Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) today shared details about the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac, announcing that a new application, Outlook for Mac, will replace Entourage for Mac. MacBU is providing this early information to meet the planning needs of enterprise customers. For current Entourage users, Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition is available today, providing performance and reliability improvements and enabling users to sync Tasks, Notes and Categories. These updates demonstrate the team’s commitment to meet Mac users’ productivity needs and to improve the overall Office experience. MacBU also announced a simplified SKU lineup to help make product selection more intuitive for customers. The new lineup introduces Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition in addition to the current offering of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition.
“It is an exciting time for the MacBU with updates to our current products and the first public announcement about the next version of Office for Mac. For several years we have focused on providing the best Microsoft Exchange client for the Mac, and the Web Services Edition delivers that today for Entourage users,” said Eric Wilfrid, general manager for the MacBU at Microsoft. “Outlook for Mac will bring features our customers have long requested — such as Information Rights Management — that make working across platforms even easier. I think people will see that this move to Outlook for Mac is more than just a name change.”
A New Outlook for Mac Users
The infrastructure changes in Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition, provide more agility in development for the future — marking the first step in delivering Outlook for Mac. Web Services Edition provides faster data synchronization so current Entourage users on Exchange will experience improved e-mail and calendaring support. The beta was launched earlier this year and has since been used by several large enterprise customers including NASA and Wesleyan University. Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition is available to current Entourage users on Office 2008 for Mac SP2, with all updates applied, on Exchange 2007 SP1 RU4 or later. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/itpros/entourage-ews.mspx.