Dang it Microsoft – Why did you break FindTime?
I have been a huge fan of FindTime by Microsoft. I have been using and writing about it since it was released over a year ago. FindTime is a Microsoft Outlook extension that allows you to easily send meeting polls for free times that invitees can vote on before automatically scheduling a meeting. It cuts back on the back and forth emails normally related to people’s personal schedules etc.. This has been a tremendous win for me with external clients whom I don’t have free/busy information for.
Microsoft recently released a new update to the FindTime service. The update included some UI changes that were cool but also included absorbing it into the Outlook Web Interface domain. This has been disastrous for my usage.
Now when I send out meeting requests to clients, I often hear back from the client that their internal web policies are preventing them from seeing the voting page. The old version of FindTime was hosted on findtime.microsoft.com. There were zero issues with corporate employees going to *.microsoft.com on their networks. Now since the update, FindTime is hosted on outlook.office.com which, depending on your company, might be blocked. It is blocked to dissuade user populations from using the Web version of Outlook and instead use the corporate email.
This simple change nearly destroyed 100% of the functionality I loved so much from the product. I can’t reliably trust the product anymore. Sending invites that might not work just generates even more emails which is what the product’s mission was to cut down. I don’t think it is reasonable to think that companies will unblock the new domain since it is a policy change that would not make sense. Hopefully, Microsoft will revert its change but I doubt that will happen either.
I’m heartbroken over the loss of a great piece of functionality in my workflow.
Happy Valentine’s Day!