I gave Entourage 2008 a go for a few weeks, but have since switched back to Thunderbird. It was really a lot of little things that just kept adding up.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I dropped Entourage 2008.
- No Hyperlink Support – You can’t link a few words in emails. This was one that really gets me. I’m always linking phrases to tutorials or additional resources so that people know what I’m talking about.
• Official Microsoft MVP Support Answer: This function is not available.
- No Table Support – Entourage 2008 can read tables, but as soon as you hit reply, the table disappears and you are left with a mess of text. I get a lot of messages with tables in them (copied from Excel and pasted into Outlook) and so I do need to keep the formatting.
• Official Microsoft MVP Support Answer: Entourage can *display* complex HTML such as tables but it can not *compose* messages with HTML. That’s why when you reply the formatted is gone.
- No Strikethrough support. – Another basic HTML item that is just not available. You can’t
strikeoutany text and Entourage can’t read it. When someone sends me a quick update to a webpage, if I can’t see what they want me to remove, I can’t do my job.
• Official Microsoft MVP Support Answer: Neither bugs nor features. Entourage is simply working as it was designed to work. Its HTML capabilities are limited. Strike-through is not one of its supported text styles.
- Calendar Syncing is OK – I often had conflicts when I had Entourage automatically syncing to iCal. I’d open up iCal and it’d ask me which even was right; the one in iCal or Entourage? Then, trying to update my Google calendar online was another issue in itself.
- Not so friendly help. – There is a good community of Microsoft Mac MVPs (MVPs are not Microsoft Employees) over at the official Microsoft site (also syndicated via Google Groups) and their answers are sometimes not so friendly. It made me feel bad just to ask questions.
• Official Microsoft MVP Support Answer:
(on the subject of inserting links into emails)
Plain text is the preferred method for emails by people who know the internet. It is efficient, safe, virus-free, will be readable by any mail client at the other end, doesn’t impose your font, size, style preferences on others, and has far smaller risk of being filtered out by spam filters.
HTML email is dangerous because it may contain links to external sites that will do malicious things. For instance, a spammer can include a link to an image, but this link contains a tag as data. The server at the other end will get that request when your *read your email* and based on the tag, will be able to confirm that you’ve read the email and not only flag your email address as active/good, but also use your IP with geolocation servers to assign a location code so that they can then sell your email address to other spammers along with your general location. If everyone stopped sending HTML emails, everyone would block it, and then spammers would be left with very few means to escape spam filters because their messages would have to b simple and without tricks.
HTML email is wasteful, dangerous, and rude, IMO. It’s just plain evil.
Overall, Entourage 2008 is a decent application. But it’s missing so many small items that eventually, I just got frustrated and moved back to Thunderbird.
Entourage was unable to perform in a business environment for me. If your company never sends, or receives, HTML in emails, than it might work out OK for you. However, I strongly suggest checking out Thunderbird. It is an excellent email application and I’m very happy to be using it again!