Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Aug 28, 2013 7:35 PM by Chris CA
NJ Analyst Level 1 (0 points)
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 Level 1 (0 points)
    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.
  • zmn Level 1 (0 points)
    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



    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.
  • netbeans Level 1 (10 points)
    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?
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
    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.
  • netbeans Level 1 (10 points)
    Well... based on the response.. I'm assuming Apple will not be doing anything about the incompatibilities then..
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
    Highly doubtful they would update iCal so it does not follow standards.
  • james dai Level 1 (0 points)
    i have the same questions. so it means the standards between outlook and ical are quite different to be compatible, right?
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
    It means that MS does not follow a standard that everyone lsevuses. They made up their own way way to do it.
  • o1sowise Level 1 (0 points)

    After getting no answers to this, I decided to open a real problem, so I went to 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


    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 (78,695 points)

    (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 (0 points)

    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 (0 points)

    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 (78,695 points)

    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 ->

  • kiminfl Level 1 (45 points)

    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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