Originally Posted by drakino
Mail in 10.3 can talk to an Entourage server. Calendar requests go to iCal. Or you can use Entourage out of Office 2004 with Exchange support.
Pages opens Word documents, and Keynote opens Powerpoint documents. No Apple solution for dealing with Excel, and no way at all to deal with Access though.
You're right. In case anyone was curious, Exchange support in Apple software has been coming along nicely. You can use Apple Mail to talk to Exchange servers natively (I think it's MAPI), and their Address Book application can talk to the Exchange servers too. My problem has been if anyone sent me a meeting maker in Outlook. When I configured Mail to use an Exchange server, it left the meeting maker emails in my inbox on the Exchange server. When I switched Mail to using POP with the Exchange server, it now downloaded the emails as normal emails with a single attachment, which when double-clicked would open iCal and put the meeting into my iCal calendar. Kind of a manual process. I never did figure out how to do it automatically when Mail was natively talking to the Exchange server.
I was being a little too glib when I said I POP our Exchange server. I actually used Eudora forever until Exchange support for Mail came out, and then I switched to Apple Mail (which anyone could use either with POP or IMAP to talk to an Exchange server too) to finally talk native to our Exchange server. I was able to fully automate my meeting maker situation with an external application from a little UK company called Snerdware. Their Groupcal provides seamless integration with Exchange meeting makers now, so I basically use Mail/iCal at work where everyone else uses Outlook, and noone is the wiser.. (Snerdware's AddressX is also better Exchange integration for the Address Book application too.)
Finally there are apps that can read, and supposedly now write, Microsoft Office format files, not just Apple's Pages and Keynote, but you can also go open source on the Mac and use OpenOffice, or AbiWord, Gnumeric, etc. My problem is that I have to send stuff (mostly Powerpoint with some Word) back to Windows users in the office, and I've never really tested out the two way conversion of these apps. I just got the most recent iWork (Pages and Keynote 2.0), so maybe I can start tinkering with Keynote again and see if once I either edit an existing Powerpoint presentation in Keynote, or create one in Keynote and then save as Powerpoint, I an send it to a fellow Windows users and have them NOT notice anything unusual..
The one big Microsoft Office hole for Mac native apps, as you pointed out is Excel, (not so important for me), but there is Gnumerica on the Mac through Fink, and one that won't affect as many switchers, Visio, (unfortunately important in network design, which I need). Omnigraffle Pro can read and write Visio XML files, but not native Visio. And again when you think about this kind of stuff, you unfortunately need to think about making things as transparent to your Windows colleagues as possible. So I asked a co-worker to convert some of his Visio stuff to XML and send it to me, but apparently it's a pain.. So natively being able to read and write these types of data files, would let me invisibly use my Mac
Anyway... I hope noone minded the little side trip to the overall thread discussion, but it's kind of a "switching" related tangent.. Switching in a Microsoft Office is very doable today, just mind the bumps..