Google calendar (and the rest)

I'd been waiting for Google to finally push out their calendar before I made this post. Then they did, and I thought I'd give you a round up of the leading contenders.  The problem is, calendars are not quick and interesting things to test — essential though they are. So, although I have looked at a bunch a while ago, I'll just ramble for a bit before recommending you compare Google Calendar to Kiko for yourselves, mmmKay?

First of all it's interesting to note what Google is up against (apart from the anticipatory hype of this essential tool). Yahoo has had a calendar for as long as I care to remember. A lot of people use it; I did for a while. MSN also pitched in with theirs a good while back so what's new here? In a word, the gaggle of technical tricks and philosophies that gets called Web2.0 where the ideal is an application that is as least as painless as a desktop application and extra handy by being online and shareable.

People have been expecting Google to fell the existing calendar systems from Yahoo and MSN as a matter of course and then go on to give the nimble upstarts a run for their money. Since these specialists exercise their money quite vigorously the odds are not impossible. Look at YouTube and Google Video.

On to the round-up:

Google Calendar does the minimum to keep up. Drag and drop events. Natural language event creation. Sharing and exporting. The only thing kind of new is the provision of an ad hoc message board for each event which should make parties easier to organise. Whilst I'm at it, Google needs to add birthdays as special events. A cake, a year and a link to a contact would be nice.

I'm still not sure whether Gcal beats Kiko, which became the smartest kid on the block after a major upgrade. Previously slick but simple, it's now slick and well-featured. This means it pushes past the well-featured but rickety planzo and the slick and reasonably-featured 30 boxes.

Let me know what you think. 

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