Outlook for Mac 2011 vs Mail - Which is better?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by thetruereview, May 21, 2011.

  1. thetruereview, May 21, 2011
    Last edited: May 21, 2011

    thetruereview macrumors newbie


    May 21, 2011
    Hey guys,

    This is my first post to MacRumors. I've done a search on the forum & couldn't really find a definitive discussion thread on this issue, so please forgive me if it's been well discussed.

    I have have a couple of small businesses (sole operator) and use Macs only. By extension, I use the Mac applications ⇒ Mail, iCal, Address Book. I upgraded my MS Office for Mac software to the 2011 business version which includes Outlook. Having used Outlook for PC in my previous life as a corporate salaried slave, I was wondering whether, for my small business purposes (including my many email addresses), Outlook would be a better 'one stop shop' for me. Particularly, whether it would be better to have calendars, contacts & mail in one place rather than the separate apps of the Mac options mentioned above.

    In my searches, I've found a few discussions threads in which people have seemed to have had problems with Outlook & have been asking for help (which concerns me).

    Can someone give me their unbiased view / experiences as to Outlook for Mac 2011 vs Mail? If there has been a comprehensive discussion thread about it before, I'm happy for someone to post a link.

    Thanks in advance & it's great to be here.

    PS. I'm not looking for 'fan boi' type comments. I'm only looking for the best option for me & I really don't care whether its a Mac or Microsoft product.
  2. marine0816 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2011
    outlook is good. only problem is that it doesn't sync google calendar
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Your question appears calculated to bring out fanboi comments. Here is my biased fanboi comment:

    There is one and only one reason to use Outlook 2011. That is to access an Exchange server. In the case of Outlook 2011, you are restricted to Exchange Server 2007 and above. It will, of course, handle POP3 and IMAP. So too will virtually every other email client on Earth. FWIW, Mail/Address Book/iCal will also handle Exchange Server 2007 and above.
  4. thetruereview thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 21, 2011
    Thanks for the comments so far. Appreciated. Keep em coming. :)
  5. bender o macrumors 6502

    bender o

    Mar 14, 2009
    I tried using Outlook but I didn't like the interface, I found it ugly and well I didn't want to go through the learning curve all over again really :p
  6. defilm macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    But what about outlook Exchange calendar share vs 2008 Entouage?

    I currently have 2008 and in Entourage you can tick an option to share entourage with Mobileme. So currently on my Ical, and Iphone and IPad
    I can see my Entourage calander from the MS Echange Server.

    I know that Apple is doing stupid stuff now with "Calendar sharing" nor "Not allowing calendar sharing unless the other person has a me.com address"...
    Hence I can not share my "personal" calendar to my wife at wife@herdomain.com. (Unless of course she gets a mobileMe account for $100
    a year on her Windows 7 PC. NOT! She has no interest in paying $100 and
    running MobileMe to see my CALDAV compliant calendars. He point is "Use goodle's calendars. They are free, support CalDav, why are you sticking with that defective Apple crap". To this, I have to say she has a point. The only
    reason you can't share a mobile me CalDav calendar with jim@anydomain.com is because Apple "Forbids it". So year that sux.

    I see you note that 2011 can not sync Google cal's... Hum.. is that another
    limitation added by MS for Apple? It is not because of protocol... 2011 can certainly run Caldav, which is exactly the protocol Google uses!

    Sadly the only way to get ical to sync with your google calendar is to crete the calendar on google, and export the calendar to a .ics file, and import it to google calendar. It then shows up on Android phones, but Apple is so ass backwards. "Hey guys, we are not CalDav standard!! But you can't share a calendar with user@domain.com, and particularly anyone@gmail.com... (I can hear Steve Jobs hissing from here". Hey, I am no Google fan, but why become standard if you won't allow anyone to see your calendars unless they are another me.com account???? $$$$, and it is really getting to me.
    I have a MacPro, multiple Macbookpro's in the house, a few 13" Black Macbooks (I love), and Iphones, Ipads, Nano's, Ipods,... this is an Apple house... But I have NOT upgraded to the new Mac's, nor upgraded IPAD to IPAD2, nor my Iphone 3G's (3 in the house) to Iphone 4, and no plans for Iphone 5. This house may be moving back to Win 7 and a cool amout of hardware out there with i7's that support it...

    Simple question, simple solution, but always have to ask if it works when it comes to Apple:

    If I move up to Office 2011 Outlook from Office 2008 Entourage will I be able to see my Exchange calendar and my ical calendars on my Iphone as I can now with Entourage 2008?? If the answer is yes, I buy today... bus version of course...:confused:

    Many Thanks!!!!
    Too much Apple stuff to list
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If the e-mail accounts are POP or IMAP I personally find Mozilla Thunderbird to be best. As it keeps every account separate in the left pane. Unlike Mail which groups inboxes together and keeps them separated from the e-mail folders.

