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Office for Mac 2011 update to add Outlook sync support next week

post #1 of 19
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Microsoft is set to release Service Pack 1 for Office for Mac 2011 next week, bringing the usual fixes, as well as new features and enhancements, including the ability to sync calendar, tasks and notes via Apple's Sync Services.

Microsoft revealed the details of the forthcoming update on the official Office for Mac blog on Wednesday. Pat Fox, senior director of product management for Office for Mac, revealed that SP1 will enable calendar syncing between Outlook for Mac and Apple's Sync Services.

"This will let you sync your Outlook calendar as well as contacts, notes and tasks with any service or device that supports Sync Services, including your iPhone and iPad," Fox wrote. "This has been one of our top feature requests -- hopefully this is good news to many of you."

However, Apple also plans to discontinue the use of Mac OS X Sync Services with its subscription MobileMe service starting on May 5 for all users. The change is already in place for users who have already moved their account to the new version of MobileMe calendar, which came out of beta last October.

For Outlook for Mac 2011 users who sync their iOS device with Sync Services via iTunes, calendars will remain up to date. But users who sync their iPhone or iPad calendars with MobileMe will not have them synced to Outlook 2011 with SP1.



Fox also revealed that SP1 will bring Outlook support for Exchange based on server-side rules. A new OUtlook Redirect button will also allow users to redirect a message to the intended recipient while replies will go to the original sender.

Other new additions include an Outlook Resend button, Outlook edit of existing messages, and Solver integration support in Excel. SP1 will also provide increased stability and security.

Office for Mac 2011 was released in October of 2010 and delivered better compatibility with Microsoft's Windows version of Office and corporate server products. It also features a new user interface that's similar to the Ribbon interface found in the Windows version of Office.
post #2 of 19
This is a welcome update!
post #3 of 19
Does that mean we'll finally be able to sync Outlook 2011 with Google Mail?
post #4 of 19
Hopefully sync services will be less likely to delete people's Outlook data than it does to MobileMe data.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #5 of 19
How about Exchange 2003 compatibility?! Eh, Microsoft?!
post #6 of 19
If it can finally sync with Google Calendar, I'll definitely use it. It's a much more productive app than Apple Mail and iCal, however I gave up using it back in 2008 because it can't sync with Google Calendar.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post

How about Exchange 2003 compatibility?! Eh, Microsoft?!

+1

It was almost half the reason I bought Office and of course it doesn't work. My Apple iPhone works with Exchange 2003 but MS Outlook for Mac does not.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post

How about Exchange 2003 compatibility?! Eh, Microsoft?!

nonsense. get them to buy your signature product and then they realize that they have to upgrade your most expensive product just to use it.

we're waiting for our office to upgrade the exchange server to '10 before bothering with any of the office '11 apps. I do everything i can to avoid using office for anything other than opening documents to copy info, then paste into CS5 and work like an intelligent human being.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post

How about Exchange 2003 compatibility?! Eh, Microsoft?!

As much as I dislike the company Microsoft has been very clear about Outlook 2011 not supporting Exchange 2003 from the beginning.

Exchange Server 2003 supports the following mail protocols:
POP (generic mail)
IMAP (generic mail)
MAPI (Outlook XP, 2003, 2007, 2010 and Outlook 2001 for Mac*) This is a proprietary format and not open
WebDAV (Entourage 2004 & 2008)
Active Sync (Mobile devices)

Exchange Server 2007 supports the following mail protocols:
POP (generic mail)
IMAP (generic mail)
MAPI (Outlook XP, 2003, 2007, 2010 and Outlook 2001 for Mac**) This is a proprietary format and not open
WebDAV (Entourage 2004 & 2008)
EWS - Exchange Web Services (Outlook 2011 for Mac)
Active Sync (Mobile devices)

Exchange Server 2010 supports the following mail protocols:
POP (generic mail)
IMAP (generic mail)
MAPI (Outlook XP, 2003, 2007, 2010 and Outlook 2001 for Mac**) This is a proprietary format and not open
EWS - Exchange Web Services (Outlook 2011 for Mac)
Active Sync (Mobile devices)

EWS has replaced WebDAV as Microsofts new open standard protocol for Exchange

* This was supposedly developed by the Windows Outlook team and not by MBU (Mac Business Unit) and was limited in many ways (like max 2 GB offline cache - over this limit and all mails in the cache / personal folders was gone

** I have only ever used Outlook 2001 for Mac against Exchange 2000 and 2003 servers. Not certain about compatibility with 2007 and 2010 but basic functions probably work.
tinkerty-tonk
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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, Apple also plans to discontinue the use of Mac OS X Sync Services with its subscription MobileMe service starting on May 5 for all users. The change is already in place for users who have already moved their account to the new version of MobileMe calendar, which came out of beta last October.

