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With the release of iSync, Safari and Keynote I have started thinking about going MS free a little more seriously. Currently I use two of their applications: Word X and Entourage X (with the occasional smattering of Excel and PowerPoint too).

What I'd like to know is (and preferably from people who have used both) what are the pros and cons of Mail.app compared to Entourage? (I am not even going to talk about Word for the moment because I actualy like it a lot).

I like the idea of being able to sync my addressbook easily to my Palm and my .Mac account, as well as my (future) iPod, but I have been using MS email clients for some time now (since I bought my iMac back in 99 anyway). One thing I really like about entourage is that everything is included in the one app, email, addresses, notes, to dos, et al are right there as opposed to using separate apps (Mail, iCal, Address Book).

Anyway, opinions are what I am after for the moment, if you would be so kind as to share.

--PB
 

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I use Entourage almost exclusively. This isn't because I like M$ by any stretch of the imagination... it's because the application works.


ENTOURAGE

Pros:
- Very stable. Never crashed on me, and I keep it open 24/7
-Equivalent in iApp form would need 4 apps open at the same time: Mail, Address Book, Stickies, and iCal.
-Sorts mail nicely
-Plays nice with Palm.

Cons:
-$$$
-Bounces up and down incessantly in the dock when you get new mail
-doesn't work with iPhoto (but can be hacked)

MAIL:

Pros:
-Prettier
-free
-easy to use

Cons:
-Claris organizer and Mail used to be much more useful
-Filtering capacity is a little too robust - some mail gets lost
-inability to send non-html-encoded email
-Can't categorize mail and contacts
-Address book is very bare-bones - does not contain decent contact information. Inappropriate for anything other than "friends and family". No tie-ins for contact management, such as alarms for birthdays, etc.

So no, I don't think Entourage is in any danger of being replaced by the iApps, especially in a SoHo environment. But for the home or casual user, the iApps probably work just fine.

-SJ.
 

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SJ
The problem with the icon bouning when you get a new message drove me NUTS (same with ICQ), download DockDetox by Unsanity, clears all that up! No more Bounce!!
 

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Gentlemen,

The easiest way to get rid of the annoying boucing icon when you receive mail is to simply go into Entourage's "General Preferences" in the "Notification" section and turn off the "When new mail arrives, animate icon" checkbox.

Surely would be better than having to download and use a whole other app, now wouldn't it? ;)

~ Capucine
 

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Although I prefer Mail.app, I use Entourage at work for the single reason that we also use Microsoft Exchange servers for email. Entourage X is the ONLY native X application I have found that will work with it.

Other than that, Casual users can easily get away with Mail.app, and unless they already have Office X, there is no extra costs. Entourage X is pretty decent though. However, it lacks some Outlook-like features available for Exchange-slaves...

As for Filtering capability, I am finding Mail to be fine. I've been training it for a couple of months and just plain laziness has kept me from kicking it on full time. I have lost maybe 1 or 2 emails it erroneously labelled, but at the same time, it is easily 97% effective at filtering out actual spam messages.

No filtering method is going to be perfect, but the Junk Mail filter in Mail, after some training, is pretty damn impressive.

Can't categorize Mail & Contacts? Ummmm... Contacts would be the AddressBook (which is not mega-featured) but you can set up rules and sorting features on your mail in Mail.app, much like you can in Entourage. they are pretty much on-par in that area.

In the Address Book, you can organise your contacts into groups. I don't know exactly what sort of categorization SpanishJoe is trying to do... That said, Address Book is very much "personal" oriented in design, instead of "business" oriented I guess.

Entourage X is an excellent successor to the Outlook 2001 for OS 9 if you are migrating to X, but it can be overkill for most and has a cost associated with it, so Mail.app has a few advantages, despite less extra features.
 
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