Microsoft said Thursday that it is looking into reports that
Outlook.com has unexpectedly stopped supporting calendar
subscriptions with high priority, and that Microsoft has no plans
to drop then feature.
WinFuture reported that some users had seen Outlook.com
apparently stop supporting calendar subscriptions, though the same
issue didn't seem to affect people subscribed to the Office 365
service. That led to suspicion that Microsoft was apparently
migrating the calendar subscription feature to its paid services.
Microsoft says that's not the case at all.
What's a calendar subscription? You can add a single calendar
entry to Outlook.com (or Outlook, or Google Calendar) by importing
a calendar entry or calendar file. Outlook.com and other email
services also allow you to subscribe to an external shared
calendar, which allows those calendar entries to show up on your
calendar, and update dynamically as the calendar owner
Some examples of shared calendars might include a Major League
Baseball schedule, or a list of practices and games for a youth
soccer team. Shared calendars typically use either an .ICS or .iCAL
file, with the latter file format used by Apple's iCalendar. It's
these calendar subscriptions that have reportedly stopped working
at least in some cases.
Calendars can be
shared or subscribed to in many email clients. This is an example
of several subscribed calendars within Windows 11's Calendar app.
Mark Hachman / IDG
Microsoft, however, denied that it's changing its stance on
Outlook calendar subscriptions. The ability to add calendars to
view all events in one's life is an important scenario for our
customers, a Microsoft representative said in an emailed statement.
We have recently received some reports of users who are
experiencing issues with subscribing to .ics/ical calendars and are
actively investigating these issues with high priority. We
apologize for any disruptions in this workflow.
We also wanted to re-affirm that Outlook has no plans to
deprecate its support for .ics/ical calendars, holidays, and
professional sports team schedules, Microsoft added. This is an
important scenario for our customers, and we continue to evaluate
improvements to this scenario.
Microsoft didn't say how many customers were affected, and when
it would roll out a fix.