Entourage cravings
December 6, 2007 10:34 AM   Subscribe

I actually WANT a Microsoft product. Is it a sickness? Entourage vs. the 'other' email applications.

I've used Microsoft's Entourage email application for years and I love it. Nothing compares. I just purchased a new Intel iMac and of course the Entourage version I have won't run on it.

Is there a way just to purchase Entourage without having to purchase the huge glut of Microsoft Office and what not. I don't use those apps and only want Entourage. The older version of Entourage I own was just a simple single purchase, but I don't think they're doing that anymore.

I've tried Thunderbird and its clunky with HORRIBLE message filtering and other problems. Don't like Apple's Mail app, it feels feeble and has horrible searching features. Bah!

Any suggestions from other Mac/Entourage users? Is there a comparable email app that I'm unaware of? Can I just purchase Entourage for Intel Macs without buying the whole suite?
posted by zenpop to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Depends on what you use it for, but most Mac users I know just use the OSX built-in Mail.app and iCal. Personally, I only use Entourage. But I also have use for the full MS Office suite.
posted by tundro at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2007

A tip to make Mail.app's searching features a bit more advanced:

Create a smart mailbox called 'Searchbox' or whatever. Whenever you want to do some sort of advanced searching, right-click it, and edit it to contain the search you want to perform, since smart mailboxes allow for far more fine-grained searches than the regular things do.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:42 AM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

What version of Entourage are you using? All of the complaints you have about Mail.app I have about Entourage 2004 (which is PowerPC only but runs in Rosetta on my MacBook Pro)
posted by mkb at 10:42 AM on December 6, 2007

You probably saw this, according to which there's not really apparently any way to purchase Entourage separately. You also may want to look at this:

The next version, Entourage 2008, is expected to be released with Office 2008 for Mac in January 2008.

Sorry. There's Microsoft for you. The alternative is probably making the version you have (which must be 2004) work with the new iMac.
posted by koeselitz at 11:02 AM on December 6, 2007

You could try Evolution. I don't use it on my Mac, but I do use it daily on Ubuntu and it works great for me. It can run on OSX (though I have no idea how well). It's open source and free. It's only half-baked as an Entourage clone, but if you take some time with it there's lots of goosability with plugins and stuff. Integrated calendars and tasks are all there.

Otherwise you might want to give Apple Mail some more patience, it's really fantastic if you are willing to take the time to get used to something different.
posted by quarterframer at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2007

There is no real mail application on Mac that is comparable to Entourage.

You could run Outlook for Windows in VMware fusion via Unity (so you'd have a Outlook window mingling with your OS X apps).
posted by mphuie at 11:42 AM on December 6, 2007

Office 2004 and Entourage works just fine (albeit it starts slowly) on Intel Macs. If you're using the ancient version of Office and it doesn't work, wait until next month and pick up Office 2008 since it is a Universal binary and will get along with the Windows 2007 files a little nicer.

They used to sell Entourage as a separate app like they do on the Windows side, but the cost is going to be more than the student/teacher or upgrade versions of the whole office suite so you wouldn't be "saving" any money.

Amazon says Office 2008 comes out on 1/15. Probably will be announced at MacWorld SF next month. Until then, use Mail.app + iCal and Address Book. You might prefer them after using them for a few weeks and not even miss Entourage. I would imagine the installer for Entourage 2008 will be able to import your mail/contacts/appointments automatically from the Mac apps.
posted by birdherder at 12:02 PM on December 6, 2007

If you're in Leopard, make sure to try out the email message -> ical event bridge. If you mouse over a time in one of your emails (eg "lets meet tomorrow at 2:00") it'll fade in a little arrow, which lets you automatically create an event in iCal. It tries to infer whatever date/time/location information it can. It's not always that accurate, but it's a super killer feature for me in an environment where no one uses outlook style meeting requests. It also links the ical events back to the email, so you can quickly see the thread that spawned the meeting.
posted by heresiarch at 12:19 PM on December 6, 2007

As people have mentioned, Entourage 2004 will run on Intel macs. However, it will be slower since it's running on Rosetta (since it is a Power PC app). The newer version, coming out in January, will be Universal Binary (compiled for Intel and PPC), and (probably) will run faster.

There's a promotion going on for Microsoft Office 2008, which lets you buy Office 2004 now, and then they'll ship you 2008 for free. I got my copy of Office 2004 with a student discount, so it was around $70+tax, but I think you can usually find it for around $125. It's not as good as just buying Entourage, but it is cheaper than the full $500 version of Office 2008.

The Student and Home edition on Amazon.com is $130 here. The only real difference is that it does not have Exchange support, and it qualifies for getting the same free version of Office 2008 anyway (special media edition).

Details on the promotion are here.
posted by jasminerain at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2007

Watch out for Entourage. I've lost mail on two separate occasions and finally kicked Entourage to the curb. The proprietary database format was not recoverable in Entourage. I'm learning to like Apple's Mail client.

posted by bach at 12:26 PM on December 6, 2007

I bought a cheap-ass old Thinkpad as a tentative step into PC waters last month ... and holy shit but MS do some nice software. Word 2007 rocks; Outlook is OK, but OneNote is killer, and there's nothing like it for the Mac (yes, I've tried them all).

If I ever boot up the Mac again, I'm going to be running Parallels or similar to let me use them. If Entourage will be enough for you, I'd just cough up for Office 2008 in January. The Mac's hurting for a decent word processor (Pages isn't one), and if Word is at all related to Word 07 it will be a massive leap over the previous dogs.
posted by bonaldi at 1:01 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

For me, Palm syncing drove me to Mail.app from Entourage. Of course, Palm on the Mac in general is a disgrace, but that's neither here nor there. I prefer the integration of Entourage (and Outlook at work) to the separate app approach of Mail/iCal/AddressBook and I'm still not thrilled with them but my Treo at least works them.

Derail: Does anyone know how well the iPhone works with Windows and Outlook? I hope it integrates fairly well with Macs but I'm stuck with Windows at work.
posted by tommasz at 1:55 PM on December 6, 2007

The proprietary database format was not recoverable in Entourage.

I get around this issue by keeping a month's worth of e-mail on my mail server and backing up my Entourage database regularly. If my database gets corrupted, I can just revert to an older copy without the glitch and re-download the mail I've received since then.

Of course, since I started doing this, I have not had a single problem with the Entourage database, even recently when my machine was flaking out due to some poorly-seated RAM. So it seems to be working.

Now that 'rage is storing copies of each message in the filesystem for Spotlight indexing, you could probably recover them from there, too, in an emergency.
posted by kindall at 5:53 PM on December 6, 2007

If you dont need Exchange functionality, you might try Thunderbird., which is free and has many entourage-like features as well as really good filter + search.
posted by softlord at 8:48 PM on December 6, 2007

oops... though maybe give it another shot? the new versions have improved search response times.
posted by softlord at 8:49 PM on December 6, 2007

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that New macs come with a "Test Drive" version of Office that works for 30 days. It is Office 2004, and it is definitely Intel-compatible and while it's not as fast as it would be if it were Intel-optimized, it's still fast enough. Then, after the 30 days run out, you are only a few days away from the release of Office 2008. Could be a solution for you....
posted by stilly at 11:46 PM on December 6, 2007

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