Microsoft has announced it will release this northern summer a native Exchange Server access solution for Apple's Unix-based Mac OS X operating system.
The initial Exchange access solution for OS X will give users of Entourage X, an e-mail and personal information manager designed for the Mac, an enhanced set of tools for communication, PIM and scheduling in a mixed PC and Mac work environment, according to Microsoft. Current versions of Entourage X must use POP or IMAP to access an Exchange server and cannot use the shared calendaring functions.
The software giant said the OS X-native Exchange access support, in particular, will be a boon to enterprise customers with its shared calendaring capability.
Exchange is Microsoft's messaging and collaboration server offering for companies ranging from small businesses to enterprises. Other Exchange updates planned for the upcoming OS X solution include a directory-service lookup feature, enabling searches of global address lists, as well as the ability to synchronize the Entourage X calendar and address book with Exchange for offline use, according to Microsoft. Text rendering in e-mail received from Outlook for Windows users is also slated be improved.