In my last blog post, I described some latency issues that appeared on my MacBook once our IT department installed Entourage and Exchange. This led to Microsoft getting in touch to try and help me out but in the end the problems were solved by ditching Entourage in favour of Apple's Mail.
In a telephone call with a technical guy from Redmond, we went through the basics -- many of which had already been suggested by ZDNet Australia readers who had responded to my previous blog entry.
According to the Microsoft chap, there have been some Entourage-related latency issues in the past but he said they have now been fixed. He suggested that if I had Outlook Web Access (OWA) working really well, Entourage should not be experiencing difficulties.
Wrong! OWA is fast, Entourage is not.
Here were the main points Microsoft made:
- Make sure you are up to date with patches because Microsoft has recently "fixed some problems with intermittent hangs".
- Check the performance with OWA because it is similar in nature to Entourage at the protocol level. He suggested copying the OWA URL into Entourage's server address. (I tried that but the system sat there emptying my cache for more than an hour and then took bloody ages before I could access the folders again).
- Ensure the system is connecting to the backend server and not the front-end server because then, depending on how your network is configured, Entourage does not have the overhead of going out through your firewall and then being relayed back.
Unfortunately, none of these issues were relevant to my configuration and my delay was as bad as ever.
Luckily for me, our sister site is BuilderAU, which is run by a crazy code-monkey called Chris who also uses OS X. His MacBook Pro was experiencing the same issues as mine but he dealt with it by simply ditching Entourage and using Mail, which comes as part of the Mac OS package.
After five minutes of playing with my Exchange and IMAP setting -- followed by about an hour of synchronising -- my e-mail application now works for me rather than against me.