Outlook: Coming soon to a Mac near you

Last week was a big one for us here in MacBU. Entourage for Web Services was released, of course, but the bigger news was something that I've been keeping under my hat for ages: we're bringing Outlook back to the Mac.

Of course, we haven't told you everything that is coming in Outlook:Mac, but what we've said so far is quite big.

First of all, and nearest to my heart, Outlook is going to be all Cocoa. If you've been wondering why I've been doing so much research on Entourage lately, now you know. Going all-Cocoa means that my User Experience team has an unparalleled opportunity to touch everything in the interface. I've been compiling my list of things I've wanted to fix in the Entourage UI for some time, and now I get to do just that. For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area who want to see what Outlook might look like, sign up to participate in my usability studies.

We've also announced two of Outlook:Mac's features that are coming. The database is getting a makeover to make it faster and (oh yes!) work better with Time Machine. For those of you in Exchange environments, Outlook:Mac will support Information Rights Management.

Outlook:Mac is coming in the next version of Office, which we'll release in time for the holiday shopping season of 2010. We'll be sharing more about Outlook:Mac, as well as the rest of Office:Mac, in the upcoming months as we get closer to launch. You can, if you wish, post comments like "will Outlook:Mac support X?" or "how about adding Y to PowerPoint:Mac?", but I can't answer that kind of question yet. I can only say that this is the very tip of the iceberg, and there's a lot of goodness coming.