Neowin had reported earlier that Microsoft has planned to release an update for Entourage later this January as a public beta in which Entourage is going to get some important updates behind the scenes. As expected, Microsoft has released a public beta of Entourage for Exchange Web Services.
Entourage for Exchange Web Services (EWS) has been completely redesigned for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1. Entourage now uses Exchange Web Services instead of WebDAV protocol for better compatibility, performance and reliability. Entourage sends just 1 instruction to EWS, instead of 6 as in the case of WebDAV resulting in better performance.
The product details and minimum requirements can be found here. New and Improved Features include
- Enhanced Autodiscover service to update user account settings.
- Synchronization between Exchange Server and Entourage 2008 Notes, Tasks, and Categories.
- Enable Logging preference
- Use of attachments in Entourage for Exchange calendar events.
- Resolving names against the Global Address List via EWS/HTTP. So there is no need to be connected to a corporate network via VPN to resolve names when addressing an e-mail or meeting invitation.
- Improved e-mail and calendaring support
The final release is expected to come later this year and will be free for all Office 2008 users, distributed via Mactopia.
The other release from MacBU which is due in February is the private beta of Document Collaboration Companion (DCC), Microsoft's first full Cocoa application which will enable Mac users to work with documents stored in SharePoint and Office Live Workspaces. It is expected to go live later this year.
You can apply for Entourage Public Beta here.