It's About Time, Indeed!

Thanks to the tireless MacBU PR team, I’ve just been drooling over the first factual information regarding Entourage 2008, and I must say that that short piece on Entourage makes Office 2008 look much more interesting than anything else regarding it they’ve put out so far.

Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the UI in Word and Excel matching their recently refurbished Windows equivalents.

But being able to deal with meeting requests in a sane way, now that’s positively riveting:

That and (hopefully) being able to reach feature parity with Outlook (i.e., by having proper tasks and notes, synced with the server), even if the underlying transport turns out not to be pure MAPI.

A word on that, by the way: I’ve been trying for years to get Entourage 2004 to work with our corporate OWA interface (to no avail), and I know that some companies (with utterly clueless Exchange admins, which is not my case) often shut off IMAP and OWA, “standardizing” on MAPI clients (i.e., Outlook). And they often won’t even know what WebDAV is.

I really, really hope that the MacBU isn’t going to keep relying solely on OWA and WebDAV for access to the message store and are finally able to deliver a (reasonably) complete MAPI client that doesn’t require brainless IT managers to change anything on their servers.

Otherwise, some of my friends in other companies would have waited four years (or for the brave ones still running Outlook 2001, seven years) for nothing, and it doesn’t seem fair to have them wait another couple of years (at least) until their IT managers figure out Exchange 2007.

I know I’m going to be one of the lucky ones, but I also know that my Exchange admins are part of the enlightened minority who actually know how to run the thing.

And, incidentally, there is now a second wave of witch-hunting in corporate environments around Sharepoint – people with Macs are being barred from using them at the office due to the lack of Sharepoint integration – another thing that I hope to see solved in Office 2008 to some extent.