Scott Hanselman

Google Internet Calendars and Outlook 2007 - The DST Fun Continues

March 21, '07 Comments [17] Posted in Musings
Sponsored By

OK, this isn't fun or funny any more.  I use the Outlook 2007 extensively. My whole life is in there.

My wife uses Google Calendar, and she has shared her calendar to me as an ICS file. I subscribe her her calendar in Outlook, and it appears as an additional calendar. In the screenshot at right, her calendar appears under Other Calendars. This has really helped us keep our life more organized.

Tomorrow we're going to look at a School for Z at 11am. In the ICS file from Google it says:

DTSTART;TZID=
America/Los_Angeles:20070322T110000
DTEND;TZID=
America/Los_Angeles:20070322T120000

That's pretty unambiguous. 11am to Noon. However, Outlook displays that appointment - seen at right - as occurring from Noon to 1pm. I would have missed it if I didn't know this.

I don't know if this is a Google thing, but I do know I'm not alone as others are reporting this problem and Google has updated some servers, but not others but is trying to fix something as reported on their Calendar Google Group.

This totally sucks. Even though we have updated all our Outlooks and all our Servers here at work, we're still seeing sporadic meeting problems, and most of us have just recreated all recurring meetings. I hope this gets fixed soon, either in Outlook, or on Google's side.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 6:05:38 PM UTC

Hey Scott,
I've spent a lot of time working with ICS <shudder/>. The data you listed above from the google .ics is correct. BUT the google calendar servers are all running different versions of their software and I've seen it happen a lot where one call will return x.1 and the next call will return x.2. They are constantly tweaking their servers and rolling out patches over a period of days and weeks (as confirmed to me by the head of the google calendar group). BUT what they gave you at that moment is correct.

Is it possible that your outlook and host machine is having problems with the recent timezone change? I know this wouldn't every happen on your ultimate box ;), but perhaps if the calendar is being read on an older, rarely used machine?

Adam
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 6:12:49 PM UTC
I'm pretty sure that it's coming back as correct, so now I'm suspecting that Outlook 2007 is misinterpreting that TimeZone.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 8:25:25 PM UTC
Hi, Scott.

My guess is it's the local DST settings. You can check your Windows machine and see if it has the DST patch by looking Add/Remove programs. You will have to check the box to "Show updates". Under Windows XP you should have an Update for Windows XP (KB931836).

If you do not, you can get it http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=66F1420C-DF2D-400B-A8A9-EF9061A9A3CA&displaylang=en. After you install it, change time zones and then change it back, just to make sure it's taken effect.

If you use an Exchange server for mail, they will have to be patched as well.

I used to work with Tim R. (if you're wondering how I happened upon your blog). I apologize in advance if you were already aware of the above information.

Mark
Mark Christian
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:15:26 PM UTC
I've noticed after applying all the patches and running the last minute calendar update tool that Microsoft released on the day of the change, that my holidays that occur in the affected dates are now spanning 2 days (St. Patrick's day and Halloween). I think the patches that MS put out were rushed and poorly tested (if at all).
Wade Christensen
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:38:08 PM UTC
I have a recurring meeting in Outlook that lasts 1 year, once per week at 11AM EST. After the DST changes, 3 weeks shifted to 12PM. If I attempt to update the recurring send, it doesn't change anything. I tried just changing it to 1 minute past the hour and for those 3 weeks, it still shows at 12PM.

As a result, half my staff missed the meeting. It is irritating and I'm glad I'm no the only one that's affected! Next week, the meetings will be back on track. I suppose I could have deleted the meeting recurrence and started over, but it's annoying to get invites and cancellations in your email all day because of a DST issue.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:23:34 PM UTC
Going back to my comment the other day about how I am getting constant update indications on your blog, going back on posts as far back as 3/6/07 today, I have to say your claim that there is a bug in SharpReader that regards new comments as updates to the corresponding post does not hold water. The post on 3/6/2007 "Coding4Fun" Interfacing with a Microsoft FingerPrint Reader" does not have any comments from today, yet it got marked as "updated". Meanwhile, Rory's blog post dated 3/19/07 has a comment dated today, yet it was not marked as "updated".

There's something else fishy at work. I hope it is not dasBlog.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:28:21 PM UTC
Let's not forget to send a "thank you" note to our friend George W over at Pennsylvania Ave for all the fun.
Sergio Pereira
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:51:48 PM UTC
FWIW: If I had to put money on it, I'd guess it was Outlook at fault.
Thursday, March 22, 2007 12:40:06 AM UTC
Re: My feed items updating - I'm debugging it with Feedburner. I've confirmed that the DasBlog feed isn't changing at all.
Thursday, March 22, 2007 12:41:24 AM UTC
MarkC - my system is patched...note this is my internet calendar, not my outlook cal.
Thursday, March 22, 2007 2:41:58 AM UTC
The Microsoft patches have been a disaster at my company. I really think Microsoft dropped the the ball on this one, especially after considering how much time they had to work on this to get it right (two years!). Now my CEO gives me the stink-eye when he passes by me.
Tony
Thursday, March 22, 2007 12:49:28 PM UTC
I'm thinking this is an Outlook thing. We've got our phone system tied into Outlook to set our phones to "In a Meeting" for appointments and such, and all of them I've had for the past week and a half have been off by an hour, meaning my phone says I'm not at my desk when I am and vice versa.
Travis
Thursday, March 22, 2007 3:41:57 PM UTC
Scott, can you say a bit more on getting Google calendar into Outlook?

Thanks!
Thursday, March 22, 2007 5:32:30 PM UTC
For Michael (and others, if they so wish),

Aside from how Scott does it, there are a number of other ways to get your Google Calendar into Outlook. One such is called SyncMyCal (www.syncmycal.com).

Cheers.
Thursday, March 22, 2007 5:33:34 PM UTC
Help
Why does my Gravtar Icon not show on against my comment? :(
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 3:14:40 PM UTC
I'm trying to debug this problem from a slightly different angle. I've been using the online product Stikkits (www.stikkit.com). Part of its features it the ability to create appointment items that can then be subscribed to via a webdav published ics (just like Google calendar). Outlook 2007 does the same thing for the Stikkit feeds.

Interestingly, I've tried these same feeds in Apple iCal and Vista's Windows Calendar applet and the rendering is correct. Clearly this is an Outlook issue, now just to figure out who's working on a fix...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:33:41 PM UTC
I looked this page up on behalf of a colleague and was suprised not to find a link to the Hanselminutes installment that discusses calendars... :-)

http://hanselminutes.com/default.aspx?showID=75

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.