The Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium had its public launch (see the press release here) this week. There are quite a group of people involved - including some very experienced and/or smart ones. It looks promising, but we've seen promise before in the calendaring world, promise in the "candidate campaign promise" sense which disappears soon after the election. I'm always optimistic that this time will be the time things change, but who can be sure at this point?
There are at least two big vendors missing from the founder's list, who ought to be ashamed of themselves - Microsoft, because of the prevalence of Outlook in organizations; and Palm, because they're basically the progenitors of personal information management in the mobile space. Come on guys, it will only help you sell more copies if people can use your tool to schedule with all of their partners! The only mobile vendor I see is Symbian.. are they the stand-in for all of the cell-phone companies? When everyone claims we'll be living and dying by the cell phone, why aren't more cell phone software firms working with this group?
There are, at least, several universities involved - while their scheduling needs may not be the same as Everyman's, they do tend to have a lot of bright student programmers who like to work on things..
The group's purpose though is admirable, and one I support whole-heartedly (it's the purpose of this blog, too): to push vendors to come up with even some decent interoperability so that we can finally use our calendaring tools with businesses, with customers, and with each other. If we can get there, the door will open to all sorts of helpful calendar-related applications in the future, too. Let's just hope we get there.