[news=http://www.google.com/calendar/images/calendar_sm2.gif]Google on Thursday unveiled a free Web-based calendar application that is expected to heat up competition with Yahoo and Microsoft.
The beta version of Google Calendar, which can be accessed without a Gmail account, enables users to search for and add events from within the program or through Web sites that use open standards for calendars. Such sites are invited to add Google Calendar buttons next to events they list.
Users of the new Google application can also access events from friends' shared calendars and import events from Microsoft Outlook. Once they add events, they can use a "Search My Calendars" searchbar to find them. Events can also be created by typing simple messages like "Lunch with Kate 11:30 a.m.