alternatives to Exchange Outlook


macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2014
I will be leaving my firm in the near future and would like to continue to have the best synchronization with email, calendar, to-do's and contacts.

I am very happy with Outlook that is sync'd with our Exchange server at work. I do not envision having a server in the future.

I am open to any alternative technologies.

I have a new MacBook user and have used an iPad for nearly 5 years. I have a Galaxy S4 phone. should I adopt full Apple technology?

I hear that I can use Gmail to host my mail, contacts etc.

Is there a way to have the stand-alone Outlook act like a server?

right now I have a reservation about Apple being my sole solution, given the ExcHange calendar doesn't sync with the MacBook, despite promises that it would do so.

I look forward to responses.



macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
Office 365 gets my vote and money, personally and as a business owner. My only caveat is your mobile device; I haven't owned a Touchwiz/Android device in years (original GNex and S3 were my last two Android handsets) but I'm aware that MS is working hard to get O365 working on Android - see their webpage to see if that works (

Personally, I use the Business Essentials package for my personal stuff, and have a Home package for my Office 2016 installations (the latter at a discount from Best Buy). One can use their own domain with any of the Business packages, and I think that the BE package is one of the best deals for cloud services. I come from the Exchange-related world, starting in 1996 with Office 97 Pro and I owned/ran Exchange Server 2010/12/13 for my small business - Office 365 is cheaper to run and just stupid simple to administer.

I like the Home package and more-expensive-than-Business Essentials business packages because of the 5-license Office suite, which applies to iOS devices and Macs/PCs. Outlook 2016 for Windows is the best PIM I've ever used - period - and I run it in a Window 10 VM in Parallels Desktop on my Mac and a cheap Win laptop I tote around with me. Along with the Outlook iOS app, Office 365 is getting to be the best office/productivity-related suite I've ever used (and, I'm old...).

I used Google Apps since Day 1 - it was pretty simple to use and set up at the beginning, but it was (and is) suffering from feature creep and ebb/flow. Google follows no standards, drops features with no warning, and blows big-time for its support - as in no support. There's no way I'd recommend Google Apps to anyone - their admin portal is a kludge, their services change without warning, and there's just too much proprietary formatting for my taste.

As for iCloud, there's too many issues with the services to recommend. This, coming from a Mac lover who was all in since iTools. Two nits - with their Contacts apps (iOS/OS X) - there are too many unmapped/not-properly-translated data fields that are not properly translated between the two platforms, starting with the Location field (again, in the Contacts apps) and Travel Time. Ugh...

With Office 365 competing on price with Exchange Server (very favorably), blowing away Google Apps and iCloud's services and app "suite", I'm not seeing a compelling reason to not consider O365. Buy into a Mac/iOS device, and you'll get iCloud services at no extra cost, and both GApps and O365 both have free 30-day trials - so you can beat them all up at no cost for up to a month before picking one that works for you. Cheers!


macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2015
If you make a new, it runs on the office 365 infrastructure. Sounds like it might meet your needs.


macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2014
i use Costs $50/yr for 5 accts with loads of features such as on the fly alias creation , full caldav and webdav functionality so for mac apps that sync over it i can use it as a sync location. I use mail and ical but ditched in favor of busy cal.

i was happy with iCloud ( formally MobileMe) but dropped it when they went free since i wanted that accountability.