit is also building the Outlook software from the ground up to ensure compatibility with Mac’s backup and hard-drive search features.

As far as pricing goes, the new version will replace the current version of Office 2008 that sells for $399. Microsoft will continue to offer Office 2008 Home and Student edition for $150.

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