Dactylx is one of the people who's been kind enough to try and inform me on some of the facts behind Windows Calendar's .ics file format - something I was totally oblivious too when I made a post about Windows Calendar a few days ago. There's been several people now who have helped me get a grip on what's really behind Windows Calendar's file format - but that's for another post at another time. Dactylx has gotten me thinking about why do I feel Windows Calendar is so exciting?
What makes Windows Calendar so exciting is it boosts Windows Vista's "out-of-box" experience up a bit. Right out of the box, Windows Vista will allow users to create calendars, share them, and subscribe to other calendars - other calendars that could be from users who are using Apple's iCal or even Mozilla's Sunbird (thanks Brian for informing me of this nifty program). And other users from other platforms will be able to subscribe to your calendars as well. A user doesn't have to go out and either download or buy a seperate program!
Its been suggested that the new Calendar features in Outlook 12 are going to blow me away. I look forward to testing them out. But again, Windows Calendar is exciting to me because it makes the "out-of-box" experience when I purchase Windows Vista alot more better. I mean, if you're using Outlook 2003 as a simple POP3 client, you're wasting features Outlook 2003 has by not being in an Exchange Server environment. With Windows Calendar and Windows Mail (formally Outlook Express), you get the same experience right out of the box when you install Windows Vista. Alot of home users stay away from Outlook because of its complexity. By having two programs - Windows Mail and Windows Calendar, it will be easier for the average user to do what they need to do.
Will this effect Microsoft Office sales when Office 12 comes out? My guess would be absolutely not. Why? Because people are still going to need Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Publisher.
I guess it comes down to this: is Outlook 12 going to become more home user friendly? Or is Microsoft intending to make Windows Mail the standard home user mail client and have Outlook 12 target the business environment? I guess we can only guess at this point until Microsoft reveals its intentions with both mail programs.
Windows Calendar is an example of Microsoft packing in features to Windows Vista that makes the average user's "out-of-box" experience alot better more efficient. This is exciting to me. I'm definately a geek!