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Sending iCal invitations to MS-Outlook users

11501 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Aug 28, 2013 7:35 PM by Chris CA RSS
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NJ Analyst Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 13, 2010 3:06 PM
Is there a way that I can send an invitation to an iCal event to a PC user of MS-Outlook so that they can add the event to their Outlook calendar and either accept or decline to me?
iMac, MacBook, Time Capsule, iPod Touch, Mac OS X (10.6.4), VM Fusion, Win 7, Win XP, Ubuntu
  • Dmg1965 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 11, 2010 10:32 PM (in response to NJ Analyst)
    I'd like to know this as well.

    I'd like to continue using iCal but may have to dump it and go back to Outlook as I need a way to send and receive meeting invitations to/from Outlook users seamlessly.

    Apple... if you're listening you are pushing users away from iCal by choosing not to be compatible with Outlook's method for sending/receiving invitations. Very bad business move as it just sends your users/customers to your competitor because too many people are stuck on Outlook still.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • zmn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 28, 2010 9:44 AM (in response to NJ Analyst)
    Hi NJ,

    Been dealing with a similar issue for about 3 years now, so I know your pain. Apple will not solve this problem because they're a stickler for standards, no matter what the rest of the world really needs. I founded a company in 2009 called Zamain that is focused on making Mac calendaring more productive. Our first product, Zamain for Mac, resolves the Apple iCal to Microsoft Outlook/Exchange incompatibilities. The current version includes the following features:

    * Sends iCal invitations that Outlook users can actually open

    * Sends invitations from any email account

    * Lets you add comments to invitation replies

    * Makes timezones actually work

    * Prevents weird attachments from appearing in your invitation emails

    Although I know that this is a shameless plug for my product, I urge you to give it a try because it will really make your life easier. We have a happy user base, are actively developing new solutions, and are always open to suggestions.

    You can get Zamain for Mac at www.zamain.com.

    Thanks!

    -Jon

    As per the terms of agreement, I must disclose that I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link above.
    MBP 13", Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • netbeans Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2011 8:05 AM (in response to Dmg1965)
    My work involves daily communication and integration with windows & Outlook users. It seems that every time I sent a calendar invite to my customers, I hv to sms to notify them that I've sent a calendar invite; titled "iCal even Invitation..bla..bla..bla.."; simply because Outlook doesn't automatically add the invite to the recipients calendar. Imagine if my customers receives hundreds of email .. how is he/she going to know if there is a calendar invite?

    Will there be a patch/upgrade/update option in the pipeline to solve this annoying incompatibility?
    Macbook Air 11.6 (2010), Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2011 10:49 AM (in response to netbeans)
    Will there be a patch/upgrade/update option in the pipeline to solve this annoying incompatibility?

    You need to contact Microsoft since Outlook does not use the iCalendar standard.
    Mac mini (mid 2010) - 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.5), silver mini, blue mini, green shuffle, iTunes 10.1.1, 32GB wifi iPad
  • netbeans Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2011 8:31 AM (in response to Chris CA)
    Well... based on the response.. I'm assuming Apple will not be doing anything about the incompatibilities then..
    Macbook Air 11.6 (2010), Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2011 8:53 AM (in response to netbeans)
    Highly doubtful they would update iCal so it does not follow standards.
    Mac mini (mid 2010) - 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.5), silver mini, blue mini, green shuffle, iTunes 10.1.1, 32GB wifi iPad
  • james dai Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2011 1:15 AM (in response to NJ Analyst)
    i have the same questions. so it means the standards between outlook and ical are quite different to be compatible, right?
    macbookpro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2011 9:31 AM (in response to james dai)
    It means that MS does not follow a standard that everyone lsevuses. They made up their own way way to do it.
    Mac mini (mid 2010) - 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.5), silver mini, blue mini, green shuffle, iTunes 10.1.1, 32GB wifi iPad
  • o1sowise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2011 12:27 PM (in response to Chris CA)

    After getting no answers to this, I decided to open a real problem, so I went to Support.Apple.com and within a few short clicks, Apple called me.

     

    I accidentally hung up on them, and they called back in 2 minutes.

     

    I then waited in the queue for a few short minutes.  The person who answered, understood my problem and transferred me to the iCal department where I waited another 15 minutes. 

     

    The iCal department then did some research for 10 minutes, and came back to tell me that, unfortunately, iCal is working / not broken.  I disagreed, saying that this is my business computer and not being able to send meeting invites to anyone not using a MAC is insane.    

     

    The support guy suggested I tell the developers directly, via http://www.apple.com/feedback/ical.html.

     

    I did.

     

    He suggested that you all do to.  The more people who feedback, the faster we'll get a fix!

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2011 6:06 PM (in response to o1sowise)

    (10 months later and MS is still not using standards that everyone else uses)

    Have you sent feedback to Microsoft and told them they should use Internet standards for their calendar apps?

    Doubtful Apple will change their system to follow non-standard ways of doing things.

  • o1sowise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 5, 2011 10:54 AM (in response to Chris CA)

    No, I haven't tried approaching MS or IBM because:

    1. It worked (both from my MAC and iPhone) until I migrated to iCloud
    2. I don't own either of the other platforms (co-workers do).

     

    Frustrating because it did work, now it doesn't.

  • o1sowise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 11:07 AM (in response to NJ Analyst)

    I still cannot send iCal invitations to MS Outlook or Lotus Notes.

     

    This is even more frustrating, than a normal bug, because this used to work for me before I switched from MobileMe to iCloud.

     

    I keep waiting and testing every now and then.

     

    Anyone else have any suggestions? 

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 11:51 AM (in response to o1sowise)

    o1sowise wrote:

     

    I still cannot send iCal invitations to MS Outlook or Lotus Notes.

    You can send them invites? Why not?

    Perhaps you mean that those users cannot accept the invites you do send them?

    

    To get them into Lotus Notes, see thread you started -> https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3403458?start=0&tstart=0

  • kiminfl Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2012 12:43 PM (in response to o1sowise)

    I am having the exact same issue.  I have used Microsoft Office for Mac for years - using Entourage for mail and calendar - and had no problem sending invites to Outlook users, etc.  Every once in a while I would "force myself" to start using iCal and Mail - and even though I preferred Entourage - I could send calendar invites to anyone. 

     

    Since iCloud came out - I decided that it was time to take the plunge and use iCal and Mail exclusively - because with iCloud, I would never have to worry that my laptop calendar, iPhone calendar, iPad calendar and desktop calendar were not all exactly the same (I am self-employed - and travel a lot for work -- so I use whichever piece of equipment I have in my hand at the time to schedule events, etc....).

     

    Well - since doing this, anyone without iCloud or it seems (to me anyway) a Google calendar/gmail account - either doesn't even receive the calendar invitation - or if they do somehow - they cannot open the event invitation attachment.

     

    This is BEYOND maddening.  I am tired of trying to find "workaround" solutions to things that should be seamless.

     

    Has anyone had any luck figuring it out??

     

    Thanks in advance - and sorry for venting a bit!

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