February 20, 2007
Google Apps for Your Domain, Ready for Upgrade
Google Apps for Your Domain (you must love the URL: google.com/a), Google's package of hosted services for organizations and small businesses, could soon add new features and options.
InfoWorld reports the obvious: Google will add Docs & Spreadsheets to the offering. "It has been widely assumed that at some point Google would add Docs & Spreadsheets, a word processing and a spreadsheet program, to Google Apps, a suite of communication services for organizations. Docs & Spreadsheets lets multiple users share files and collaborate on them."
Business Week also assures us that Google didn't forget its promise: "We'll get in touch with you when a premium version of Google Apps for Your Domain is generally available for your organization." That will happen because "in the coming weeks, Google Apps will turn into a real business as Google begins charging corporations a subscription fee amounting to a few dollars per person per month."
I wouldn't say "corporations", maybe "organizations" would be a better term. But Business Week said "corporations" and they have reason: "Greg Brandeau is itching to dump the decade-old, homegrown e-mail system he manages at Pixar Animation Studios Inc. And the senior vice-president for technology at the Walt Disney Co. unit is sure about one thing: The replacement won't be Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange and Outlook duo, whose e-mail, calendar, and other programs dominate corporate computing. Brandeau says it's difficult to manage the software because Pixar uses a variety of computers. His likely choice may surprise you: Google."
The reduced cost for maintenance, the fact that Google's system is cross-platform and always available from anywhere in the world could be a good reason for switching. But is Google Apps powerful and reliable enough for a business? We'll found out soon enough, when Google launches the premium version of Google Apps, that will add customer support and more features.