Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Review: Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011 Step by Step

The joke has always been you can’t spell Entourage without “rage” and Microsoft finally retired that product and re-introduced Outlook for the Mac, which hasn’t been around since the classic days! This book is a great overview of all the features of the product including both beginner and intermediate concepts.

The Step by Step series is a lesson-based training program, but you can easily avoid the actual lessons in order to use the book as a reference guide. In this case the actual training exercises are pretty minimal and could have easily been omitted and still retain the book’s value.

The book is extremely well-laid out with a great table of contents and index. Each chapter introduces the concepts it covers and the key points and then reviews them at the end. For users of an Exchange server, the lessons cover both Exchange-based accounts as well as traditional IMAP/POP email systems. Users new to Microsoft products as well as seasoned Entourage and Outlook for the PC users will still find the book’s lessons accessible and of value. If you already know a concept, the book makes it very easy to skip that section.

Unfortunately since the book was printed, Microsoft made significant changes to the sync functions and now that Apple is retiring MobileMe, these sections will be subject to additional changes. Such is the nature of tech books.

Pros: Easy to understand lessons and comprehensive review of features
Cons: Lessons not terribly substantive

4 out of 5