Internet search giant Google introduced a free calendaring and day planner feature on April 13, one of the search giants moves to challenge chief rivals Microsoft and Yahoo.
Google Calendar contains all the usual bells and whistles of such features. But Google has added a few new wrinkles, such as being able to share listings with friends of your choosing, cell phone text messaging notifications while on the go and a built-in search feature for plumbing the listings.
With the new calendar, the Mountain View, Calif., company leaves very little doubt about who its gunning for: namely, Microsoft, and its Outlook messaging and calendar application that veritably dominates the market for such services.
Some people getting their first taste of the calendar are giving it a thumbs up for now.
“It is pretty awesome,” one commentator wrote, which is typical of the early positive reactions registered by people trying out the feature.
Other bloggers said they liked how Google Calendar can exchange details with Apple Computers iCal, a similar planning feature.
However, some had objections; for example, blogger Matthew Langham bemoaned how Google Calendar doesnt yet automatically update information stored on other types of calendar features, including Microsofts Outlook.
“Until it provides synchronization, I dont think Ill use it,” he wrote in his online commentary.
With the addition of Google Calendar, Googles array of free desktop features parallels Microsofts, except for one big gap. Google has yet to offer a word processing feature to match Microsofts ubiquitous Word software program. But that is likely coming soon, because Google owns the company that makes Writely, a Web-based word processor.
Googles calendar move is also a challenge to Yahoo, the Internet luminary that operates the most popular online calendaring feature.
Google Calendar has been among Googles worst-kept secrets, with word leaking out of the features development months ago. A half dozen bloggers had scooped the company on its own news.