Microsoft to upgrade Exchange support for Mac OS X

Microsoft will upgrade its Entourage information management software for Mac OS X later this year, adding better Exchange support, the company said Tuesday.

Mac OS X users seeking to connect with Exchange servers currently face patchwork options: With no OS X-native versions of Microsoft's flagship Outlook and Outlook express software, the tailored Entourage X software is the Microsoft-recommended personal data management product. Like Outlook, Entourage X includes e-mail, calendar and address book features. However, it doesn't fully interface with Microsoft's popular Exchange server software, leaving corporate Entourage users at companies running Exchange unable to access all of their office data.

That will change in the third quarter, Microsoft said, when it releases software adding core Exchange functionality and cross-platform compatibility to Entourage. The update will be available as a free download for current Entourage users, according to the company. The functionality will also be included in future versions of Entourage, which is bundled in Microsoft's Office X suite or available as a stand-alone product for US$99.

Features enabled by the update include synchronization of Entourage X's calendar and address book with those stored on an Exchange server, shared calendaring with other Exchange users, and global address-list searching, Microsoft said.

The software update will be available in English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Swedish, and will work with Exchange 2000 and higher versions.

Outlook 2001 for Mac will continue to be Microsoft's recommended Exchange-connection product for Mac OS 9 users, Microsoft said.

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