Google Apps Picks Sides With Team Edition

    February 8, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Google opened a new version of its Apps service, with a catch that limits it to a workplace or a school by design.

Shades of Facebook! Google emulated the social network’s old signup policy with the debut of Google Apps Team Edition.

“After confirming that you belong to that organization, it’s easy to invite others people from your company or school and start collaborating,” said the official Google blog.

This change appears to be a little rebranding of Google Apps. We looked at the features for Team Edition, compared them to the Standard Edition, and can’t see any real difference other than a lack of integrated Gmail and what appears to be a workgroup-level sharing function for Google Docs and Calendar.

Though useful enough, adding workgroup-based permissions isn’t that big of a deal. Docs already had a sharing feature in place. The difference in Team Edition versus the existing Google Apps products is the time needed to start using it.

Instead of verifying a domain, Team Edition verifies a business or school email address. Once one has been verified, the person who signed up can start inviting other people to participate in Team Edition.

“If Google can get people relying on Google Apps for their collaboration needs, those same users could put pressure on decision makers to upgrade to the standard or premium version,” Garett Rogers at Googling Google said.

“This bottom-up approach might just be what Google needed to get organizations adopting Google Apps.”

So it’s not the Facebook model, but the Trojan Horse gambit. Sneaky.