Why Mac and Win interfaces differ for Outlook Web Access

Discussion in 'Apple' started by James Jones, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. James Jones

    James Jones Guest

    Can someone tell me why my web-based email interface using Outlook Web
    Access is far different on my MacOS X and WinXP, both w/ Internet Explorer?
    The striking differences are:

    1. DEL key trashes selected messages in main panel immediately with Windows,
    whereas a clunky delete-checkbox column/method is present on the Mac.

    2. A Win Explorer-like expansion of Inbox subfolders in the left panel
    (i.e., Outlook Web Access panel) exists with Windows, whereas subfolders are
    more hidden on the Mac until the checkbox (+) in the bar above the main
    panel makes them visible in the main panel only (less slick than on Win).

    3. There is a toolbar button in the main panel that allows split screen
    (pre)viewing options on Windows, whereas I cannot find that option on Mac.

    4. Log Off is a rightmost toolbar button on Windows, whereas it is the last
    option in the left panel on the Mac.

    Why the big difference? Surely the Outlook server is not discriminating
    between Mac and Windows browsers, both using MS's Internet Explorer! I hope
    someone can point me to a simple preference setting or a plug-in upgrade
    that I need on my Mac to make the Mac's OWA interface more friendly.

    Thanks in advance for any help or insight into the problem.

    Jim Jones

    (drop the "nospam." and the ".invalid" from the address if replying
    James Jones, Jan 4, 2005
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  2. Internet Explorer on the Mac is not the same product as Internet
    Explorer on Windows. What is happening is there is a distinction between
    Internet Explorer on Windows and any other browser, whether it is on
    Windows, Mac or any other platform. It is not discrimination. Internet
    Explorer on Windows has a whole lot more functionality in it than any
    other browser. It is very non-standard.

    For one thing, it wouldn't surprise me if Outlook Web Access uses
    ActiveX controls, which are not available on Mac.

    Sorry, you are out of luck here.
    Matthew Smith, Jan 4, 2005
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  3. Another example of web pages written for a specific platform and
    product. "Oh! there are other platforms and products? Don't want to get
    sued so we'll write something so they can view the page. We'll give them
    basic functionality so that they can't complain." Windows to see the
    view for people allowed to sit at the front of the bus, flip charts to
    write descriptions of the view for people forced to sit at the back of
    the bus.

    If Exchange 2003 is any type of an example, OWA is not discriminating
    between Mac and Window browsers. It is discriminating between Windows IE
    and all other browsers, regardless of platform (only tested Mac OS X and
    Windows 2000, XP). There is more functionality when using IE on Windows
    then there is with any other browser on Windows or Macintosh (Internet
    Explorer, Safari, Opera, Netscape, Firefox). There is a lot of code that
    does not seem to get processed.

    Connecting with IE on Windows, I have two decisions to make - type of
    service (premium or basic) and security (public computer or private).
    With any other browser on Windows, or any browser on Mac, I only have
    one decision - security. The explanation from the OWA page for the
    difference between the service level is that premium provides more
    functionality. Duh!

    If I select basic service with Windows IE, get the same as any other
    browser or platform.

    If I have Safari set its user agent as Windows IE 6 using the debug
    menu, I get the option to select service type (premium or basic). Once I
    log in, the mailboxes do not display and there is a whole whack of code
    that appears in the top right frame (browser window is 'divided' into
    two columns with the right column divided into two rows).

    Had a look at the HTML code used to generate the page for the browser
    and the part for the choice of service and secuity is beyond my basic
    Stephen Grady, Jan 6, 2005
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