    For IMAP Outlook is horrible as it does not automatically remove deleted items from the server. The closest is turning on Purge Deleted Items when you switch folders. For POP accounts all mail goes to one inbox.

    For connecting to Exchange Server 2007 and later Outlook is the best.

    The main downfall of Thunderbird is the lack of support for syncing contacts. Google can work with GContactSync but I am not sure what else will.
  8. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Even though you can see the option in Entourage to sync to MobileMe Calendar it no longer works.

    Neither Entourage nor Outlook 2011 supports CalDAV. Outlook 2010 for Win does support CalDAV through a plugin.

    If you upgrade to '11 you can sync both contacts and calendar events to iCal and use iTunes to sync to your iPhone.
  9. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    First Outlook 2011 is v1 software is is NOT a clone of Outlook for Windows. For example, you can import a .pst file but you cannot export as .pst. Even importing .pst can be difficult. We see a lot of reports of failed import or messages without attachments etc.

    Just a few of the differences are listed here:

    Differences between Outlook for Mac and Outlook for Windows

    Unless you have mail on the server with IMAP or Exchange, I wouldn't rely on Outlook's storage of local mail under "On My Computer" folders to be reliable. We've had a lot of database issues where users lost all the data that was stored in local folders. Since there is no export as .pst file you have to resort to third party software or store as .olm or .mbox file as backup.

    Sync with Exchange works. Sync via iCal > iTunes has issues. We see duplicates and data deleted.

    Exchange is more robust in Outlook than Apple Mail. Both require Exchange 2007 or higher. iCal will show your Exchange calendar.

    Outlook 2011 does not support CalDAV. There is no sync to MobileMe calendar or Google calendars.

    Microsoft does offer a trial for 30 days. I suggest you download the trial and make your decisions based on how it works for you. http://www.microsoft.com/mac/faq/trial

    Previously, when you downloaded the trial for Office 2008 you had to purchase at full price or remove to install and use a cheaper retail version. The trial for Office 2011 can be converted using a retail CD Key.

    You also need to be sure you buy the right pack. Previously you could install on one computer and one laptop. This is no longer true. See this link to see your options:

  10. thetruereview, May 22, 2011
    Last edited: May 22, 2011

    thetruereview thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 21, 2011
  11. soubt macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    Out look and attachmants



    good luck, I using outlook 2011 and like (for business and private)

  12. DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    I tried Outlook 2011 for a few months. Although some features were kind of neat, I've moved back to Mail. I found Outlook to be a bit of a hog, and not nearly as intuitive. Honestly, I can't think of a single reason for you to take the time to switch everything into Outlook. Even if you have PCs with Outlook in your company, iCloud will keep your (Windows) Outlook calendars and contacts in sync with OS X / iOS.
  13. jahala macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2008
    My company uses Exchange 2007 for corporate mail and calendaring. I have Outlook 2011 and Apple Mail in OS X Lion. For e-mail, I find Mail superior to Outlook mostly for its much greater search functionality and inline viewing of single-page attachments. It also autocompletes e-mail addresses in the whole global address book, which is very convenient.

    I use iCal for calendaring about 97% of the time. I find that anything iCal cannot handle for calendaring, Outlook 2011 cannot do either, so I have to use a PC with Outlook for windows do some advanced calendar stuff.

    I don't use tasks in Outlook or Mail. If you do not need to interface with an exchange server, I see no reason to use Outlook 2011 at all. Apple's Mail, iCal, and Address Book all work wonderfully and are well integrated with each other and the rest of the system.
  14. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I just downloaded MS Office 2011 yesterday, the 30 day trial. Mostly for Word, but I am actually enjoying having Outlook. I'm not a big fan of Apple's Mail client, I find it clunky. My only problem so far is Outlook isn't syncing my calendar. I'm not sure what the problem is. Other than that, I like it so far. I may buy the suite at the end of my 30 day trial.
  15. Ice-Cube macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2006
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    I prefer mail cos when I buy a new Mac, its easy to migrate everything over as opposed to Outlook. I'm in it for the long term.
  16. Big D 51 macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Jan 15, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    I prefer outlook, but it did not work to my satisfaction. Mail gets my vote.
  17. craigtone macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    I am in the same boat ... Corporate uses Exchange Server 2007 and we have a mixed base of Mac and Windoze users. I am currently using Outlook 2011 and tired of the bugs and the crashing.

    My holdup is that I cannot seem to get iCal and Outlook calendars to play nicely. If I send and iCal invite, Outlook auto accepts. If I send an invite from Outlook, it goes directly to my Mail Trash folder. if I click Accept, it disappears for a second then comes back and nothing gets added to iCal.

