My New MacBook Pro and Exchange

If you’ve been following along at home, you know that I just got a new MacBook Pro and am going to give it a shot for a while due to my current frustration with my laptop and all things Vista.  My partner Chris suggested to me that it’s not about productivity or frustration; rather it’s my endless desire to play with electronic toys (he is likely correct, but I need a business rationalization for my behavior.)

My biggest historical barrier to using a Mac has been our deep reliance on Exchange.  I’m a very heavy Outlook / Exchange users and exercise it fully (yes – I use tasks.)  All of my previous experiences – either with Entourage 2004 or my feeble attempts to get all the “pieces” working (e.g. mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks) on Mac apps with an Exchange data store have been failures.

I know that I have a default option of using Outlook in a Vista window on the Mac running Parallels or VMWare Fusion (I’ll try them both.)  But that doesn’t really feel very satisfying to me.  I just got a copy of Entourage 2008 Beta so I’ll give that a try and a good workout, although early reports are that Task Sync is still not implemented.

Are there any other real alternatives out there in the world, short of dumping Exchange (which is not going to happen)?  Help me Obi-Mac-A-Roni.  And – thanks to everyone (all 34 of you) that commented on the previous Mac post.  Ross assures me that he is installing every last piece of software that y’all recommended.