It amazes me that we are nearing 2011 and with all the cloud computing, integrated software, open standards and social networking, the last missing key to the puzzle is calendaring.
I work in a mixed pc/mac environment using an online task and project management tool, which offers some rudimentary milestone scheduling features, and we use Exchange 2003 for our email and calendaring. I know, its old, and its almost deprecated, but until we upgrade, its what we have. But even if we upgrade it doesn’t solve the problem.
The problem is in open standards adoption of CalDav on Windows/Outlook, and the Macs implementation of exchange calendars in iCal and Entourage/Outlook for mac.
Windows and Outlook
In Outlook for Windows, unless your using exchange, there is very little you can do out of the box to get a could synchronized shared calendar solution. Sure you can use google calendar with a plugin, but thats not really ideal now is it.
Mac and iCal
iCal is great and I love it, and use it extensively with MobileMe. I have a whole bunch of calendars synched with my iPhone for scheduling on the go, and i cant live without it.
What gets my goat is that it doesn’t support older versions of exchange. It also frustrates me when sending and accepting meeting requests to pcs. Its either outlook on windows cant read or open them, or it doesn’t get my meeting request replies. I don’t know if this problem is solved with a newer exchange server or not, but at the moment, is killing me.
Mac and Outlook
Ive played around with Office 2011 Outlook beta, and i love it. I love how similar to Outlook on PC, and its spectacular. My beef comes down again to the fact it doesn’t support older versions of exchange, and again it doesn’t support CalDav. So i cant get my google or MobileMe calendars on it. Which cripples it severely for me.
I know this is a bit of a rant at the state of things, but it doesn’t seem like there is any planned future updates for some applications to improve this. iCal for mac may get an update soon in the next Mac OS X update that might solve this. I doubt Outlook on Windows will start supporting CalDav anytime soon, coz they would have already. As for Outlook for mac, turns out they left out that feature on purpose because they wanted to concentrate on exchange functionality first. So it maybe an added feature in future update. But until then, i cant use it much.
Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on getting a working Mac/Windows shared calendaring experience going smoothly?