Well, this doesn’t seem to be very clear on the Microsoft site(s) that I have looked at…
But, Office 2011 only supports Exchange 2007 or higher. So if you run Exchange 2003, the only way you’ll be able to connect to the Exchange server is through IMAP, which will eliminate your ability to use your Calendar, Contacts, Public Folders, and Delegation features through the exchange server.
You could still use your local calendar, and contacts, but no server based resources. So Outlook for the Mac is really not that useful for Exchange 2003 users….
In addition, Outlook for the Mac, does not have any interoperability with iCal. You will need to export your iCal calendar and import it into Outlook & cease updating in iCal… If you wish to do your calendaring through Outlook.
This is the second version of Office that Microsoft has virtually crippled in one form or another.
Office 2008 completely removed VBA, which is thankfully returned in Office 2011… But that broke cross-platform functionality, and seriously hampered anyone that uses any sort of macro functionality….
Office 2011 doesn’t work with the main calendaring solution on the Macintosh. Which I suspect that doesn’t have iSync functionality, and that is a large step backwards from Office 2008. Why is it important?
Simply, iSync is a synchronization tool that is built into the OS. It is often leveraged to synchronize Calendar, and Address book data between different applications… This way NOW X can simply sychronize to the iSync database, and not have to know how to read a CSV, Tab deliminated file, or some other more exotic file format. So Office 2008 can then synchronize to that Database and not have to be concerned with who modified it last, and just use the data.
Office 2011 thus can only export a calendar as a Tab-delimited text file, or as a Outlook for Mac Data file… One format that probably will take some effort to import into anything without any issues (Tab-delimined), or another format that nothing else can read (.olm).
For now, I wouldn’t recommend moving to Office 2011 for email purposes. The other applications (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Document Connection) are solid enough, to deserve to be upgraded. But if you are using email, stick with your current email application.