Google Apps Exits Beta, Poaches Fairchild Semiconductor from IBM
Google Gmail, Docs, Calendar and Talk exit beta for Google Apps, potentially removing a major barrier to the adoption of Google Apps in the enterprise as a messaging and collaboration platform. Also, Fairchild Semiconductor dumps Lotus Notes for Google Apps. With these moves, Google hopes more business customers will choose its pay-for GAPE service over suites from Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and others.Google July 7 took its core Google Apps out of beta and said Fairchild Semiconductor has moved its 5,500 employees to Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) from IBM Lotus Notes, the latest coup for the company's growing effort in cloud computing. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk are now out of beta more than two years after Google created the SAAS (software as a service) suite as an alternative to on-premise to Microsoft's Office and SharePoint collaboration software. These applications join Google Sites and Google Video for business as more polished products.
Google hosts Google Apps on its own servers. Users access standard editions of Google Apps for free, but businesses can pay $50 per user, per year for GAPE, which includes a service-level agreement, greater security, 24/7 support and more storage, among other perks.