For many Kerio Connect customers, Microsoft Entourage is the email and groupware client of choice. We made the decision years ago to support Microsoft Entourage operating in the Exchange mode, which provides calendar and contact synchronization on top of the usual email, and it has been a hit.
Microsoft earlier this year announced a new version of Office for Mac with an update of its default groupware client - both in functionality and name. Outlook 2011 will replace Entourage 2008 in the new Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 suite, planned for a late October launch.
Outlook for Mac 2011 is different from Entourage 2004 and Entourage 2008 in many ways. The most important change affecting Kerio is the complete replacement of the underlying protocol architecture - Entourage mostly relies on WebDAV for Entourage-Exchange data synchronization (of email, contacts, calendars), whereas the new Outlook 2011 uses Exchange Web Services. That is a big technological change, overshadowing most of the feature improvements in Outlook.
Development work is well under way for full synchronization of Outlook 2011 and Kerio Connect using the Exchange Web Services architecture, and it will be part of the upcoming new version.
As is customary with us, we will publish several beta versions of Kerio Connect 7.2. The first public one will be ready in about a month, and will revolve around CalDAV and CardDAV, as well as feature an early preview of EWS for Outlook 2011. We will have to perform a thorough QA testing of Kerio Connect and Outlook 2011 once we get our hands on the final, shipping version of Outlook 2011. If you want to be part of that process, check out our Beta Section where all betas are published.
While Microsoft makes Outlook 2011 compatible only with Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2007 SP1, Kerio will support Outlook 2011 much more widely - Kerio Connect server runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, or as a self-contained virtual appliance on VMware and Parallels hypervisors, which is just one of many things that make it so successful with SMBs.
We can't wait to get Kerio Connect 7.2 into as many hands as possible. Stay tuned for more.