Beta No More: Google Says Apps are Finally Ready

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All good things must come to an end…right? More than two years after Internet giant Google unveiled Google Apple—including Google Calendar and Google Docs—and more than five years after the company introduced Gmail, the company has formally announced it is removing the perpetual “beta” tag that has decorated the services since their debuts. The move is purely for PR purposes, and underscore’s Google’s determination to get enterprises, corporations, and large organizations too Google Apps as legitimate productivity tools: after all, anything with “beta” on it must be half-baked, but without a “beta” tag it miraculously becomes ready for prime time.

“Ever since we launched the Google Apps suite for businesses two years ago, it’s had a service level agreement, 24/7 support, and has met or exceeded all the other standards of non-beta software,” wrote Google Enterprise’s director of product management Matthew Glotzbach, in the company blog. “More than 1.75 million companies around the world run their business on Google Apps, including Google. We’ve come to appreciate that the beta tag just doesn’t fit for large enterprises that aren’t keen to run their business on software that sounds like it’s still in the trial phase.”

Of course, one problem with the beta tag—particularly in Gmail, where’s it been around longer than several major Internet outfits—is that people are used to it and simply don’t want it to go away. To that end, Google is enabling Gmail users to restore the “beta” tag in the Labs tab under settings. If users like, apparently they can keep Gmail in perpetual beta for another five years.

To amp up its contention the Google Apps is ready for serious business, Google is also unveiling new features aimed at large enterprises, including mail retention and mail delegation. Google is also keen to let IT managers know how to switch to Google Apps from Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes systems.

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