Google Moves into Calendaring

Today, Google unveiled a beta version of its new Google Calendar service, which lets customers track appointments and other scheduling data, and share them with others. Calendar functionality has long been a feature that Web email providers such as Microsoft and Yahoo have provided, but this marks Google's first entry into this market. Like competing solutions, Google Calendar is free. However, unlike many Google services, it's devoid of advertising.

Google Calendar offers quick schedule searching in keeping with Google's central capability. You can also specify calendar searches to include calendars that others have shared with you. In its current form, Google Calendar offers basic functionality: You can add events, which are public or private and can include invitations to other individuals; and you can view your calendar by day, by the next four days, by week, or by month. An agenda view lets you view upcoming events in a list, sorted by date.

Google has big plans for its calendaring service and as a public beta, it will be changing in the days ahead. For example, the company plans to add synchronization capabilities so that users can sync with Microsoft Outlook and a variety of smart phone devices.

Microsoft is working on several competing calendaring applications and services. Outlook 2007, a component of Office 2007, will include a vastly improved calendar component. Windows Vista, due in early 2007, will include a new application called Windows Calendar, which offers features similar to those of Google Calendar but is available offline. Also, Windows Live Mail includes an online calendar component that is quite similar to Google Calendar.

Google Calendar works best with Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox and is open to all users. Please visit the Google Web site for more information.

Google Web site.

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