The Windows Live Calendar Team has announced the availability of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector 12.1 Beta – which allows you to sync your calendars on Windows Live Calendar (calendar.live.com).
The Microsoft Office Outlook Connector is designed to sync your Windows Live Hotmail mailbox, Windows Live Contacts, and calendars in Windows Live Calendar to Microsoft Office 2007 (or 2003). The Microsoft Office Outlook Connector will work with any Windows Live Hotmail account – as well as Office Live accounts or Windows Live Custom Domain accounts (domains.live.com). Not only do I have a Windows Live Hotmail account – I also have a custom domain that uses Windows Live Hotmail as well.
When I installed the Microsoft Outlook Connector Beta – my calendars that I have in Windows Live Calendar appeared in Outlook 2007 under “My Calendars”. I could check each calendar that I want to view (whether it be all or just 3 as you see in my screenshot). I can add and remove events and those changes are then synced back into Windows Live Calendar and then synced to any other machine running Outlook and the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector. Whether I am offline or online – I can always view my calendars which is really nice.
The current version of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connect 12.1 Beta is 12.0.6237.1003. To find out what version you are running choose “Outlook Connector” in Outlook’s menu at the top and then choose “About Outlook Connector”. You have to be running this version to get calendar sync with Windows Live Calendar. Previous versions of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector will not sync your calendars.
I’m a little late posting on this – Sarah Perez over on ReadWriteWeb has an excellent post on the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector as well and definitely worth a read. Paul Thurrott (regarding the release of the new Outlook Connector Beta) says “this could be huge”. The Microsoft Office Outlook Connector 12.1 Beta certainly creates a great experience with Windows Live by bringing together email, contacts, and calendaring all in one spot. I know for many people wanting such an experience for a while now – this *is* huge for them and very exciting to see.
The Windows Live Calendar Team also recently made an update to the Windows Live Calendar service introducing some awesome new enhancements such as iCal subscriptions and an automatic Birthday Calendar for all your Windows Live Contacts. Check out my post on last week’s Windows Live Calendar update here.