Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Software Wednesday - Google Apps

posted by Scott Roche


There's been much talk on the tech blogs this week about Google's launch of a "business solution", Google Apps for Your Domain. At present it consists of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk (Instant Messaging and Voice Over IP), and Google Page Creator. Two of these solutions, Gmail and Calendar, are actually quite good and would probably be a wise decision for a small company with little or no IT budget. You do have to register your own domain and your email address and website will reflect that, so it will look "professional". The Page Creator is a pretty simple web design tool and Talk would seem to be a less than vital aspect to the whole thing.

Right now the service is free and in Beta. When the final version is released there will be some sort of charge for a non-advertising packed version. They will probably also include web based text editing and spreadsheets. No telling when all of the a will come to pass.

The reason I chose to include this in today's post is because the whole idea of hosted software services like this is really interesting to me. You don't have to worry about installing anything. Licensing isn't as big an issue. Massive hard drives or buckets of RAM aren't necessary to run it. Thin clients, mini computers which let servers do all the grunt work, should be cheaper to maintain and easier on the budget than full blown PCs.

It would seem that this is a perfect solution for a small company. Naturally, there are quite a few bugs that will need to be worked out and this idea will live or die based on the amount of uptime and customer service that they provide. I think it's important though that Google, who has shown that they can innovate and have a passal of smart folks working for them, is behind this. Should be interesting to watch Redmond's reaction.

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