Microsoft's other cash cow, Office, seems to be getting a lot of news recently; now has emerged that Office 2010 will include popular messaging application, Outlook, instead of Entourage.
Outlook for Mac was dumped from Office initially because of incompatibilities between Mac OS X and Exchange; both Apple and Microsoft thereafter worked to solve those issues and Entourage will be quietly shoved in a corner to make way for Outlook.
Entourage - which sits between Outlook Express and Outlook in terms of functionality - enjoyed almost a decade long spell on the Mac platform having been released as part of Microsoft Office 2001 for Mac in October 2000.
Office 2010 for Mac is expected to be released towards the end of the year, before its Windows counterpart flood the market. The new Outlook has been built from scratch using Apple's Cocoa programming environment.
Eric Wilfrid, general manager for the MacBU at Microsoft, declared in a statement that "It is an exciting time for the MacBU [Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit] with updates to our current products and the first public announcement about the next version of Office for Mac. For several years we have focused on providing the best Microsoft Exchange client for the Mac, and the Web Services Edition delivers that today for Entourage users"
He added that "Outlook for Mac will bring features our customers have long requested - such as Rights Management - that make working across platforms even easier. I think people will see that this move to Outlook for Mac is more than just a name change."
However, Wilfrid did not confirm (or deny) that there will be a mobile version of Outlook (and by extension Office) for the iPhone device. Two days ago, Nokia signed an agreement with Microsoft to bring Office for Mobile to its Symbian S60 platform.