Google Pins Up Free Calendar Service

Google has taken the wraps off Google Calendar, a free, beta-release online calendar service, enabling registered users to manage their schedules and share events with others.

Known for it’s ambitious online interfaces (as well as services which seem to stay in perpetual beta testing!), Google Calendar enables users to move events via drag and drop, and utilizes natural language processing to streamline event creation. Creating an event no longer needs to involve typing a title, a descripton, and fiddling with onscreen controls to set times, dates, or contact lists. Instead, a “quick add” feature enables users to type simple phrases like “Lunch Friday with Tom” or “leave work tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.” and Google Calendar automatically translates the descriptions into calendar entries.

Events can be private, shared with selected friends, or made public via the Web. Shared calendars can be shared via XML or via iCalendar (a common calendar format used by Mozilla and Apple’s iCal calendaring programs, among others).

Google Calendar also integrates with Google’s free GMail Web-based email service, enabling GMail users to create calendar events while using GMail and invite people to events.

Google Calendar is currently available only in English, but the company plans to introduce internationalized version of Google Calendar in coming months. No word on whether the company plans to introduce advertising into Google Calendar, or perhaps add month-based (or weekly!) calendar images or wallpapering. Just think of the deal Google could make with Martha