More than a year after Microsoft
released Office v. X,
a version of its office productivity suite geared for Apple’s
Mac OS X, the Redmond-based software giant’s Macintosh
Business Unit said Tuesday that it will soon offer Microsoft Exchange
Server support for Macs.
The support will come in the form of a freely downloadable update for
Entourage X, a personal information manager (PIM) designed for the Mac OS X
platform. Microsoft said it plans to release the update in summer 2003,
adding that it will be available in English, Japanese, French, German,
Spanish and Swedish.
Microsoft offered Exchange support in Office 2001, which was geared to
Apple’s Mac OS 9. But the company did not include Exchange support in
Office v. X, which it released in November 2001. Since then, Microsoft said
customers have repeatedly requested support for Exchange Server, which
supports shared calendaring and contact functions.
“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, and we’re
ecstatic to begin satisfying that need through the most popular PIM on the
Mac platform,” said Tim McDonough, director of marketing and business
development for the MacBU at Microsoft. “We recognize that many of our
customers use Exchange for their server-side communications and need a
solution that’s made specifically for Mac OS X. By building the Exchange
solution into Entourage X, we’re giving users of Mac core Exchange
functionality and cross-platform compatibility in an e-mail client designed
to meet their needs.”
The update to Microsoft’s Entourage X will give users shared calendaring
functionality, as well as a directory service lookup feature which allows
for searching global address lists. It will also add the ability to
synchronize the Entourage X calendar and address book with Exchange Server
for offline use, and improved text rendering in mail received from users of
Outlook for Windows.