MobileMe, my calendar events, and Microsoft

I have recently been helping a friend out with setting up their MobileMe account on Windows with their new iPhone.  I have also set it up for myself on the MacBookPro (MBP).  So until questions I cannot answer come in, I will consider myself a Pro at setting this up and continue through this article.

The main reason why my friend got MobileMe was so that she could sync her calendar and be able to update it whenever and wherever she is.  Like I said before, she is on Windows.

On the MBP, I already had and iCal running with multiple Google Accounts and pulling any and every calendar I can get my grubby little digital hands on.  In order to do this effectively I use BusySync, which was $20 but totally worth the expense because it makes using Google calendars with iCal a cinch.

Once we got my friend signed up with MobileMe, logged in with her phone and with the Windows box, things looked great.  Then we realized there were no calendar dates on her phone. WTF!?

I went back to my desk to do some research and quickly found in the small grey text at the bottom of the MobileMe page, that it will ONLY sync calendars with Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007 on Windows.  Seeing as how she was only using Gmail online, she was less than thrilled.

This seemed like a cop-out on Apple’s part to me, but it is actually probably Google’s fault.  If you know me, I would never say such a thing about Google, except that in this case it is true.  Google has set up their calendaring to be easy to use, but they also made it so that sometimes it is almost impossible to fetch/push/merge the data with current software like iCal.

For me, part of the reason I went and spent so much money at the Apple store was to get a breath of fresh air from all that Microsoft stuff I have owned my whole life.  So, when I see something like:

MobileMe calendars sync with Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 only.
If you use Microsoft Outlook in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange Server, MobileMe will not sync your contacts or calendars with Outlook.

from Apple makes me sick. They pretty much come outright and say “Buy our biggest competitor’s product because we can’t make this work otherwise”.  This turns a $100 a year mobileMe account into a $180 purchase ($100 + $79.99).

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