This new version of Microsoft’s email client for Mac has not gotten much attention, but anyone who uses Entourage to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server should consider installing the free upgrade. Version 13.0.0 is also known as the “Exchange Web Services” edition. At the time of writing, you need to download and install the update manually from the Microsoft Mac website. It only works with Exchange Server 2007
Microsoft has changed the technology the Entourage uses to exchange data with an Exchange Server from WebDAV to Exchange Web Services. This is as important as it sounds! You can notice the effect most clearly when synchronizing large numbers of items, such as when you migrate accounts or sync with a public folder. In my experience, the rate of data transfer has improved by many times. Beware that the upgrade does erase your local Entourage profile, so back up any Entourage data stored locally on your machine first. Any data already stored in your Exchange account will reload from there, so you don’t have to worry about that.
As with the last few versions of Entourage, the EWS edition talks to your organization’s client access server (which also hosts webmail), so Entourage works just as well off-campus and on.
Entourage 13 also synchronizes notes and to-do items, which previous versions did not.
One of our users files his mail into dozens of folders. With Entourage 12, his folders took so long to sync that the Sent Items folder would remain several days out of date, never having the chance to fully synchronize. Version 13 saved our bacon by (presumably) synchronizing more quickly and being able to keep all of his folders updated.
Incidentally, we are also using the EWS protocol in one of our home-grown web scripts to publish a calendar on our website for employee use.