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Goodbye Thunderbird, Hello Entourage 2008

Thunderbird to Entourage - FlickrI’ve been a big fan of Thunderbird for a while now, but I’m moving on. Entourage 2008 is calling my name at work and I’m listening. I’m a bit sad to say goodbye to Thunderbird, but yet excited at the same time. So why the switch?

There are a few reasons for my switch to Entourage 2008. The biggest one is the calendar notifications. I continue to get more and more Outlook invites and updates and, where as Thunderbird and Lightning do an OK job, they are not the best. With Thunderbird and Lightning I can accept calendar events, but I can’t send an acceptance email that records my response in Outlook. It also doesn’t currently support updated events. Instead of moving the event, it just adds a second one to my calendar. And then there is the formatting issue. You open the invite in Thunderbird and it’s one big block of text. Entourage 2008 works with calendar events much better and I hope that some day, Thunderbird can match that.

Another downside to Thunderbird is message fonts. If I were to select a font for my messages, it’d either look tiny in my Thunderbird or it’d look big to Outlook users. It also didn’t carry the font through bullets and links and it just wasn’t fun. I had a hard time using the default font settings in Thunderbird as I knew that all the recipients were seeing a font like Times New Roman. So not pretty.

And then there is the luster of one application to replace four others. Not only is Entourage my email application, but my calendar, todo list and notes application all in one. I know that Thunderbird can do these too, with addons, but it’s just not as polished and integrated. Not yet anyways.

I do have high hopes for Thunderbird and hope that it continues to grow and become a real Entourage/Outlook competitor. But, for business purposes, Entourage looks as if it may be a better fit.

As I work on the transition from Thunderbird to Entourage, I’ll post updates and info along the way. I’m excited to try Entourage as I’ve never really used the application before. Entourage 2008 looks like a well designed and integrated application and I hope this is a good move.

If you have any Entourage tips, addons (or whatever they are called in Entourage) or thoughts to share, please do.

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26 Responses

  1. ptackbar says:

    Does it not drive you crazy that Entourage 2008 does not remember window positions for composing, replying and reading (when not using the preview pane) mail messages?

  2. Thomas says:

    Haven’t noticed that yet. But it does drive me crazy that I can’t insert a hyperlink on some text. Grrrrrr

  3. Thomas says:

    If anyone knows how to work with Outlook meeting requests flawlessly in Mail.app, I’d be interested to hear it.

  4. tedster says:

    Unbelievably stupid that you can’t insert a hyperlink. What were they thinking of???

  5. Thomas says:

    I Totally Agree.

  6. Jon says:

    It was an issue for me with Office 2004 and I can’t believe it hasn’t been addressed!

  7. carlivar says:

    I hate the way Entourage displays threads, I mean, Conversations. It is completely inferior to the awesome Mail.app thread view (which summarizes data of most recent mail in a thread, or doesn’t display a whole thread at all if there is only one message in it).

  8. Thomas says:

    Mail.app does do that better than any other email app I’ve come across.

  9. Dave says:

    How did the import from Thunderbird to Entourage go? I found a painful manual process (add “.mbx” to all mailboxes, run script that changes all .mbx files to TEXT files, import into Entourage *1* mailbox at a time).

  10. Thomas says:

    Dave. All I did was add .mbx to all my Thunderbird mailboxes and then drug them into Entourage and it all imported. No conversion to text. Additionally, I only lasted in Entourage for a few weeks at the most. Back to Thunderbird.

  11. Dave says:

    Thanks Thomas.

  12. Scott Moore says:

    I cannot believe that I can’t insert a hyperlink in Entourage, and forwarding destroys hyperlinks. This is more than a bug. This is just brain dead. MS loses this round.

  13. Karen says:

    Hi there,

    I’m trying to make the conversion from Thunderbird to Entourage, but a couple questions. I tried to rename and drag Thunderbird folders to .mbx, and drag into Entourage, but I’m not sure exactly WHERE in Entourage (e.g. in the actual open application, or into the application file under Finder??), Also, in Outlook address book, you can display Card view, which for me works better than a linear view, but I can’t figure out how to do that in Entourage. (I’m kind of a PCer, converting to Mac, but still hanging onto MS apps…possibly dangerous)

  14. Thomas says:

    Hello Karen

    Drag the mbox files into Entourage’s sidebar where other local folders are located. I think it’s called ‘On My Computer’

    The address book one I’m not to sure about right now, I may have to look into it.

  15. Kitty says:

    To insert a hyperlink in Entourage 2008, just type your link like this:

    http://google.com

    You can’t make the text blue or underlined before you send it, but it appears correct and works as you expect when someone receives it.

  16. Thomas says:

    Yes, you can do that, but you can’t link a word like Google.

  17. Frank says:

    Hi guys, I try to use the “.mbx” trick, but don’t work. Entourage can’t take my thunderbird mail. Can you help me and tell me step by step what I do? Excuse for my bad english, I’m from Italy. Thanks guys

  18. kmmsf says:

    Hi, I am also considering switching from Thunderbird to Entourage. I have some of the same Tbird frustrations you described in this post. So I am curious what made you decide in your follow-up comment in April that you were going to stick with Thunderbird?

    Also, for anyone who uses Entourage, do you know if it displays Bcc: fields the same way Outlook does – as in, if I Bcc several people on a message, and then I go into my Sent Mail and open the message, I can see to whom it’s already been sent. WIth Mac Mail I never found a way for this to work, which is why I have used Thunderbird instead.

    Thanks to all for any advice!

  19. aj says:

    you can sync google calender with iCal. Where can i find the script that changes mbx files to text?

    • stangey says:

      I tried to do this and have somehow fried iCal. All calendars are missing, can’t open preferences anymore and I now have two help menus. The program is DEAD! Nobody seems to know why either! Careful with this…

  20. hyperlink lover says:

    Hyperlink!!! where are you!!!

  21. Carleen says:

    ditto to the hyperlink issue… It’s almost like I’m sending smail mail. so painful.

  22. hyperlink pimp says:

    No hyperlink capability? You have got to be kidding me!!! Am I blind or is there really no way to do this most basic of all features?

    • Thomas says:

      Not possible. 🙁

    • whatever ENTOURAGE says:

      This is yet another example of MS missing the bost. Not only can you not LINK text to a webpage but the rendering engine for html messages is based on MS word’s internal html not Explorer. FAIL

  1. 2/11/2008

    […] I’ve made the switch from Thunderbird to Entourage 2008, one of my missing features is the ability to sync with Google […]

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