Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Gmail shed beta label

Gmail has worn the beta tag more than five years. It took some time, but the day has finally arrived. Google has removed the beta label from the entire Google Apps suite of products today, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Talk. The app suite was launched two years and has been in Beta since than. Now they are all full-fledged members of the, Google family of products

The Google Apps suite targeting businesses was launched two years ago and has been in beta ever since. Gmail, though, has worn the beta tag for even longer - more than five years. The move will bring a whiff of fresh air in the enterprises having hard time getting around the "traditional definition" of the "beta" software label. The super long beta period though puzzled some users who believed that the beta label meant the services weren't ready for the enterprise. Google hopes the move will peeled off the stigma towards using its Apps products, thus increasing the likelihood that they would subscribe to its Apps.

According to Matt Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, “Ever since we launched the Google Apps suite for businesses two years ago, it had a service level agreement, 24/7 support, and has met or exceeded all the other standards of non-beta software. More than 1.75 million companies around the world run their business on Google Apps, including Google”. In addition, 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. “So we've focused our efforts on reaching our high bar for taking products out of beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark” he further added.

Google has plans on its cards to introduce new Apps features for its business customers in the coming weeks, including one that lets company IT administrators set policies on when company emails should be purged and another that allows administrative assistants to view and send emails on behalf of another person. Google is also introducing a feature that replicates and stores company data on multiple Google data centers for safekeeping in the case of a system crash.