authentic reflections of a life desired to live well

Outlook 2011 for Mac: Not Ready

As an avid Mac user for nearly twenty years, I’ve learned to play second fiddle to Microsoft products.  I started out using Eudora Light for my mail client in the 90’s.  Eventually Microsoft released Entourage.  Second-rate.  Finally with the release of OSX, we got, iCal, and Address Book.  Solid 1.0 releases.  However, still behind where our Windows counterparts had been living for years already.  When Apple updated the apps in 10.6 to provide native Exchange support, I was in seventh heaven.  Finally I had what I needed.  My personal calendar and work calendars converged.  One live in Google.  One in Exchange.  Both appearing and managed on multiple Macs and my iPhone.  A nearly 15-year journey had come to an end.

Then Microsoft updated MS Office

I’m not going to comment on Word, Excel, and Powerpoint (Messenger doesn’t even deserve comments) for this post.  I’m focusing in Outlook.  The pre-buzz with Outlook was very positive.  A native mail client with virtually all of the features in the Windows version.  Entourage was dead.  Outlook would be the answer.  However, after using Outlook for two days, I’m already switching back.

Adventures in Missing the Point

I don’t understand how Microsoft still seems isolated from the real world.  We are busy people.  We live pretty complex lives.  We need help to keep them organized.  Many of us use Google services to organize our personal life.  And Google services are trending up for the business world as well.  This could not and should not have been ignored.  According to Microsoft, they are working on CalDAV integration, but didn’t have it ready for the first release.  For most Mac users, this was a huge mistake.  Specifically for Google Apps organizations.

Outlook 2011 has no CalDAV support. There are reasons for leaving it out of the first release (this version was heavily focused on Exchange), I hope future updates add CalDAV support—Outlook 2011 is entirely too useful to be solely bound to Exchange calendaring. You can use .ics files, but it’s not the same.  John Welsh, Macworld | Read Article

Our organization decided to use Microsoft BPOS and have been generally pleased with the transition.  Our Windows users have not experienced any ill effects.  The Mac experience has been adequate. still chokes sometimes and disconnects from the service with a password prompt.  This bug still needs to be addressed.  However, I use one mail app to integrate Gmail and Exchange.   One calendar app.  One contacts app., iCal, and Address Book.  For me, I’d rather have three apps which pull all of my information rather than separating my work life and personal life.


Setting up Outlook was drop-dead easy.  Accounts were migrated over simply and quickly.  Outlook is beautiful.  Alert sounds are pleasant.  It interacts flawlessly with MSBPOS.  I was hopeful.  Anticipating that maybe after 20 years, I may have made the jump to Outlook and integrate.  I’m afraid at this point in the game, I’ve already taken it out of my dock.  Until Outlook can reliably handle CalDAV, it will have to sit on the back shelf and wait until it’s matured.

About the author


Husband, father, & motorcycle enthusiast. @MSUComArtSci educator. @MSUStratCom admin. @TedLasso student. Aiming for a life well lived.

Follow on @jasonarcher


  • I’m not sure I’m going to hold off on the upgrade just because it doesn’t sync using CalDAV standards.

    I live off of Outlook at work. I keep my personal and professional calendar in it. Because of the seamless integration with my iPhone and Ipad, CalDAV support isn’t a make or break deal for me…or anyone in my office for that matter. I do keep some items in my Mac at home using iCal, but again, seamless integration with my iPhone and iPad mean that I see them all in one location.

    Ultimately, I spend very little time looking at or working on my calendar at my desktop, it’s when I’m on the go, in a meeting, out of the office that I need access to it all, regardless of where it’s stored. The ability to add meetings on the go and know I’m not overlapping with other appointments is what’s important, regarless of how it’s done.

    I’m hoping to have Office 2011 at work within the next week. If the feature set is pretty much identical to the Windows version, I can finally dump the VM off my Mac that I’ve been using for Office and Outlook.

    To each his own… 🙂

    Keep two wheels on the road.

  • Hey Chad:

    Good points, all. It is a seamless integration for iPhone and iPad. The only sticking point for me is that I live in the calendar. And I need it on the desktop. I need calendaring to manage both personal and professional items. I need the overlap.

    So I either have to add personal appointments into my work calendar or not be able to see them. Or use two calendars on my Mac: Outlook for work and iCal for work/personal. Until we see some changes in Outlook, I’m afraid I’m going to stick to iCal for now. Thanks for the comment!

  • Well said, Jason!

    I am shocked that I cannot subscribe to CalDAV calendars in Outlook, so, for me, it’s quickly back to iCal/Mail/Address Book. I didn’t like the single-file organization of Outlook/Entourage, either, but I was willing to try it given the pre-release positive comments, but this is a deal-killer for me.

    I have multiple calendars that I must have available: Exchange for a client, my personal calendar on Google Apps, and my wife’s calendar (also on Google) that we use for the home front. Without CalDAV, I’m sunk.

    And frankly, it’s ridiculous. Of course, the right answer would be for Exchange to use standards instead of their own proprietary methods… but that’s not the MS way…

    Thanks, again, for a useful post!

    • Stephen, I just read that Outlook has been updated for the Mac but still no CalDAV support.  Here’s the article:  It’s interesting they still haven’t gotten it yet.  Thanks again for your comment.

  • Thanks for the comments, Stephen. Maybe someday, MS will see the light. They seem to be moving that direction of open-standards with Office360. Our team is currently using MBPOS and will look forward to hopefully becoming a beta tester for 360. I’ll be sure to write up our first-blush impressions. Until then, like you, it will remain iCal/Mail/Address Book. And maybe a few surprises from Mac OS 10.7? One can only hope.

By Jason
authentic reflections of a life desired to live well



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