Sending meeting request has become a very common procedure even when the person sits right next to you. It has many advantages not to mention the fact that it gets added into your calendar, fires up reminders, can book meeting rooms in advance etc. Anyway, everyone is familiar with the process.
The meeting requests in Exchange 2010 has been given a face lift so that it does two things. One, it sends the meeting request with all the look & feel you are familiar with. Second, it includes a snapshot of your calendar, so that you don’t have to close the meeting request, go back to your calendar and see whether you are free, before you accept / reject a meeting request.
Let me explain with an example. I sent a meeting request to my colleague Chakka and below is the meeting request she got.
As you can see, it tells her the time I have requested for the meeting and includes a snapshot of her calendar, so that she can accept or reject the meeting straightaway (without going back to her calendar).
This feature is only available in Outlook 2010 when run against Exchange 2010. Outlook Web App (OWA) 2010 didn’t give her a preview of her calendar, although she can open the calendar by clicking the calendar button.
This feature is only useful for the person who is receiving the meeting request, as it will give a snapshot of his/her calendar along with the request to make an informed decision without leaving the request window. As far as the meeting organiser is concerned, things remain the same as free/busy information of other users can be looked up by the “Scheduling Assistant” while composing a request.
A very useful feature indeed!