Google is bundling its online calendar, instant-messaging service, and
Page Creator (a web page builder) into one service called “Google Apps
for Your Domain.” The company is targeting turf where Microsoft is the
current leader: the business and education market. In true Google
style, the package is offered for free and is supported by
advertising along the side (just like gmail).
With Google Apps for Your Domain, organizations can have Google handle
their web pages and email using the organization’s Internet domain (for the unofficiated, the
part of an email address that follows the “@” sign). Just think of the look and feel of your gmail account but at your company’s address (instead of [email protected], [email protected]).
Google Apps for Your Domain will allow organizations to utilize email, calendar, instant messaging and web page creation services that run on Google’s computers, thus eliminating the hassle of companies having to manage the software or hardware these type of services usually run on.
Google’s move puts the pressure on competitor Microsoft, which is widely know by organizations of all sizes because of its popular collaboration software: Outlook and Exchange, programs that are installed on its customers’ computers. Incidentally, Microsoft is currently testing an Internet service targeted at small businesses called Office Live, which includes email, web page hosting and group calendar services. Obviously Microsoft has been expecting businesses moving from traditional on-your-computer software to hassle free web-based applications.
The competition with Microsoft could intensify if Google decides to add its online spreadsheet and word-processing applications to its Google Apps for Your Domain package. Google Enterprise General Manager Dave Girouard said those applications were “really good candidates” to become part of this offering in the future. He apparently wanted to deemphasize competition with Microsoft, claiming that some organizations would probably use both the Google Apps and Microsoft products.
Google plans to release a fee-based Google Apps for Your Domain later this year, offering larger organizations additional features such as extra data storage and technical support.
Signup for Google Apps for Your Domain is available at www.google.com/a.