I’m currently writing an informational article / how-to document for Queen’s Medical Students, instructing them on how they are able to use different calendaring applications to subscribe to our automatically generated lecture and events iCalendar (.ics) calendars on our server, and then sync this data with their portable devices. It’s a very sought after document because it recently became apparent to me that even though we are providing this feature, not nearly enough people actually know how to use and implement it.
I use a Mac (it’s not secret) so I take for-granted that Apple provides me (free of charge) with an excellent calendaring solution (Apple iCal) capable of subscribing to remote iCalendar files and automatically updating them hourly; however Windows users, as always, receive the short end of the stick. Either way, I was researching Windows applications that are capable of supporting this feature and found a link to a page on Microsoft’s website titled “Works“.
Now I thought to myself “I really recognize that application name”, so I said it again to myself “Microsoft Works”… it all came back to me *whoosh* Windows 3.1 for Work Groups, Windows 95, Microsoft Publisher… haha, I couldn’t believe it. Microsoft still makes Microsoft Works and not only do they still make it, but they still develop it, still support it, still sell it, and even more unbelievable is that it apparently supports the very feature that I’m looking for when Microsoft’s own top of the ladder calendaring application (Outlook) does not even come close.
Just goes to show you, what’s old is new again (to me) and in the case of Microsoft Works, it apparently does just that and with a much smaller price tag than Office does. That being said, 99% of people that I know are just as happy with OpenOffice and don’t pay a dime unless they want to donate to the cause.