For Outlook for Mac 2011 users who sync their iOS device with Sync Services via iTunes, calendars will remain up to date. But users who sync their iPhone or iPad calendars with MobileMe will not have them synced to Outlook 2011 with SP1.

This isn't quite an accurate description by MS. Only calendar information will cease to use Sync Services on May 5th. Contact info (and all other MobileMe sync data) will still sync via MobileMe sync services (ie, the MobileMe System Preference), correct?

And there is a work around for calendars....leave iCal open all the time. Not a great solution, but that would keep your Outlook synced to the cloud. Outlook syncs to the local copy, iCal syncs local copy to the cloud.

This is actually all a result of a bad decision by Apple to put the calDAV syncing into iCal instead of into the MobileMe System Preference. The move to calDAV was a good move. But I shouldn't need to keep iCal running all the time to keep the local copy of my calendar data up-to-date, because other applications depend on this local data. This affects far more than MS's Outlook. It affects any non-iOS iPod because the only method to sync them is via iTunes. It affects FileMaker's (Apple's) own Bento application which can access the local sync data. It affects any device synced via iSync (which is going away in Lion). All of these functions would require iCal to be open and running to keep the calendar info current instead of updating it in the background like the rest of your synced data (and like calendars used to be synced before Apple's change).

Even iCal itself won't get updates for your events when it's not running (obviously). So this means if you set an alarm on your iPhone, another Mac, or on the web version of iCal, and later you are working on your Mac, if you don't remember to launch iCal to update the calendar information, the alarm will never go off because iCal never knew about it!

So much for "push" calendars. Kind of defeats the purpose if my alarms don't get pushed to me unless iCal is open all the time.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooster View Post

As much as I dislike the company Microsoft has been very clear about Outlook 2011 not supporting Exchange 2003 from the beginning.

...

This is so not the issue. The issue is Microsoft's predilection to producing products that are incompatible with Microsoft's products. It makes absolutely no sense to require an Office 2011 user to use Entourage 2008 or Entourage 2004 to gain "full" access to Exchange 2003. It is scant solace that Exchange can be be accessed via POP3 or IMAP. In this regard Entourage in on a par with Eudora 6.2 and Thunderbird.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

This is so not the issue. The issue is Microsoft's predilection to producing products that are incompatible with Microsoft's products. It makes absolutely no sense to require an Office 2011 user to use Entourage 2008 or Entourage 2004 to gain "full" access to Exchange 2003. It is scant solace that Exchange can be be accessed via POP3 or IMAP. In this regard Entourage in on a par with Eudora 6.2 and Thunderbird.

It probably would have cost to much time / money to implement MAPI (and this protocol will probably be deprecated in the next Exchange server or the one after that)

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb204042.aspx

Regarding WebDAV - probably the same and why implement a protocol that your server product does not support anymore?

Apples does the same. Classic not supported in 10.5, and PPC (Rosetta) not supported anymore in 10.7
tinkerty-tonk
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post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squuiid View Post

How about Exchange 2003 compatibility?! Eh, Microsoft?!

Ditto for me. When I bought Snow Leopard I was looking forward to Exchange integration with iCal. No luck since we use Exchange 2003. When Office 2011 came out, I was looking forward to a full Outlook client. No luck since we use Exhcnage 2003. There's a pattern here.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbruni View Post

Ditto for me. When I bought Snow Leopard I was looking forward to Exchange integration with iCal. No luck since we use Exchange 2003. When Office 2011 came out, I was looking forward to a full Outlook client. No luck since we use Exhcnage 2003. There's a pattern here.

Both Apple and Microsoft has been very clear about this in their system requirements for 10.6 and Outlook 2011 - minimum requirement Exchange 2007 SP1 RU4. Why - because both use EWS and not MAPI or WebDAV.

It will be the same outcry because some people for example will not be able to run AppleWorks on 10.7 when it´s released and Apples own application not able to run on Apples system.

I have many clients still with Exchange 2003 server but it´s time to upgrade - the product is nearing EOL for support from Microsoft.
tinkerty-tonk
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post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhoenix74 View Post

Does that mean we'll finally be able to sync Outlook 2011 with Google Mail?

