Wednesday, August 18

Mozilla Calendar

Mozilla's calendar app reached it's first public beta (beta 2) release. This is exciting news, I suppose. I use it infrequently to check my calendar - until, that is, they removed the ability to use authenticated WebDAV. Hopefully the calendar comes a long way so that I can eventually synch it with my Palm.



Anonymous said...

Thanks dave, this rocks.

It's awesome. In addition to being able to function as a standalone application or an addition to the mozilla browser I was amazed to find out it can actually integrate with the mozilla standalone email client (thunderbird) and as I'm sure you know it is based on Apple's open iCal standards. Apple open standards? Yes, Apple has actually been publishing and working on open standards for many of their new apps such as iCal. It started with the Konqueror Open Source Browser Project that apple branched into Safari.

Thunderbird is already an awesome mail client that is in many ways more robust and nearly as polished as Apple's I've been considering switching from to Thunderbird for quite some time. Now with the possibility of an integrated Mozilla mail / calendar application I might be able to completely make the jump. I probably won't switch with the first couple of initial releases of Mozilla Calendar even if it is quite stable but if it's everything I've come to expect from the Mozilla development team then I'd say it's going to be a huge winning combo.

But there's more... I'm leaving out the BIGGEST significance. There is NO platform independent solution with integrated mail and calendaring to date. The race has been on for the last two years to create an Outlook "killer" application that has all the integrated features of Outlook in one open, standards compliant package that runs on ALL the major platform and it looks like that Mozilla may just have taken the lead in this important race.

But that's not all... It gets better. Why is this so significant? Because the Microsoft Outlook integrated Mail / Calendaring collaboration system is Microsoft's only unchallenged strangle hold on the business market. This is the last peace of the puzzle to finally breaking Microsoft's control of the business and desktop computer markets.

Microsoft Office has been completely cracked with Star Office and Open Office, and the browser wars have been shifted into a somewhat irrelevant state do to the pressure of lawsuits by Mozilla, the W3C and other Open Source standards initiatives. The only primary application that Microsoft has left besides its operating system that is binding huge masses of businesses and home users across the world to the Microsoft desktop platform is the Outlook dependancy. Once that is cracked there are no more excuses for billions of small businesses and home users to start making the exodus from Microsoft Windows to Linux. . . . but will it actually happen?

So where do we stand right now? What's the bottom line? I've been waiting for Mitch Kapor (of Lotus fame!) and the FSF (Free Software Foundation) to come out with a stable beta release of their email / calendaring client (code named Chandler), but it's coming along very slowly. It may just be that the mozilla team has made a huge leap a head in the race!

Mozilla now has all the integrated components to make a decentralized (no specialized mail server required) standards compliant calendaring and messaging system to rival Microsoft's last unchallenged software monopoly; the Outlook server/client system.

I must admit despite my enthusiasm that only theoretically is this huge news. We're not there quite yet, but breaking the Outlook dependancy with an equivalent open source business solution is the final piece of the puzzle in breaking the camels back thus allowing Linux to conquer the desktop market. This is potentially huge news. But only potentially.

Go Lindows! Go IBM! Go Novel! Go Open Source! Even you Apple, you seem to have learned the error in your ways and made amends!

You can bet I'll be installing the integrated Mozilla Calendar / Mail beta and will make a post with a full review. We'll see just how close the reality of the Mozilla mail / calendaring system comes to its potential.

Michael Meiser said...

Wow, I chat alot when I get excited. ; )