Yahoo's new social networking calendar enters beta

After ten years, Yahoo is finally updating its online calendar, with new capabilities ranging from Flickr-based photo integration to iCal compliance for sharing information with friends all over the Web.

Yahoo today launched the beta release of a new online calendar. While delivering its own new twists, Yahoo's revamped calendar adheres to the same iCal calendar standard used by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, and IBM's Lotus.

Through the iCal compliance, Yahoo members can now share data with friends who use calendars from other online services, Yahoo officials said in a statement.

The new calendar is built on top of AJAX technology gained through last year's buyout of Zimbra, a player in open source messaging and collaboration. Yahoo has also integrated Flickr for adding photos to make an online calendar take on more of the look and feel of a traditional wall calendar.

Other key features include calendar zoom, for viewing calendar entries; Web 2.0 drag-and-drop; color-coding; a "to do" list; invitations and RSVPs; and the ability to set e-mail, IM, or SMS reminders for calendar activities.

Yahoo's new calendar works from directly inside Yahoo Mail, but interested testers need to register for the beta at a special site.

Google launched a challenge to Yahoo's long popular original calendar -- first created a decade ago -- by rolling out its own calendar for Gmail two years ago.

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