So much for that! Google Apps no longer free

googleap dollar“When we launched the premium business version(of Google Apps) we kept our free, basic version as well. Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn’t quite right  for either group,”

Google Apps director Clay Bavor  on the official Google enterprise blog.

According to Bavor, “Companies of all sizes will sign up for our premium version, Google Apps for Business, which includes 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime.” Let’s take a trip back to High School Economics for a minute. Google’s foray into cloud computing has been wildly successful, with Gmail quickly dominating the webmail market, continually innovating  along the way. This move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with a basic understanding of supply and demand: once the test market proved a viable solution, Google has taken the next step in it’s evolution as a service provider with a premium service. Having 24/7 support across all business consumers was a great move, as Google is notorious for lackluster customer service in the past. Google has generated an estimated $1 billion from the sale of Google Apps and mapping software to businesses and government entities over the past year, and tested the European market first by revamping it’s contracts for their apps in order to meet data protection regulations in the region. This attention to detail will benefit you, whether you are a casual or professional Gmail user.

The race to the Cloud is heading towards its first turn on the track, as Microsoft also announced a launch date for it’s Office 365 platform as well. With two powerful suites showcasing their might on the cloud, consumers and IT alike will be glued to their screens watching how it unfolds.

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