Today, we’re releasing a new, modern calendar experience for Outlook.com. The Outlook.com calendar has been entirely redesigned with a modern, intuitive interface that puts you in control of your schedule. Our calendar service is faster than ever, helps you focus on the events and appointments and tasks you’ve added, and lets you take your calendar with you on any device. The new Outlook.com calendar is rolling out now and will be available around the world this week at https://calendar.live.com/.
A fresh and intuitive design
The new, modern design of Outlook.com, along with many of Microsoft’s other products, optimizes “content over chrome,” which, in the case of calendar, means your events and appointments are the primary focus.
We also made navigating and getting info into your calendar faster than ever. You can add or edit events with a single click, enter an event by simply dragging your mouse across the time or date range you need, add tasks without opening a new page, and jump to a particular day simply by clicking the date.
Another key part of our design philosophy is to ensure that you have a consistent experience that adds up to more than just the individual parts. You’ll see this in how the new Calendar fits naturally into the same family with your inbox, address book and SkyDrive:
Across your modern smartphones and tablets
Of course today’s calendar isn’t about the web alone–it has to work amazingly well across your mobile devices. Outlook.com uses Exchange ActiveSync to sync your mail, calendar, and address book on your smartphone, tablet, in the new Outlook 2013 and with the Mail, Calendar and People apps on your new PC or tablet running Windows 8. You can also use the Outlook connector to integrate your calendar with previous versions of the Outlook desktop software. Connecting your calendar to your mobile device is easy.
Connected to what you care about
You can connect your Microsoft account to services like Skype, LinkedIn, and Facebook to see your friends’ birthdays added to the calendar automatically from those services. Your calendar also shows you up-to-date weather forecasts for many regions, and holidays for a growing list of regions. You can also import calendars (.ics files) or subscribe to public calendars from other services. iCalShare gives you thousands of holiday, sports, and other calendars that you can subscribe to with just a click. Or, try exporting a Google calendar, and then import it into your Outlook.com Calendar by clicking the Import link in the header.
You’re in control of sharing with friends and family
We prioritize your privacy and so of course, your calendar is private by default. But we set out to make it as easy as possible to share your calendar with others. All you have to do is click the “Share” menu in the header. When you share a calendar, other people can access the calendar, but as the owner, you determine who can edit and add events. You can set it up in just a few clicks.
You can either privately share the calendar with specific people (by entering their email address) or you can click “Get a link” and then email or post that link anywhere you want. You can also subscribe to change notifications on a shared calendar. So if one parent adds or changes an event–a family dinner, soccer game, doctor’s appointment, date night–you can make sure the whole family gets notified by email. And, you can have as many shared calendars as you like.
Get started today
Whether you’re already using Outlook.com for your email or you’re just looking for a new, modern calendar, you can get started with any email address at Outlook.com Calendar as soon as your account is upgraded.
We look forward to hearing what you think.
–David Dennis, Principal Program Manager Lead, Outlook.com Calendar