Google and its ecosystem of small Mac and Windows developers continue to eat away at the justifications for Microsoft line of products; this week it’s calendar synchronization.
Microsoft used to own this game: if you wanted to to be able to share calendars then your organization needed Microsoft Exchange Server and a few IT people chained to their desks to support it. No more.
First Google came out with Google Calendars a few years back; then Google added Google Calendar Sync for Microsoft Outlook in March. Now, two Mac microISVs have released products that let Mac users sync up iCal with Google Calendar.
BusySync from BusyMac (longtime Mac users will remember the founders of BusyMac Dave Riggle and John Chaffee as the guys behind Now Up-to-Date back in the pre OS X days) lets you transparently update iCal from gCal or vice versa. And since Google users can privately share gCals, you can in effect create a shared group calendar without a non-Google server in the mix.
BusySync also can let the increasing number of Macs in office networks sync up, peer to peer.
Spanning Sync does much the same thing when it comes to gCal, again tapping gCal’s shared calendar function to create a virtual calendar server accessible from anywhere.
The biggest differences between the two products is their licensing: BusySync is licensed per computer while Spanning Sync is licensed per person. If you happen to have multiple Macs in your life, Spanning Sync will cost you less. On the other hand, if you want to sync people on your company’s LAN, definitely look into BusySync.