For the last several years, it seems that Apple has been on a mission to build a bridge between the Mac and the Windows PC. Apple made significant advances in the PC workplace by making a Mac able to connect to virtually any server and share files with virtually any computer. Of course, making it possible to run Windows, Microsoft Office, and other Windows applications meant that the Mac could be almost completely integrated with a PC network.
The bridge had spanned the gap, but one pothole remained in the bridge, and it was a big one. The Mac could not connect to an Exchange Server and use Outlook. Even Microsoft's Mac version of Outlook (Entourage) was not capable of making the connection.
Let's just face facts. No matter how full-featured and cool Mac's built-in Address Book, iCal, and Mail are, most of the networked business world uses Microsoft Outlook on Exchange Server, and you just can't work efficiently in that environment without connectivity to the Exchange Server.
Now, Mac OS X Snow Leopard has filled in the pothole in the bridge. Snow Leopard supports Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 right out of the box. That's right. No additional software is needed. Not even Windows provides this out-of-the box support for Exchange.
The Best of Both Platforms
With Snow Leopard's support for Exchange, you now can access all your Exchange servicesnot within Outlook, as you might expect, but within Mac Mail, iCal, and Address Book. The advantage is that you can see all your business-related data (from Exchange) and all your Mac data in one place. For example, when you open Mac Mail, you see your Mac mailboxes in the sidebar as well as your Exchange mailboxes.
Think of the efficiency you gain by not having two email programs, two calendar programs, and two contact programs. Mackies who have been contending with this problem are now jumping up and down on the bridge with joy!
Not only do you have this new one-stop convenience, but Snow Leopard also gives you the best of both worlds by supporting the things you love on both platforms.
For example, on the Exchange side, you'll be able to delegate your calendar to another user on the system, use real-time availability of co-workers when scheduling meetings, reserve resources and facilities, and use Auto Pick to select the first open time for an event.
On the Mac side, you can use Spotlight to search across all your accounts at once, create Smart Folders to organize mail messages from all accounts based on custom search criteria, and use Quick Look to see a full-size view of attachments without opening the file.