Entourage 2008: New Features - Part 1

Since the release of Entourage 2008 for Mac, I have been watching the newsgroups, blogs and forums and I see one request more than any other which is to have a comprehensive list of features in Entourage 2008. In this blog I will try to provide exactly what our customers and Entourage users are looking […]


Since the release of Entourage 2008 for Mac, I have been watching the newsgroups, blogs and forums and I see one request more than any other which is to have a comprehensive list of features in Entourage 2008. In this blog I will try to provide exactly what our customers and Entourage users are looking for. As my expertise mainly lies with Entourage's interaction with Exchange Server thus I will also highlight the features important to Exchange users. This blog provides a list of features and a brief description of them, later I will blog on those specific features in detail from users' and administrators' perspectives.

Let's start with features which are common for all Entourage 2008 users irrespective of the type of mail server they are connecting to (Part I). In Part II I will talk about those features which are exclusive to Entourage 2008 users in an Exchange organization where they are working with other Outlook users

Application Shell -- The main user interface of Entourage 2008 has been redesigned to provide a modern and compelling user experience that demonstrates to its users that Entourage is a premium messaging application and an integrated part of Office for Mac suite. It consists of 4 main areas, i.e. Toolbar (on top), Folder List (on left hand side), Item List (in the middle) & Preview Pane (on right hand side). There is a new 'View Switcher' panel (top left hand corner) to switch to different available modules, i.e. Mail, Address Book, Calendar, Notes, Tasks & Projects. The new 'MiniCal' (bottom left hand corner) can now be displayed in all folder views and it can be turned on or off using the toggle button.

Customizable Toolbars (screenshot) -- Every toolbar you find in Entourage 2008 is now customizable, i.e. toolbar for every folder view, item view & composition window. Users can customize it by right clicking on it and choosing the option 'Customize Toolbar' or use the same option under 'View' menu.

Favorites Bar (screenshot) -- This is a new addition in Entourage 2008 and provides feature parity with Outlook for Windows. Its located just below the toolbar in the main UI. Users can drag and drop any folder (or saved search) in their 'Folder List' to 'Favorites' bar and that creates a shortcut (or alias) for that folder which can then be used by the user to quickly get to that folder from any view in Entourage. 'Favorites' bar remains visible and accessible from all views in Entourage 2008 just like the main toolbar on top. Some really cool features of 'Favorites' bar are: it displays the number of unread items right beside the folder name, drag & drop folders to add/remove & re-organize them, drag and drop items to move them from one folder to another, etc.

Folder List (screenshot) -- In the new 'Folder List' the folders related to the default mail account are displayed on the top and then rest are displayed according to alphabetical order with respect to the account names. Local folders (related to 'On My Computer') show up after all the other accounts if they are not associated with a default POP mail account. The first level children folders have been shifted to the left and start at the same position as their parent folder.

To Dos (in Item List) (screenshot) -- Working thru 'Item List', users can now quickly toggle the state of flag for an item and use the contextual menu to take more precise actions to create 'To Dos'. This new feature provides more consistency with Outlook for Windows. These flags are also synched back to user's mailbox on Exchange server and thus also reflect in Outlook for Windows & OWA (Premium only, not Basic), similarly if user flags an item as a 'To Do' item using Outlook or OWA Premium, its also reflected in Entourage.

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Microsoft, Entourage 2008, Mac, OS X, Mac OS X, Entourage 2008 for Mac, Exchange Server, Outlook, New Features