Yahoo! Enhances E-mail Experience with Its New Online Calendar
Yahoo! today announced the availability of an all-new Yahoo! Calendar, the No. 1 Web-based calendar service in the world. The new Yahoo! Calendar, which will begin rolling out in beta to users today, offers an intuitive, online social calendaring experience that enables people to be more productive.
Based on open standards, the new Yahoo! Calendar beta makes it easy for users to discover, share and keep track of events and appointments. Yahoo! Calendar is a popular feature within Yahoo! Mail, a key starting point for consumers on the Web and one of the most popular Web mail services in the world with more than 278 million users per month.
Leveraging last year’s acquisition of Zimbra, a leader in open source messaging and collaboration software that brought Ajax functionality to online calendars, the new Yahoo! Calendar is built on the Zimbra platform using the iCalendar (iCal) and CalDAV standards. The new calendar is interoperable with other online calendar services including those from Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft, AOL and Google, so users can share their calendar data with friends who use other online calendaring services and subscribe to any iCal-based public calendar.
Other new easy-to-use features allow consumers to keep track of activities through color-coding, drag and drop appointments for easy scheduling, and “zoom-in and -out” from a monthly “wall calendar” view to a single event — all from within a Yahoo! Mail account. In addition, images from the Flickr photo community can be included to create a visual, unique-looking online calendar with interesting photos.
“With the new Yahoo! Calendar, we’ve taken the concept of a traditional paper calendar and transformed it into a smart, yet simple online tool that helps people to keep track of their schedules, stay organized and be more productive,” said John Kremer, vice president, Yahoo! Mail.
“We’re executing against our vision of a smarter inbox, and this is just a preview of what’s to come in terms of integrating other network properties into the Yahoo! Mail experience. In the coming months, users will see additional features in Yahoo! Calendar to help them discover and keep track of their favorite events — like sports team schedules and concert dates — and even more features to enhance their overall communications experience.”
Key features in the new Yahoo! Calendar include:
– Sharing — Layering functionality that makes sharing events and keeping track of group activities easier
– Zoom — Calendar zoom capabilities make it easy to add and view new Calendar entries
– Photos — Integration with Flickr adds an interesting visual component to the Calendar and gives it the feel of a classic wall calendar through interesting public, Creative Commons designated photos on Flickr
– Alerts — Reminder feature makes it simple to set email, IM or SMS reminders for important Calendar activities
– Drag and Drop — Web 2.0 drag and drop functionality makes it simple to move appointments to new times — all without refreshing the Web page
– “To Do” List — A simple and handy “To List” feature makes it easy to keep track of important chores and tasks
When the Yahoo! Calendar beta becomes generally available in the coming months, it will include additional synching features and the capability to discover events of interest through tight integration with Upcoming.org and other Yahoo! properties. The Yahoo! Calendar beta is currently being rolled out in five markets: the United States, Brazil, India, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Plans for global general availability will be announced later this year.
Openness is a major aspect of Yahoo!’s overall strategy, and open standards like CalDAV and iCalendar are key components. Yahoo! is a member of CalConnect, the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium that helps further the development and adoption of these standards, and is hosting the CalConnect XIII members’ meetings at Yahoo!’s offices October 6th-10th.