Windows Live Calendar updated, Events discontinued

By LiveSide | In Featured, News | Posted September 11, 2009 8 comments

Windows_Live_Calendar_logo Last week, on September 3, 2009, Windows Live Events was officially “retired” and users will no longer be able to create new events using this service, and users are encouraged to download all the files and photos associated with an Event (from the Event’s SkyDrive and Photos) before April 2010. Instead, Microsoft recommend users to use Windows Live Calendar to invite their friends to any events they’re planning. Read this post for further information on how to do this.

In conjunction with the discontinuation of Events, Microsoft also announced today that Windows Live Calendar has been updated, in particular in how Calendar handles your contact’s birthdays. Here’s what we first noticed as part of the change:

New Birthday calendar

Under the “New” menu, instead of having the item “Social event” (which allowed you to create new Windows Live Events directly from Calendar), there is now a “Birthday” menu item. Clicking on it will get you this screen:

Add a birthday

Previously, your “Birthday Calendar” would automatically fetch the birthday details from your Windows Live contact list, however you can only enter them using Windows Live People, Messenger, or Mail, and it would (occasionally) sync with your Calendar. With this new update, you can now add birthdays directly from inside the Birthday Calendar and they’ll automatically sync with your contact list! (Note: you cannot add a birthday to an existing contact, our testing showed that adding a birthday this way creates a new contact. However you can also solve this by clicking “Clean up duplicate contacts” right within Calendar to merge the new one with your existing contact). What’s also new in this update is that you can even give it a second reminder to make sure you don’t forget that person’s birthday.

Additionally, you are now allowed to delete your Birthday Calendar, and doing so will not make your contact’s birthday details disappear – in fact, you can add the Birthday calendar back and all the birthdays will still be intact. However, the best improvement must be the addition of a way for you to control when you want Calendar to sync your contact’s birthday with your Birthday Calendar:

Birthday Calendar settings

Since Windows Live Calendar launched, one of the biggest complaint we’ve seen was the fact that when you add birthday details to your contacts (within Messenger for example), they don’t appear right away in your Birthday Calendar, and you have no idea when it will get synced. With this new release, click “Refresh now” in the screen shown above will sync your contact’s birthday details with your Birthday Calendar right away – no more waiting!

You can see the improved Windows Live Calendar now at http://calendar.live.com!

Posted September 11th, 2009 at 7:19 pm
  • http://gregsedwards.spaces.live.com gregsedwards

    I have some duplicate birthdays on my WL Calendar, and it’s still not letting me delete them. Of the duplicates, one is attached to a contact, but the other is apparently corrupted, and everytime I try to edit it, I get a calendar error (cause it can’t find an associated contact). I’ve reported this to WL Support several times over the past 6 months, but their standard response has always been “we’re aware of the issue and working on it.”

    It’s nice to see new features being added, but c’mon, can’t they also take time to fix the bugs while they’re at it? Oh, and where’s the WinMo wireless sync solution?

  • http://gregsedwards.spaces.live.com gregsedwards

    Well, upon closer reading of your excellent article (and a little bit of “hold my beer and watch this” ingenuity), I tried just deleting and recreating my Birthday calendar, which seems to have cleaned up the duplicates. It took a while, but now my birthdays all have nice little cake charms and the duplicates are gone. Thanks LiveSide!

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/brianm76/default.aspx brianm76

    Wow, great update….Now I can’t access my calendar at work in IE 7/WIndows XP Prof. – NICE!

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Kip-Kniskern/default.aspx Kip Kniskern

    @brianm76 – I’m at work, on XP Pro and IE7, and don’t seem to be having any problems accessing http://calendar.live.com/calendar/calendar.aspx – maybe refresh and try again?

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/brianm76/default.aspx brianm76

    @Kip Kniskern – No go….cleared cache, etc and page starts to load then just sits there. Just started today. Yesterday morning calendar working fine. If it is not upgrade related then it is firewall related…or both.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/ohoy11iw/default.aspx ohoy11iw

    Is it possible to the sync birthday calendar (or any other WL calendars) with outlook with outlook connector? Windows mobile only syncs with outlook calendar. ):

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/paperlock/default.aspx paperlock

    Any idea on when will windows live wave 4 start.
    Windows Live Calendar update was needed.
    When will windows live calendar bee intergated with windows live shopping so i sea recmondation.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/emiliano84/default.aspx emiliano84

    FINALLY!!!

    now we have to wait only for full live calendar sync for mobile…when? :(