Google takes training wheels off Gmail, other apps

Move spurred by enterprise demand and public ridicule (including here)

Finally conceding that big-time companies don't want to buy e-mail that seems as though it's still only half-baked, Google this morning announced that Google Apps -- including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk -- has officially lost its beta designation.

My Network World colleague John Fontana writes:

While Google claims the move is just semantics, it acknowledges that the "beta" tag was making corporate users uneasy and often unwilling to commit.

"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," Matt Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, said in a blog post Tuesday.

Google's peculiar penchant for perpetual betas began to draw increasing attention after Web monitoring company Pingdom calculated last fall that almost half of the company's products carried the designation. A Buzzblog post about that report circulated widely and included a somewhat nonsensical explanation from Google -- Web apps are just different -- that satisfied few.

Today's surrender was inevitable.

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