So, Google has taken one more step towards providing a full-service online application service. Now making Google Apps for your domain available, which includes Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Page Creator you’re looking at a branded site service enabling inter-office and extra-office communications, group calendaring, and web publishing within your organization – all very handy tools which are not frequently available at this kind of cost level.
Of course, their information pages do say that there is no premium edition:
Is there a premium version of this service?
Not at this time. However, if your organization has advanced needs not met by this free service, let us know and we’ll get in touch when a premium service is available for your organization.
But I think we can all pretty easily see the possibilities available with the expansion of Google Spreadsheets and Writely – or future related products. As has been observed by several people around the blogosphere, this project seems to be targeting the enterprise desktop market using a service business model.
It’s also very easy to see the appeal of a service model of office software. This could certainly relieve some of the burden on IT departments to maintain licenses, install and reinstall software, and maintain support for diverse products. Of course, many IT departments have gotten to the level where this kind of maintenance is highly routinized – nevertheless, the appeal can’t be ignored.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of takeup the service has – will this be primarily appealing to mid-sized businesses with undersized IT departments, large corporations, small business owners? Will the targeted education market like the idea? Who knows…in many cases, the lack of control of their own hardware and data centers may sway IT directors away from the product.
I can’t even guess, really…