Yesterday I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of the latest version of Microsoft Office for Mac (Office 2008). I was excited to get this product because it was nice to finally have a version of Office that ran natively on my Mac. No more slow starts, hiccups, or random crashes. Well, at least I hoped not as many (only Microsoft products seem to crash on my Mac). While I have become a big fan of iWork, there are a few times in which I have found I still need Office. For the most part this is only the case when I am sharing files with some of my Windows-stranded friends.
One of the other reasons why I have found Office quite handy is for my work email. We are on an Exchange server and using Entourage (Outlook for Mac) works seamlessly. Like most Mac users in my district, I bring a Mac to school that is supplied and maintained by me. Previously I have always purchased the Student & Teacher edition of Office. After all, I am a teacher and a student. When I picked up this $149 version of Office 08 (now called Home & Student Edition) I failed to notice that this version of Entourage does not support Exchange servers (it was right on the back of the package – I should have seen it). So imagine my surprise today when this lovely message pictured above popped up. After a little research I figured out that for the low, low price of $349 I can also check my email. Yep, that’s right a $200 surcharge to check Exchange email!!! I am pretty sure the code is installed on my computer, it just needs to be unlocked.
So at this moment I am not sure what I am going to do. I am investigating using Mail 3.0 or Thunderbird. Anyone got another idea? I know I WON’T be giving Microsoft anymore money. Worst case scenario I will go back to Office 2004, only reinstall Entourage, and finally start using Open Office.