Switching to Entourage 2008

Last week I started an experiment to work almost primarly in Mac OS X and put my VMware Fusion Windows XP machine on suspend. Most of the programs that I would have used in Windows like Word, Excel and Powerpoint work fine in the OS X version. The biggest (and worst) stumbling block I’ve hit is Entourage. It doesn’t work like Outlook, and it doesn’t work like a OS X application. It’s not a hybrid either. It’s just awkward to use. Here’s my hit list of issues.

  • While drafting an email, hitting Alt-Delete does not delete a whole word. It just acts as backspace.
  • Pushing Apple-Delete kills the message without warning and doesn’t place it in the drafts or Trash.
  • The shortcut keys between Outlook and OS X are totally different. Apple-1,2,3 to switch between Mail, Calendar, Contacts, etc.
  • Apple-F loads the find menu, it doesn’t forward a message.
  • Calendar allows you to snap items to the 15 minute boundary. It’s really annoying when moving appointments between days. Nobody in their right mind schedules things on a corporate calendar at fifteen minute intervals.
  • On My Computer is hokey. When you send a message it ends up in the On My Computer outbox. That just feels wrong since it’s going to go through my corporate outbox.
  • Reply and Forward flags are not sync’ed to Exchange. Annoying.
  • If you have a contact in your address book, but they’re a corporate contact (e.g. came from your directory service) it always looks up the local contact first even if it’s an Exchange to Exchange message.
  • Using Calendar to schedule meetings is broken. It’s nearly impossible to schedule resources like meeting rooms using it.
  • Hitting reply to an email that came from Outlook, Entourage breaks the horizontal lines that Outlook uses as separators sometimes. Also, the horizontal lines that it uses are 75% width versus Outlook’s 100% width ones. Just odd.

This is a view of coming from a life time Outlook user. Native users of Entourage may not notice any of these things. But native Mac users will given a bunch of the OS X behaviors that it also breaks.