I'm posting this solution here because it caused me many hours of
frustration trying to figure it out. There was a similar problem
posted here as far back as 2003, but no solution was listed with it.
Perhaps this will help the next victim of Outlook's horrendous support
for importing iCal files...
I just spend about 4-hours between yesterday afternoon and this
morning trying to import an iCal file into Outlook 2003. No errors
occurred during the numerous importing attempts, but afterwards the
events did not appear on the days that they should have. Yet the
number of unread/upcoming events next to the calendar name increased
every time I tried to import.
I tried searching for the missing items using the Advanced Find
dialog, but they would never appear in the results. I even tried
exporting the whole calendar as an Excel file using a very wide date
range (all events from 1970 through 2038), but the events were not
listed in the export either.
Finally, I tried applying the predefined "By Category" filter to the
standard Calendar view (available in the Advanced toolbar group).
There were all of my phantom events - they included no information
whatsoever and were in fact listed as email items rather than calendar
items. I was able to delete them from that view and return my item
count back to normal.
Now I just had to get around the importing problem. After searching
various resources for an explanation, the best that I could come up
with is that Outlook doesn't like some Timezone data that tends to get
included in iCal files that originate from a Mac client. No other
information was included on what in particular Outlook didn't like or
if there was a direct work around, so I did some experimentation on my
own. The solution is actually easier then you might expect. First, I
imported the offending iCal file into a new Google calendar. Then, I
downloaded Google's rendition of the file from the Private iCal link
under the Manage Calendars panel. Finally, I imported this new iCal
file into Outlook using the normal Import/Export dialog. Now the
events appear as expected.
If you're interested in trying to this all yourself, you can find the
original iCal file at http://www.web2expo.com/webex2007/schedule/ -
Import the file as-is into Outlook, then apply the "By Category"
filter to see where they went to.
(Cross posted to http://www.csb7.com/whyblogwhy/)