Microsoft Entourage is a client-side email and personal information management (PIM) program that comes bundled with Microsoft Office for Mac. It is essentially Microsoft Outlook on Windows, but without all the bells and whistles. When it was first released in 1988 by the company then known as Novell, it did not have any of these advanced features.


Entourage is geared toward the advanced email user who may need to share information with others on a network, while Outlook is geared toward business users who might need access to an Exchange Server for enterprise-wide email management.


Both of these programs are also supplemented by Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone and Android, which can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play. There are even versions of Outlook available for the iPad and Android tablets, so you have lots of options no matter what platform you use on your desktop or mobile device.


What Is CalDAV?


CalDAV allows third-party applications to connect to an iCalendar server via HTTP using the standard WebDAV protocol. This means that it can be accessed via any WebDAV client, including most web browsers.


iCalendar is a free-form text file that can be viewed in Notepad or most modern text editors. CalDAV servers use iCalendar files to publish the availability of resources. This allows users on the Internet to view information about meetings and appointments stored on remote servers. More importantly, this also enables programs like Apple's iOS Mail app to read the same files and set up events on your calendar using standard protocols supported by Microsoft Outlook 365, Google Calendar, or any other CalDAV server for that matter.


Advantages of Microsoft Entourage

 

Entourage has several advantages over Outlook that make it ideal for use with CalDAV servers. It's available for the Mac platform, which means that if you're running Windows and your coworkers are all using Windows PCs, you can't share information between Outlook and Entourage. This is because Outlook uses an Exchange Server to store data locally on your PC rather than using a file system like Entourage or other email clients do.


You could install Entourage 2008 for PowerPC (which looks like Office 2004) on your old non-Intel Macintosh. But there are still huge disadvantages here. First of all, Microsoft stopped supporting this version of the software in November 2007, so you would have to pay for technical support. Secondly, there have been multiple security updates for Windows since then, so if you were to use Entourage 2008 on your old Mac, you would be exposing yourself and all your contacts to increased security risks.


The other huge disadvantage is that Entourage doesn't support any of the new features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, including sharing calendars with iPhones or smartphones running Windows Mobile or Google's Android platform. By contrast, Entourage supports only some of the newer features in Exchange Server 2003 such as LDAP browsing and improved junk mail filtering, but not things like server-side rules. This means that Entourage 2008 is not ideal for sharing information with people who are using Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2011 for Macs.


On the positive side, though Entourage does provide several benefits over Outlook for Mac 2011, the current version of Microsoft's native email client for OS X. With this program, you have to use Exchange Server 2007 or later to share calendars with iPhones, Windows Phones, and devices running Google's Android operating system. There are also no public folders available in Outlook 2011.


Conclusion


Even though Entourage is available for free under Apple's OS X operating system, there are several problems with using it to share calendar information with iPhones or other smartphones. It doesn't support all of the features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and security updates stopped being issued for this program back in November 2007. If you want to upgrade your computer's OS platform, you would also have to pay for technical support.


On the plus side, Entourage does provide better compatibility with Apple Mail than Outlook 2011 does. There are no public folders available in either program though, so if you need access to these special shared mailboxes, you'll have to stick with Outlook 2011 on your Mac.