Google Premieres Its Premier Apps

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They have claimed they aren’t in competition with Microsoft for the productivity application market, but Google sure has a funny way of showing it by launching its paid Premier Apps version today.

Google Premieres Its Premier Apps
Google Premieres Its Premier Apps

The basic applications available to users of Google Apps hasn’t changed overnight with the debut of the Premier Edition. People on Google Apps still have their Gmail, Docs & Spreadsheets, and Start Page available in either the free of Premier versions.

That $50 per user account per year price includes several extras as would be expected. Instead of new applications, Google has chosen to enhance what they do have for those Premier users. Gmail gets a 99.9 percent uptime agreement, and Premier accounts can turn off the advertisements that appear in Gmail if they wish.

Google’s Calendar will have sharing options available that can be set by Premier administrators. They can allow users on the domain to share calendar information publicly or keep it private. Sharing can be done with specific people for particular calendars as well.

Premier accounts also get tech support options beyond just a Group or email contact. Phone support will be available as part of the package. Google said administrators will be able to call a number listed on their admin control panel for support on critical issues.

Google believes its Apps are suited for any organization, whether it is a one-person operation or a Fortune 500 company. The big names being discussed in connection with Google Apps are very big. TechCrunch said General Electric and Proctor & Gamble have been cited as new Premier customers.

To get the attention of organizations, Google has made an email migration tool available in limited release for Premier. Being able to easily move from an existing messaging system to Google has been a much-requested feature.

Google may say they aren’t competing with Microsoft. But offering a way to migrate from one system to another, just as Microsoft and IBM/Lotus do to each other, could be seen as a highly competitive feature to offer potential customers.


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