While attending When 2.0, which is all about calendaring and other time-based applications, I ran into Carl Sjogreen, who has something to do with Google's rumored calendar mate for Gmail, Gtalk, etc. Sjogreen, a former BEA product manager, was not particularly forthcoming about his role at Google, which is in line with the 'secretive in an open, do no harm world' stance of the company. He would only admit to me that he is a Google product manager. He also gave me the standard, no comment on unannounced products when I asked about a Google calendar. Prior to my queries he was talking to Hans Bjordahl, the Microsoft program manager for Outlook's calendar, having a friendly contest to see who could extract more information from one another.
Carl Sjogreen, a product manager at Google who may or may not be involved with Google's rumored calendar
On the subject of standards, the circumspect Sjogreen told me that "having more data in interesting ways is good for Google," and that Microsoft's proposed Simple Sharing Extensions (SSE) solves a real problem and that Google is definitely paying attention to it.