During the planning and development of Entourage 2008, I’ve had a chance to meet with many Mac Exchange users and administrators to discuss the direction of Exchange in Entourage. I’ve read the comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism from a variety of sources, including recently here at Mac Mojo. One clear message has emerged from this feedback: “We want an Exchange client on the Mac with features, performance, documentation, and reliability on par with Outlook.” Of course, we hear this in different and sometimes more colorful terms, but I think it boils down the same. Today, I’d like to begin revealing the steps we’re taking towards meeting these expectations in Entourage. Up first is an absolutely critical Exchange area that we’ve done a lot of work to improve… the Calendar.
In the Exchange world, “Calendar” means a lot of things: delegation, free/busy, attendee tracking, invite mail flow, updates, recurrence exceptions, cancellations… I could go on, but the point is clear, there are a lot of moving parts involved in coordinating Calendar interactions, especially when workflows like delegation are involved. I’m excited to finally be able to show off some of the work we’ve done in the Entourage 2008 Calendar to improve the feature consistency and reliability of this coordination.
Note: You’ll notice some new looks in these screenshots. They’ll serve as a teaser for an upcoming post that will dive into the new look and user experience of the Entourage 2008 Calendar.
Accept, Tentative, and Decline from the Calendar
Attendees will now be able to reflect changes in meeting status directly. Calendar management actions, like declining a previously accepted meeting directly from the event, are more straightforward and consistent with Outlook. This fills a big functionality gap and addresses a top sore spot.