Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Early impressions of Windows Live Calendar

with one comment

I’ve been using WL Calendar for a few days so figured now was a good time to give an opinion on it.

WL Calendar is a fairly standard calendar app but that’s not meant to be derogatory in any way. It does what it does and it does it pretty well – I fail to see how a Calendar app could be significantly better or worse then another one. As ever its the little nuances that make an app stand out and WL Calendar has a few:






The hover-over AJAX functionality is pretty nice











Having multiple calendars and being able to overlay them in the same place could be very useful indeed. For example, you could create a calendar containing all of your favourite sports team’s fixtures and share it with the world which on the surface seems pretty cool.


There are some foibles with this though (more on this later).










You can now add social events from Live Events to your default calendar


Again though this is less than perfect…read on to find out why










Following on the Live Events theme, you can create one from right within Live Calendar


but there are problems with this as well (again, more below)










I love the fact that you can drag and drop events from one time slot to another. Just yesterday I was due to have a phone conversation with someone but for one reason or another it didn’t happen so we rescheduled for a couple of days time. Rather than removing the old event and recreating a new one I could just drag the existing event to the new time slot. Very cool!


Some things aren’t so good though any my main complaint (and its a big one) is that the integration between Live Calendar and Live Events is pretty woeful, even given what I said above. Sure you can create Live Events from within Live Calendar and yes, you can add Live Events to your default Live Calendar…but there’s a lot of stuff it can’t do. You would think that creating a Live Event from within Live Calendar would cause that event to show on your calendar, wouldn’t you? Well actually..nope…that doesn’t happen. And when you want to add a Live Event to one of you Live Calendars wouldn’t you like to be given the option as to which of your calendars it goes to? No, can’t do that either. My apologies, I was wrong about this! It turns out you CAN choose which calendar it goes to.

These are big barriers. As you can see from above I wanted to build a publicly available calendar of my team’s fixtures for this season where each fixture is a Live event. Because of these two problems I simply cannot do it.


Other quibbles:

  • Right-click doesn’t do anything. For example, I’d like to share a calendar simply by right-clicking and selecting ‘Share…’. Or right-click on a day and select ‘Create Event…’
  • More Live Event disappointments. You can add a Live Event to your calendar but any changes to that Live Event (such as a time change, or URL change) won’t get reflected in your Live Calendar
  • The URL for one of my shared calendars contains my name. What’s the point in that? Rather than http://jamie.calendar.live.com:80/calendar/Leeds+United+fixtures/index.html why not just http://calendar.live.com:80/calendar/Leeds+United+fixtures/index.html.Or, even better, simply make it http://Leeds+United+fixtures.calendar.live.com:80/.
  • You can’t choose an exact timeslot when dragging and dropping an event from one day to another.
  • Double-clicking on a time slot creates an event in that time slot but this doesn’t seem too intuitive to me. I would expect double-clicking to have a drill-down effect where if I double-click on a day when in ‘Month’ view I am taken to a detailed view of that day. Once I am in ‘Day’ or ‘Week’ view double clicking would create an event like it does now. This is a debatable point of view though so I won’t push it too much.
  • Why isn’t my agenda exposed on http://home.live.com
  • Windows Live Calendar is supposed to be a RESTful service. I suppose that’s kinda true because http://jamie.calendar.live.com:80/calendar/Jamie’s+test+calendar/index.html will take you to one of my calendars. However, I kinda expected more than that. I was hoping that I could enter something like http://jamie.calendar.live.com:80/calendar/Jamie’s+test+calendar/2007/11/08 and it would show me everything for that particular day. But not so. It would be really cool to have this. Being able to go straight to a particular day without having to navigate to it would be really valuable. However, even MORE valuable would be the ability to post new events to my calendar using any HTTP client. For example, I could send an HTTP POST to http://jamie.calendar.live.com:80/calendar/Jamie’s+test+calendar/2007/11/08/13/30 with the details of the event in the HTTP payload and it would create that new event at 01:30PM on November 8th, 2007.

So, its a good first stab and we mustn’t forget that this service is still in beta. I’d expect it to improve a lot before it gets its final release though.


P.S. Here are my own calendars that are publicly available. I’m hoping that linking to them might mean they get picked up by the search indexes:


Written by Jamiet

November 10, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Posted in Live Calendar

One Response

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  1. Good points. I hope you sent that as feedback to the Calendar team.


    November 12, 2007 at 12:30 am

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