Highlighting Pros and Cons of Microsoft Entourage

Here is the comprehensively introduction of MS Entourage with detailed pros and cons. Microsoft Entourage is an email client for Macintosh OS users. Basic Entourage features are emailing, calendar, contacts and notes.

Though Apple computers running on Macintosh operating systems were provided with 'Mail' – the email client added to Mac OS, still there arose a need for a better email client in the ancient times. Microsoft, one of the software giants, understood Mac OS users' needs and provided them Entourage as a built in component of MS Office for Mac, which however could not last for over a decade and got replaced by Outlook in Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. However, we cannot neglect the role Entourage had been playing in almost every Mac user's life. In other words, though things have become more efficient and elegant, you cannot overlook the precious role they played when the technology came into sight.

Introduction to MS Entourage

Microsoft Entourage, the former email client as well as the information manager, was developed by the Microsoft for Mac OS 8.5 and later. Entourage debuted to world of email clients in 2000 (later in October) and was included within Microsoft Office 2001 suite. Earlier to that, this email client from Microsoft was named Outlook Express v5. Being the most preferred email client on Macintosh platform, Entourage ended up surviving in 2008. Outlook for Mac 2011 – a component of Office for Mac 2011 replaced Entourage 2008 – the component of Office for Mac 2008.

Pros of MS Entourage

Alike conventional email clients, MS Entourage was provided with basic features like calendar, contacts, notes, and tasks along with the obvious emailing features. However, a considerable feature added to Entourage 2004 was Project Manager, which allowed users to create and manage different projects as per their needs. For detailed view of the key features in Microsoft Entourage, see the section below:

1. Microsoft Entourage was provided with color scheme that enabled users to organize emails in different colors based on the priority order set or a different scheme to help users figure out which email is more important. The same could also be used to distinguish emails based on the sender.

2. The customize view of emails was very much helpful in organizing the emails in different categories, thereby beating the need for creating multiple folders (based on multiple users) in the Inbox. With this feature, still the users were able to identify the particular email message out of hundreds of emails available in the Inbox.

3. Entourage was provided with integrated Spotlight feature that made searching for particular emails very easy and quick, based on a particular keyword that could be the subject of the email, sender's email ID, or an attachment. Moreover, the search mechanism was pretty fast to give the search results based on the input keyword.

4. The Project Manager feature was able to focus on a particular subject with no failure, which made creating and managing multiple projects in the mailbox easy as well as efficient. In fact, the Project Manager feature was never introduced again in any version of different email clients launched by Microsoft.

5. The Entourage email client was able to sync multiple email accounts with their respective server without any issue in emails downloading and delivery.

6. Since the UI of an application used by laymen across the globe matters a lot, Entourage v2004 was launched with a simple and user friendly GUI – this time even better than that of the earlier version.

Along with the aforementioned features added to Microsoft Entourage, Entourage 2008 brought 'My Day' – the brand new feature in MS Entourage, which was intended to assist daily activities of the user, including cites (the message on the welcome page), search speed improvement, 'to do' flags, improved junk mails, and most importantly – phishing protection. Entourage 2008 also offered easy and faster navigation though customizable toolbars, i.e. favorites.

Cons of MS Entourage

Since a coin has two sides, MS Entourage also included some features that were disliked by the users across the world and the same later were added to a list named 'Cons of Entourage'. When it comes to discuss the cons of MS Entourage, Microsoft must be feeling proud on their decision to replace it with Outlook in Office for Mac 2011. Still I cannot restrain myself from mentioning some of its most highlighted cons:

1. Microsoft Entourage was not very well with spaces, i.e. the email client was not able to honor when you switch to an application, switch to a space when one or more applications are open, especially when 'open window for the application' check box was left unchecked. In such cases, a messages saying close the window bounced repeatedly. The same problem was reported in case of reply the email window.

2. In case of multiple email accounts synchronized, the main screen of the email client required to hide and unhide repeatedly to make it display normally. The problem was caused mainly due to synchronization of multiple mailboxes with their respective email servers by greatly utilizing the system resources.

3. Microsoft Entourage failed to offer support for OBD Protocol, and thus failed to allow editing in the emails with external text editor applications.

4. The contextual menu restricted a number of plug-ins like OnMyCommand and more to work, which means it was not possible to enhance the features of Entourage at the user-end.

5. The rules created and applied to emails could not be better than a simple 'if – else' structure, which means no custom rules feature was added to Microsoft Entourage.

Though Entourage has been replaced with Outlook for Mac 2011, still many users use it and they are happy with its features. Most likely, they do not want to upgrade, but a need for new features may enforce them later.

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