    Can you please explain how you are making this work for you?
  18. jahala macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2008
    I think this is a matter of you having the wrong expectations. First of all, if you are creating a meeting, you should not be inviting yourself. You are already included because you created the meeting. That is why it appears that Outlook auto accepts the meeting you created in iCal. It does not really auto accept the meeting. iCal is smart enough not to send you a message inviting you to a meeting that you created. It just puts it on your calendar. Outlook then shows what is on your calendar.

    I then created a meeting in outlook and invited myself to see what would happen. Again, you should not be inviting yourself to a meeting you create. Sure enough, the message showed up in the trash in Mail. When you accept an invitation in Mail, the message gets moved to the trash normally. I then went to iCal to see if the meeting showed up. It was not there. After I told iCal to refresh the calendar, I saw the new meeting. Since Mail and iCal just check with the exchange server periodically, everything worked as I expected.

    The only thing I thought was odd was that the invitation automatically went to the trash in Mail, but as I think about it, it actually makes sense. I would be more confused if I were asked to accept an invitation to my own meeting. Besides, the invitations normally get moved to the trash when they are accepted.
  19. crobbins macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2006
    I think if you have used one over the other that will turn out to be your preference. I tried to switch over to Outlook, but I have come to love the simplicity of Mail.
  20. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    Back in my Windows days, I used Outlook. When I switched to the Mac, I used Entourage because I needed access to the Exchange server at work. With Entourage operating with either pop3 or imap, I often had problems with the database and had to rebuild it. As a result, my identity files are littered with multiple copies of prior versions of the email database. When Apple introduced support for Exchange server, I was happy to leave Entourage behind. When Mail occasionally crashes, I know that all my email is still going to be there when I restart; with Entourage, I never had the same confidence. In any event, I would then have to repair and rebuild the database. I tried Outlook for the Mac when it was introduced. I found that it is a completely different programme from Outlook for Windows or from Entourage; prior experience was no help. It also kept the worst features of Entourage (the database, the rebuilds, and the crashes in particular), removed some good features, and added a whole group of weird bugs. My favourite was a tendency to freeze the entire system when downloading emails; several seconds' pause with all programmes unresponsive on an i7 computer with 12GB of RAM should not be happening. I went back to Apple's built-in programmes with GREAT relief!
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
  22. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Two things:
    1. Outlook 2011 is the second full release of Entourage EWS (Entourage 13). Its version number of Outlook 14.x.x. It has added [some] Outlook-compatibility features as befits its new name. Because my firm's Exchange server is older than Exchange 2007 and is incompatible with Entourage EWS/Outlook 2011, I can't confirm or deny your contention that it new communications client has missing features. I will take your word for it.
    2. Outlook 2011 marks the return not the introduction of Outlook for the Mac. The earlier version was Outlook 2001. It was an Exchange-exclusive free download. Pretty, it wasn't. However, it got the job done if you needed Exchange access from your Mac running MacOS 9. Did I say it didn't work in Classic? Well, it didn't work in Classic.
  23. wgnoyes macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2011
    I started with outlook on the mac, being a long time outlook user on windows and basically not knowing any better. But it didn't interface with the address book or iCal and I just didn't really like it (office for mac 2011 is the only thing on my system that ever gives me any problems), so I converted over to Mail after several weeks and haven't looked back.

    When Lion came out, I did switch Mail back from the iOS-type interface to the original layout.
  24. craigtone macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    You are exactly right! I did some testing this AM with a co-worker on Windows Outlook and it ALMOST worked flawless! :roll eyes:

    We had issues where if he declined the invite initially or later after first accepting, I get an e-mail with a *.ics file and it does not auto-update iCal. I have to drag the *.ics file into iCal to get it to update. Likewise for an Acceptance from a Forwarded invite to my meeting.

    Any ideas on this one or is it a known issue?
  25. takeshi74, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    No matter what the topic, what's "best" depends on bias. It's always a highly subjective matter. You need to outline your specific needs/wants/expectations if you want recommendations one way or another rather than randomly polling people whose requirements and preferences may be entirely different.

    Discussions forums are always skewed towards problem posts, again, regardless of topic. The existence of threads with people having doesn't mean anything and if you're going to use that as a basis to avoid products then you'll never use anything as someone is always having one problem or another with any given product out there. People don't go to a discussion forum to post that everything is working fine. By their very nature, discussion forum sites tend to focus on discussions of problems. Be very careful when attempting to perform some sort of meaningful analysis based on discussion forums.

    I'd agree on that point. I use Outlook 2011 because my primary account is an Exchange account. However, I really don't use my other accounts so I can't really comment on the usefulness of Outlook 2011 for the OP who wants to handle multiple accounts. Outlook certainly places everything into a single app and can handle multiple email accounts but there's some subjective preference involved in determining whether or not Outlook 2011 is preferred over the alternatives.

    Why not take the trial (mentioned above) for a spin and see for yourself? You can't beat first hand experience when it comes to evaluating solutions.

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