When Microsoft Office 2004 shipped almost 2 years ago, it promised a host of powerful and useful features. Most of those features were fulfilled but its ability to sync with other applications was not among those promises fulfilled. And when Apple released Spotlight in OS X 10.4, Microsoft was quick to state that Entourage could not support the feature. In January Microsoft announced that it would finally follow through on Office’s sync services, and that its engineers had finally come up with a solution to the Spotlight issue.
The update containing these fixes was finally released this afternoon. The added synchronization services allow users to sync calendar events, contacts and tasks with PDA’s and other applications that support Apple’s synchronization services. Among other uses, this should make it possible for users to sync their contact information between multiple machines.
The Spotlight support will index Entourage’s events, contacts, notes and tasks for easy access. This should be a significant improvement over Entourage’s built-in search functionality which is cumbersome at best. Entourage also supports enhanced Smart Card technology that takes advantage of Apple’s Keychain and allows users to digitally sign and encrypt messages. Though Entourage could do this before, the added Keychain support should make the features easier to use.
Download the update from MacUpdate.com and try it for yourself. The free update adds some much needed functionality.