Google gets apps out of beta

Wed 8 July 2009 14:31, Bas van den Beld

Google gets apps out of beta

At the same day that Google decided to fire the Google Chrome OS into the world they did some more announcements. The 'biggest' announcement was off course the OS, but the fact that Google was taking Google Apps out of beta also stirred up some conversation.

Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk were taken out of beta yesterday. So no more beta-logos for these applications. With Google Apps being used more and more within companies there was a need for Google to get them out of beta.

The products have been in beta for quite a while now. Gmail for example went into beta more than five years ago, which is a lifetime when it comes to online applications.

But what does the taking out of beta actually mean? Google's director of product management Matt Glotzbach told the New York Times:

"Obviously we haven’t had a consistent set of policies or definitions around beta, it was time to address the issue and bring the products out of beta. For business customers, it is an important sign in terms of the maturity of our product offering and commitment to this business,” Mr. Glotzbach said. “I’ve had C.I.O.s tell me that they would not consider a product labeled ‘beta."

Listening to Glotzbach it would mean that Google is now able to sell their products better to companies. But still, why does Google do that after such a long time? Didn't they know this before?

Marissa Mayer told us in France last year that there are two different kind of betas: a serverside and a software-side.

A software product (like Chrome) is usually out of beta pretty fast. Serverside products, like GMail, take a lot longer. They won't take it out of beta when they feel it still needs adjustments.

She told us that software is taken out of beta mostly within 12 weeks because distributors won't distribute beta-software, the same reason they are now taking the apps out of beta.

What we can conclude out of this is that more and more companies are willing to use Google products in their businesses and Google wants to sell more of these products. And that means they have to be out of beta.

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