Google Apps for Business

For a while now some people have been trying the beta of Google Apps. Apparently it's out of Beta form now and in full-fledged action mode. The current system gives you Gmail, Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google Page Creator, and more with technical support as well. If you want to run your own domain without any administration, this may be the way to do it.

The big announcement is that Google has started selling Google Apps to large businesses for only $50 per user per year. Hypothetically, it could replace Outlook, Word, and Excel for corporations and reduce the need for an IT department that handles e-mail and complicated Exchange servers. It costs hundreds of dollars every time an employee upgrades to Office, plus even more to mange their e-mail.

But will major corporations sign up for it? Wired News talks about Google Apps and lays out the downsides and upsides. I think that it will be a couple years before most corporations find it a valuable replacement of half their IT department. Google has to continue to make web apps like Gmail and Google Docs and Spreadsheets have as many features as Outlook, Word, and Excel. (That is, if they ever can.) Who knows if they'll ever make it work, but it's an interesting idea of corporate data being accessible securely by a user at any computer equipped with a net connection and a web browser.


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