After the last month of having to juggle email between laptops (due to a repair I delayed getting) and moving to Yahoo webmail for my personal email, I am making a move from MS Entourage 2004 to Apple’s Mail application for OS 10.4 Tiger. I was previously more or less forced to use Entourage because of the access I needed with it to my employer’s (Texas Tech) Exchange server. Now my work email is entirely separate from my personal, so Exchange server is not an issue. Apple Mail does have better built-in support for Exchange server mail accounts, but I had been using Entourage for quite awhile before Mail improved, and because I was invested in the application I never switched.

So far I am loving OS X Mail! VERY fast, especially for searching, I like the “smart folders” feature that dynamically filters from the inbox but doesn’t actually move messages. My main reasons for not sticking with webmail are:

  • I often have a fairly ridiculous amount of email to try and process, and third-party email clients typically work faster than a webmail interface. The new beta of Yahoo mail IS nice (runs in FireFox only on Mac, not Safari) but not speedy enough for me.
  • Now that my MacBook is fixed, I really don’t plan on being separated from it much. I’ll use other computers at times, but I’m thinking the vast majority of my computing time will be on the MacBook– so the need for webmail access will be less.
  • I want to take advantage of the Backup features of Backup3 (free for .Mac subscribers like me) that includes backing up some info like address book and mail stuff to an iDisk server, as well as weekly backups I’ve setup to my external hard drive. I wouldn’t have all that backup support to iDisk with Entourage, from what I understand.
  • I need to sync my contacts with Bluetooth to my cell phone, and although I purchased e2Sync awhile back to permit syncing with Entourage, I’d rather not mess with a 3rd party app for this if possible. Generally when a new OS upgrade comes out, programs like that take awhile to catch up. I don’t want to wait when the Leopard is released!
  • I really like using powerful, free apps. Apple Mail comes free with OS X Tiger, and it looks to be more robust in many ways than Entourage. If I stick with it, I won’t face an upgrade bill when Bill releases a new version of the venerable Office suite for Macintosh. In fact, at that point I may entirely move to NeoOffice. OpenOffice worked great on the Windows laptop I used in my presentation today. Who needs to buy MS Office now? I don’t think I do!

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