Google has fewer than 1m paying users for its Google Apps service, and it has clearly decided that the time has come to get more serious about turning this into a mainstream business tool.
That is the conclusion to be drawn from today’s move to bring Gmail and three other apps out of their official test phase (finally). The beta designation has been a running joke for much of the five-plus years of Gmail’s life: after all, the company claims tens of millions of consumer users for individual applications like Gmail and Google Docs, along with another 15m or so students and workers who use a free version of the full suite of Apps, so the test period is clearly long over.
Yet the number of paying subscribers still only numbers in the “hundreds of thousands”, according to a spokesperson. Read more
Google’s Gmail development team appears to have been in overdrive over the past few months with a host of new features and an improved application for mobile phones
For me, Gmail has become the start page and hub for all my web activity thanks to the excellent integration it offers with other services and email accounts. Read more
Technology is usually seen as empowering, allowing us to do more with less, whether it’s money, time or effort. But we tend to forget the restrictive side of technology. This week two great examples have emerged.
The first is a setting for Google email, which is called Mail Goggles, and stops you emailing people late at night on specific days by setting you some arithmetic questions. You can configure it for any time or day of the week, but the defaults are Friday and Saturday between 10pm and 4am, so it’s clearly aimed at social drinkers. Get one of the 5 questions wrong or fail to complete in the time allowed, and it says: “Water and bed for you.” Ouch. Read more