Windows Phone 7 and Windows Live Calendar: What you can and can’t do

calendarsSo many developers have gotten their hands on one of the Windows Phone 7s given out by Microsoft, and our friend Paul Thurrott is one of them. While Thurrott is writing his new book on WP7, he’s been updating his blog sharing what he found interesting during his discovery process with his new phone. In a few recent posts, Thurrott walked us through some of the calendar syncing functions (or lack of) in WP7. We’ll try to summarise the some of main points here with a focus on Windows Live Calendar.

What you can do…

Quoting Paul Thurrott’s post:

[After] you configure your primary Windows Live account on the phone initially … if you navigate to the Calendar [hub], you’ll see that Windows Live Calendar sync is enabled automatically. But you can turn it off from there.

Note that, for the preview release only, syncing email, contacts, and calendars for multiple Windows Live IDs is not supported. This will be supported in the final release.

In the post he mentioned that Exchange ActiveSync accounts are also supported, meaning you can connect your Windows Live Calendar this way too (when it gets enabled).

If you have multiple calendars in your Windows Live Calendar (that are actually your own, not subscribed calendars), these will all be synced with your WP7 too.

What you can’t do…

The calendar sync functionality in Windows Phone 7, while it does what it needs to do, is quite limited, probably due to it being a v1 release. Here’s a summary of what you can’t do at the moment:

  • To-do List is currently not supported
  • Subscribed calendars are not synced into your WP7 calendar
  • Update: Multiple calendars within the same source are also not synced. Only the primary or default calendar gets synced.
  • When creating appointments on your WP7, you cannot specify which calendar you want it to be created into. By default, it will be created in your default calendar. You can, however, specify which calendar source (e.g. Windows Live Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar…etc) you want your appointment to be created in

So as Thurrott puts it, this is an “example of something that is simple and elegant, but also functionally limited” with the upcoming Windows Phone 7, and “you can’t be both simple and full-featured”. Well, at least in version 1 anyway. We definitely hope that some of these limitations with Windows Phone 7 will be fixed with one of the software updates to be coming soon after release. After all, this would at least give them a little extra competitive edge over the phone-that-must-not-be-named!