I synchronize my Outlook contacts and calendar using this easy, free method
which involves no third party software. This method doesn't synchronize categories for contacts or calendar, but it also does not delete them from Outlook when you edit the contact or calendar-event on the phone and resynchronize back to Outlook. (I've specifically tested this.)
I don't think that there's any way to synchronize "categories" between Outlook and Android's stock apps for contacts and calendar because Android doesn't have a "categories" field in contacts or calendar.
This method also doesn't synchronize contact photos but it doesn't delete them either. (You can have a contact photo on Outlook. You can have a contact photo on your phone's contact card. But at least for now, they don't sync.)
Otherwise, this method works really well.