Friday, June 20, 2008

Office 2008

The normal office 2008 apps, Word, Excel etc are reasonable for me. I
felt no loss with VBA going away and they've been reasonably stable
and compatible in the otherwise Windows dominated office. What
continues to shock me is how bad Entourage 2008 is. It is the worst
piece of software i've used in a long time. Here are a few MAJOR flaws:

1) Database corruption - seems to happen about once a week requiring
you to rebuild its entire (proprietary) database (hold option key at
launch, get coffee)

2) Calendar/contact sync - this is a great way to lose your data, more
specifically when things go wrong it wipes data off your Exchange
server. Yes thats right, it doesnt just have sync issues, at times it
clears your entire calendar on Exchange. Microsoft, take a note from
apple on the "warn my if more than x% of my data changes" type notices
from iSync (not that iSync doesnt have horrible problems too).
Currently Entourage 2008 is the only way to push your Exchange
Calendar to an iPhone compatible iCal destination. Unfortunately its
so bad that you may as well throw it out and wait for the native
Exchange support in iPhone 2 and Snow Leopard.

3) Microsoft Sync services - this is the best way to heat your lap and
drain your battery. Runs forever, drains your battery, and doesnt do
anything useful. "Force quit" is your solution.

4) If you read an reply to a lot of emails like I do with Entourage
you will eventually see what appears to be a duplicate reply from
someone in your mail box. If you read my blog you'd know that I file
mail after I read it and my inbox is always near empty. So I read a
message, reply, then file. Some time later a new message turns up and
seems to be the one I just filed. Odd. I go on Exchange via OWA and I
see the new message is actually a new reply but for some crazy reason
Entourage is showing me the old one. Cache coherency problems? Don't
know but again, this makes entourage unusable.

5) Calendar time shifts - Although not as quite as disastrous as a
total calendar loss mentioned above Entourage has the habit of
shifting my calendar events by many hours on the Exchange server
itself - yes, it took my existing events and then updated their times
to its liking. I then had meetings scheduled at 2am etc. Again this
makes Entourage unusable.

I read a review of Entourage 2008 recently in MacWorld, they gave it
4/5 stars, same as Apple Mail as a Mail client. I don't think the
reviewers know what they're talking about and I think the entire
Entourage 2008 team should be banned from the software industry forever.