You can do this now via IMAP.

I just want to be able to sync calendars and then toss Mail and ICal into the not so often used bin.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooster View Post

...

It will be the same outcry because some people for example will not be able to run AppleWorks on 10.7 when it´s released and Apples own application not able to run on Apples system.

...

It is both not the same. I should begin by pointing out that Outlook 2010--you know, the Windows version--is compatible with Exchange 2003. Talk about MAPI and WebDAV is design choices. Microsoft's design choices leave some Mac users in the lurch. Windows users are much less affected. However, the problem is also bigger than Outlook 2011. In some cases, Microsoft is actually better to Mac users than Windows users. For example, the random Mac user is much more likely to be able to open the random .doc file in Word than the random Windows user. Even here, Word 2008 and Word 2010 cannot open certain older versions of the format associated with the .doc extension.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

It is both not the same. I should begin by pointing out that Outlook 2010--you know, the Windows version--is compatible with Exchange 2003. Talk about MAPI and WebDAV is design choices. Microsoft's design choices leave some Mac users in the lurch. Windows users are much less affected. However, the problem is also bigger than Outlook 2011. In some cases, Microsoft is actually better to Mac users than Windows users. For example, the random Mac user is much more likely to be able to open the random .doc file in Word than the random Windows user. Even here, Word 2008 and Word 2010 cannot open certain older versions of the format associated with the .doc extension.

Yes because the code is already in there. If you are developing an application from scratch (like Outlook 2011 is) do you really devote the time and money to support a protocol that probably will go away anyway? It would not surprise me if Outlook 2013 for Windows (if that will be the name for next version for Windows) still supports this legacy MAPI protocol because it´s already in the code.

Don´t get me wrong - I too would find it very useful (and would be a happier sysadmin) if MS had included MAPI in 2011 but I´m not surprised that they didn´t. The old Outlook 2001 for Mac was very un-Mac-like that most people hated it. I think I prefer a newly written Cocoa app that will grow over time in functionality. But don´t expect MAPI

Straight from the horses mouth:

Quote:
Because the Exchange Server MAPI Client and CDO 1.2.1 APIs are moving out of standard support, we no longer recommend writing new applications against these libraries. All new application development should be done against Exchange Web Services, the Outlook Object Model or the Outlook MAPI Client library.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/exchangedev/...r-roadmap.aspx
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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbruni View Post

Ditto for me. When I bought Snow Leopard I was looking forward to Exchange integration with iCal. No luck since we use Exchange 2003. When Office 2011 came out, I was looking forward to a full Outlook client. No luck since we use Exhcnage 2003. There's a pattern here.

While it's always great to have every standard ever issued fully supported by your most recent SW or HW, you have to be realistic and understand that all technology companies have to decide on a cut-off point at which they ask users (and firms) to update to newer, more secure and better performing systems.

Apple are one of the most notable proponents of this.. dropping 'legacy support' for many products far more quickly than MS or others. i.e. you can't install the latest iTunes on an older PPC Mac, never mind the their total change of CPU platform and steady removal of legacy support in many of their SW programs.

Steve Jobs is vocal in this, To quote Graham Barlow, editor of MacFormat: "Jobs is a perfectionist, obsessed with fine detail but also with delivering an experience to the end user that is seamless, simple and soulful. He's also unafraid to cut off legacy support for outmoded technology, or technology that he thinks is outmoded

Face it, Exchange 2003 is 8 years old... there have 2 major releases since then - both of which offer a faster, more reliable, more secure user experience. You need to campaign with your IT people not Microsoft. Your firm budgets for machine HW updates (at least I hope it does & you're not all still having to use an 8 year old Mac/PC!) but they need to budget for SW updates too... just because it's Software does not mean it does not deserve investment to stay current, and help make you their users more productive.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooster View Post

Yes because the code is already in there. If you are developing an application from scratch (like Outlook 2011 is) do you really devote the time and money to support a protocol that probably will go away anyway? ...

Who told you that? Outlook 2011 is a relatively minor upgrade and name change for Entourage EWS, which was a free upgrade to Entourage 2008. Like its newer sibling, Entourage EWS (Entourage 13) is Exchange 2007- [and later] exclusive. Entourage 2008 (Entourage 12) looks identical to its younger sibling, but can be used with Exchange 2003. Outlook 2011 reflects its heritage in that it maintains in that as Outlook 14, it maintains its Entourage version numbering sequence.
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