Make a Date with an Online Calendar in 2008

Microsoft Windows Live Calendar

Microsoft Windows Live Calendar

Windows Live Calendar is the newest entry among the calendars we looked at for this review. In fact, Microsoft’s Calendar service is still in beta and as such it might well change considerably before it’s considered to be a final product.

Reminders

That said, Microsoft hasn’t skimped on Windows Live Calendar offering up a strong competitor to both Yahoo and Google, though it’s still a little rough around the edges. The default settings in Live Calendar only allow for one reminder time (Yahoo has two and Google has no limit). Still, there is an option to get alerts via Windows Live Instant Messenger and email. In the beta we tested, there wasn’t an option to get a daily calendar sent via email.

Add Events

Adding event in Live Calendar is as easy as double clicking the date cell or clicking the Add button. Live Calendar does not offer the same degree of event recurrence options as Yahoo does, but still Microsoft has got the basics with daily/month/yearly repeats. They’ve also added in something else that is somewhat unique with an option that lets the user determine how many times an event should be repeated.

windows live calendar Adding events with Windows Live Calendar

It’s also very easy to setup up multiple local calendars inside of one Live calendar. As is the case with Google, multiple calendars are simply managed with a selection box that lets the user select or de-select a calendar to be viewed.

windows live calendar Windows Live: Multiple calendar views are just a click box away.

One annoying thing with Windows Live Calendar, though, was how the monthly view is more than a monthly view. For example, in the picture above notice that for the month of January (top left small calendar) Microsoft shows six weeks. In the main view, instead of just staying in January 2008, it shifted from Dec 30 to Feb 2.

While it might be interesting to see a little of the month prior and the month next, frankly when I want to look at a January calendar I want to see January.

Live Calendar also suffers from the same event detail issue that Google has where long event titles are cut off instead of flowing to the next line (as they do in Yahoo).

Sharing

The sharing functionality on Windows Live calendar offers the typical public/friends/private options that Yahoo and Google have. Unlike Yahoo and Google, though, there is no obvious way to invite someone to an event.

What Live does a little differently, though, is that it allows you to send a private calendar address to a friend if you so choose. The private address is not protected by a username/password but it isn’t something that is likely to be guessed.

Microsoft offers the ability to import any ICS file formatted calendar directly into Live calendar. Unfortunately, the beta does not provide any Microsoft Outlook synchronization capability beyond a simple import. If you’re an Outlook 2003 user you might be out of luck too as there is no simple way to import calendar data from that version of Outlook into Live Calendars. Outlook 2007 offers an ICS export which Outlook 2003 does not. (check out the help doc from Microsoft: http://help.live.com/help.aspx?mkt=en-us&project=Calendar&querytype=keyword&query=radnelac_tropmi_ourt&tmt=main&domain=calendar.live.com)

windos live calendar Windows Live : calendar sharing options.

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11 comments
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  • deskjockey49
    One big feature that appears to be missing from the article is Googles ability to recognise events from emails and add them directly from gmail, even if the event was just a regular email with times and places.
    Also, depending on the view, creating an event at a certain time and for a certain duration is also easy - just click the time and drag for how long you want it to be. There is also some tricky logic that allows you to click on 8:30am, add a description of "Metting at Head Office at 1325" and have google figure out that the meeting location is head office and the time is actually 1:25pm.
  • if you are using Blackberry, maybe other mobile devices... Only Google calendar, can you sync over the air. and the sync is automatic. You put some stuff on your mobile device or on the web, they sync!

    However, yahoo go! can sync your contacts. I hope Google will allow you to sync.

    also, Google has other mobile apps and they upgrade automatically.
    Google is just cool....
  • michel1234
    I use www.plaxo.com to sync automatically both ways my Google and Outlook calendars. It was easy to setup and it really works well.
  • Take a look at Cozi. works well for busy families. It is both web based and has a program that you can download to your PC. I also has a free toolbar that syncs great with Outlook.
  • I´m using my Google Calendar with Mozilla Thunderbird.
    Check "Lightning" and "Provider for Goggle Calendar" extensions. It´ll be a good surprise
  • One important point is Yahoo's lack of support for iCal/ICS.
  • They should have reviewed Airset.com's offering, which is far and away the best online solution for calendaring out there, especially if you want to sync with multiple desktops.
  • "What?s interesting though is that you can just click to add an event but the quick view doesn?t offer the choice of selecting a time"
    This isn't true... when you single-click on a calendar date, you can enter a time in the same box as the event title, and the page recognizes the time when you save it.
  • Sorry, the last comment was in reference to Google Calendar.
  • hrysax
    have you seen FriendEvent (www.friend-event.com)?

    its a pretty neat calendar social network. it doesnt have all the intense importing/syncing features of google calendar, but i think its supposed to be more geared towards the social aspect of sharing events with friends.
  • An invitation to a Yahoo calendar user is not working... and yes, it is 2012...

    I´m using google mail and have MS Outlook on my laptop with Google sync, it works great.
    But it´s not possible to create a calendar event in outlook and invite a Yahoo user.
    A Yahoo user can creat a event and invite a Google or MS Exchange user.