Google Chrome. Google Calendar. They're two great tastes that now taste even better together, with the addition of Google Calendar desktop notifications for Chrome. Notifications are still in Labs, but you can turn them on right now to get Outlook-like alerts for your calendar events. Just make sure desktop notifications are on in your Chrome settings, and then enable the "Gentle Reminders" item in Google Calendar Labs. Sounds like the latest example of Google's web apps catching up to Microsoft's desktop products.
Lifehacker thinks notifications might be one reason people are staying with Outlook instead of switching to Google Calendar, and that this might be the proverbial last straw for many Outlook users. Having Chrome open all the time to get your notifications could be a sticking point, but I can't imagine many Google Apps users don't have a browser open at all times. You also have to manually click away the notification box -- instead of waiting for it to fade, as in Outlook -- but that might change by the time the notification feature leaves Labs. Besides, some people like their alarms a little more persistent!