Microsoft improves Exchange sync in new Entourage Beta

Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit released a beta version of its Entourage for Exchange Web Services, which now lets Mac users sync categories, tasks and notes just like their Windows cousins have for years.

Macs to gain smart card-based login to Active Directory
Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit released a beta version of its Entourage for Exchange Web Services, which now lets Mac users sync categories, tasks and notes just like their Windows cousins have for years.

But it's wrong of me to whine, when the result is good news for Mac users in the enterprise.

Since the version supports Exchange Web Services  instead of WebDAV, it can grab necessary information over HTTP, such as names in the Global Address List, without having to connect with a VPN.

According to the Mac BU blog post by Mike Tedesco, users should only connect to servers running Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1 with Update Rollup 4 or later. And there's a warning:

(Caution: If you are using earlier versions of Exchange Server with Entourage, we recommend that you do not install this beta edition of Entourage for Exchange Web Services.)

In addition, he says that the Entourage for Exchange Web Services Beta should only be installed with Office 2008 for Mac Standard or Special Media Edition (and making sure that all of their latest updates are done beforehand). Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition are not supported it appears and "users should not install the Entourage for Exchange Web Services beta."

Here's a further bit of the post:

While the Exchange Web Services component was being developed, our Entourage team was busy rebuilding the core of the Entourage client to utilize the Exchange Web Services. In fact, they were able to get a couple of features into the current Entourage 2008 for Mac release. If you are currently connecting your Entourage 2008 for Mac client to an Exchange Server 2007, the “Out of Office Assistant” and “Delegation” features are utilizing Exchange Web Services.

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