Friday, February 23, 2007

Google Apps Premier Edition, a good thing?

I see on Google's Blog that they are announcing Google Apps Premier Edition which is a collection of the existing Google Apps (Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Page Creator, and Google Docs & Spreedsheets) which have additional collaboration features, APIs and support for which they will charge $50/yr per user.

I certainly think Google's apps are very useful, of high quality, and worthy of compensation and they certainly offer good service with a 99.9 percent uptime service-level agreement in which customers will receive credits for downtime. However, the reason I and so many others use Google apps is because they are free so I hope this is not a sign of things to come. In the blog entry for this announcement they say,

Google Apps also won't forget its roots anytime soon. The Standard and Education Editions will continue to be offered for free...



It's the "anytime soon" clause that causes me apprehension. Does that infer that there is a future plan to charge for their services? I've been migrating to Google more and more, I don't want to go through the trouble of migrating somewhere else.

3 comments:

Brian N. burridge said...

I would doubt google will ever attempt to charge for the services it considers marketable to every Internet user, like gmail and gcalendar. Those tools are far too simple and abundant. If they did, they'd lose all their customers to Yahoo or any other competitor.

But, the business applications they supply may very well be inline for future charges, like their online office products, which I've decided not to move to.

I never like having all my eggs in one basket, so I have only migrated to Gmail and Google calendar, and that is where I will stop.

Steven Pothoven said...

Well, I agree that they won't charge for everything since their bread and butter is advertising and they want you and all your data on their servers in order to serve you tailored ads. However, just like they now have the standard and premier edition Google apps, they may break down some of their other services. Similar to how Yahoo Mail started charging for POP3 access which was once free. The GMail's POP3 access circumvents their ability to display ads to you, so how does it profit them? (other than giving them a competitive advantage to lure you to use GMail vs Yahoo mail).

Anonymous said...

I have been using Google Apps since August now … and I think its very cool. But there have been some critical comments (and "for free" is an issue).. http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=4537

Anyway the best thing is the Google API. For example we are developing an FREE open source "business application platform" (think salesforce.com). Our first application is working tightly integrated with GOOGLE APPS. http://www.applicationexchange.com.