Mac Software Review: Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac

Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac
Mac software review






About 9 years ago, I was still a graduate student. Once day, I wrote up a brief research suggestion and PDF-printed it. Then I sent the PDF file to my dissertation professor. Several hours later, he e-mailed me back and said that he couldn’t open the attachment. I learned a lesson. So I used Virtual PC those days to send files to Windows users.

Back in 2002, Outlook Express was a nice freeware title from Microsoft. I had a couple of Hotmail accounts. And I could check my Hotmail messages on Outlook Express. But Microsoft didn’t upgrade it for Mac after Apple made a major OS change. So I switched to Entourage.

Till recently, there were a few good reasons why I never used Apple’s Mail and exclusively used Microsoft Entourage. No, 1, if I want to send files to Windows users, I could do it on Entourage by changing encoders. Another reason is that Entourage supports Hotmail accounts. So I don’t have to use a web browser to check my Hotmail messages. Another reason… Ahh, yes… Apple’s Mail was unreliable. Sometimes, messages never reached the destinations.

In November, things changed. Our hosting company made a fiasco on our account. And we weren’t getting e-mail messages on Entourage. That’s not necessarily Entourage’s fault. Anyway, we were forced to go back to Apple’s Mail. Actually, Apple’s Mail is now much better and reliable. And we have no trouble sending and receiving messages.

In January, Microsoft officially released Office 2008. Office products including Word, Excel and Entourage are pretty much mature. As for Excel, for example, Microsoft expelled once-dominant spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 out of the market in the late 1990s. How about Entourage? Are there new features that make Entourage 2004 users feel like switching to Entourage 2008?






Writing in HTML Easily

Honestly, I’m not sure if this function was not available in Entourage 2004. Anyway, after opening a new message window, reach Format on the menu bar and choose HTML. (See Screenshot 01.) Then a dozen HTML commands will appear. With a click of Mouse, you can change the background color, font color, use an HTML list. (See Screenshot 02-3.)





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 01
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 02
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 03






Importing Data from Entourage 2004

I had to reinstall the system on my Mac. So I had to decide whether to install Office 2004 or 2008. There were hundreds of e-mail messages stored under Entourage 2004. And I wanted to keep my old messages. Anyway, I decided to install Office 2008. When I launch Entourage 2008 for the first time, a window popped up and asked me if I wanted to import data from Entourage 2004. (See Screenshot 04). After going through some steps, I was able to integrate 2004 data into Entourage 2008. (See Screenshot 05.) Of course, you have to back up Users/user account/Documents/Microsoft User Data/ in the first place. (Read File Backup Guide Under Mac OS X 10.4 for more information.)





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 04
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 05






Improved Search

One function that is not available in Apple’s Mail is a search function across different messages. In Entourage 2004 for Mac, you can search key words across different messages by pressing Command + F. This function has improved in Entourage 2008. There is now a small search box at the top-right corner of the window. (See Screenshot 06.) A search will run in real time as you type. You can customize your search in terms of sender, recipient, subject, body and more by using a drop-down menu. (See Screenshot 07.) Furthermore, you can add additional search criteria by pressing the plus-sign button to narrow down the list. (See Screenshot 08.)





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 06
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 07
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 08






Internet Headers

See under Message on the menu bar. There is a new command labeled Internet Headers. (See Screenshot 09.) If you choose this command while a particular message is selected, you can view its headers only. (See Screenshot 10.)





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 09
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 10
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 11






Insert

There’s a new button labeled Insert at the top of the message window. Clicking on this button to insert a photo file, movie file and so forth. (See Screenshot 11.) By clicking on the button, you will be asked to switch to the HTML mode at first. (See Screenshot 12.) Then choose a file. (See Screenshot 13.) For example, Screenshot 14 shows a message window with a QuickTime movie in it.





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 12
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 13
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 14






My Day

My day is an interesting function. It’s a separate application and lets you make a what-to-do list. For example, let’s suppose that I want a wake-up message. Clicking on the icon labeled My Day will launch this small application. (See Screenshot 15.) Click on New Task and write the name of a task. So I write something like ‘Wake me up!” (See Screenshot 16.) If you press the return key, the task will be listed. (See Screenshot 17.) Then I need to click on the Entourage button to send it to Entourage. Let’s switch to the Tasks window. (See Screenshot 18.) Double-clicking the task that I have just created will let me modify it. The current time is 05:23 AM on the 24th. I want to change the start date to March 22 and also the due date to March 23 to make it as if I had missed the due date. (See Screenshot 19.) Then a small window will pop up and remind me that a task is overdue. (See Screenshot 20.)





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 15
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 16
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 17





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 18
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 19
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 20






If you want to send files to Windows users, you can do so by clicking on Attachments and click on Encode for any computer. (See Screenshot 21.) And Entourage lets you check Hotmail messages and POP messages at the same time. In summary, there are some other features besides these basic Entourage functions, which you cannot resist. Entourage’s search function is very powerful in Entourage 2008. My Day is not a must-have function. But My Day’s design is pretty, and the function itself is quite neat.





Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 21
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 22
  Microsoft Office Entourage 2008 for Mac
Screenshot 23






By the way, if you have a Hotmail account, be careful when you click on Junk E-Mail. (See Screenshot 22.) Clicking on this box may crash Entourage. (See Screenshot 23.)





  • Developer: Microsoft (www.microsoft.com/mac/products/Office2008/)
  • Developer’s location: One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, USA
  • Latest version: Microsoft Entourage for Mac 12.0.1 (Universal)
  • Prices: US$149.95 (Entourage as part of Office 2008 for Mac, Home and Student Edition)
  • MacHouse recommendation: Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac has many features to offer for those who use Apple’s Mail. Even for Entourage 2004 users, Entourage 2008’s advanced search function and My Day will be hard to resist in deciding whether to upgrade to 2008. We definitely recommend you to try out Entourage 2008.






    Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac and Microsoft Entourage for Mac are products of Microsoft Corporation.






    The following short videos are made available to all visitors. The first video shows how Entourage 2008’s My Day works as explained above. The second video briefly documents Entourage 2008’s crash issue.






    Click on the button for Video 1. VTC
    Click on the button for Video 2. VTC





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    3 Responses to Mac Software Review: Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac

    1. Bruce Paul says:

      I use Entourage 2008 and this is the main screen I see when I open it. I would like to add the task bar to this page as well.
      Can you let me know how I can do that.

    2. max says:

      hi im having issues with entourage 2008. I use a pop account and setup is ok entourage shows as messages being sent but they never reach recipient. Server works isp works can anyone help me out!!! pleasee

    3. If you have more than several hundred messages, Entourage 2004 & 2008 may fail to extract them. Read this message in this respect if you like.

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