I’ve been using a MacBook Pro as my primary work machine for several years and have been generally pleased with the experience. Yet, OS X has one glarring shortfall–lack of native support for Microsoft Exchange.

Sure, you can access Exchange through Entourage. But, I’ve found the process combersome and not always what it should be. I’m happy to see that Apple has decided to incorporate Exchange support into the next version of OS X, dubbed Snow Leopard.

At the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, Bertrand Serlet, Senior Vice president of Software Engineering, presented a demonstration of Snow Leopard. Among various interface and technology improvements, the new OS will support Microsoft Exchange within Mail, iCal, and Address Book. According to CNET’s Erica Ogg, who was live blogging from the WWDC keynote:

“Exchange to-dos, folders, and e-mails appear within Mail. You can also preview docs or spreadsheets using MS Office inside Mail even if you don’t have MS Office installed. iCal and AddressBook show integrated persona and Exchange calendars and contacts. The most requested feature was the ability to schedule using availability information, Federighi says. You can now do that by searching address lists and calendars.”

I’m glad to see Apple has included Exchange support, but I’ll hold off celebrating just yet. Who knows how well the synchronization is going to work? When I edit/update meeting requests from an application other than Outlook, something nearly always goes wrong. Here’s hoping Snow Leopard will solve this problem.