If youâ€™ve ever had to share an Outlook calendar with colleagues, youâ€™ll know how painful it can be when things go wrong. I spent a decade of my professional career in IT support, and shared calendar problems with Outlook for Windows were a daily problem. Microsoft is now promising that it is â€śdramaticallyâ€ť improving the reliability of shared calendars in what itâ€™s describing as â€śarguably the biggest change to Outlook for Windows since its initial release in 1997.â€ť
Microsoft first started testing a new shared calendars experience for Outlook last year, and itâ€™s now starting to roll out more broadly. Improvements include much faster sync times for new meetings and updated meetings, meaning changes should instantly be reflected in everyoneâ€™s version of a shared calendar. In the past, Outlook for Windows has often taken too long to sync calendar changes, resulting in meetings disappearing, calendars getting out of sync, and lots of other calendar headaches.
â€śSince summer 2019, we polished the experience and fixed bugs, thanks to many customer reports,â€ť says Microsoftâ€™s Exchange team. â€śWith tens of thousands of daily users on the preview, we feel confident now that the experience is going to delight calendar delegates.â€ť
The shared calendar changes are starting to roll out to Outlook for Windows users gradually. Microsoft says it has around 10 percent of Outlook for Windows users with the improvements enabled and that it will â€śkeep expanding gradually throughout the spring and summer.â€ť
Users of Outlook on the web, the new Outlook for Mac, and mobile versions of Outlook are already benefiting from these calendar sync improvements. Now a fix is finally on the way for users of the dedicated Outlook for Windows app.