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Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Other Stuff is that Bad, Huh?

Jeremy Zawodny and seventeen others are now cheering for Google to release a calendar function. (You read vague speculation on that topic here way back last May.)

A couple of things I noticed:

- These folks really care about calendars!

- Life is so different nowadays. I wonder what Norm from Cheers would have done with a really good calendar. Every day the entry would have been "5 p.m., leave work for Cheers." This could have been a shared entry just in case others wanted to know where they could find him. Woody could have whipped out his PDA as Norm entered following a brief stop for donuts, and quipped: "I see you're ten minutes late, Mr. Peterson." "The usual, Woody." Then Woody would have queried Mr. Peterson's file on his PDA to discover that Mr. Peterson prefers draft beer.

- There has been a flurry of posts on the subject because someone's calendar-oriented site was getting hammered by a bot from Google. This led him to believe that Google's up to something calendar-related. But elsewhere, there have been recent "I wish Google had a calendar" posts completely unrelated to the 'bot story. Perhaps this truly means it's an idea whose time has come. Personally, in keeping with the comment we made last May in this space, I wouldn't look at this piecemeal, as "what will Google do for their next trick." Likely there really is an integrated plan at Google -- call it the portal plan if you will. So of course they will need to have a calendar eventually to go along with the email. This is just a matter of time.

- Some posters are concerned that Google's history so far with groupware has been weak. Indeed it has. Google Groups is out there but being upgraded very slowly. The concern with a Google calendar -- as vital as this is to one's work life -- is that it would be in beta for the new "Larry Page approved" maximum beta period of five years. So then you'd have to decide when it was safe to go in the water, since beta doesn't really mean beta. Maybe after a year or so?

- Meanwhile, the release of Mitch Kapor's "Chandler," an "open-source PIM," has been postponed until 2006.

- Is there some reason Zawodny won't even entertain the idea that Yahoo's calendar could satisfy his needs? Or is he sandbagging? Is Yahoo just hoping to goad Google into rushing a bad product to market? :)

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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