updated 01:00 pm EDT, Tue July 7, 2009
Google Apps out of Beta
Google on Tuesday announced that its widely used applications and services are now out of the Beta phase, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk in both enterprise and consumer guises. The software giant does defend its decision to keep the beta versions of its apps around for so long, saying it differs from the traditional definition of beta as its Google Apps have service level agreements, 24/7 support and standards that meet or exceed non-beta software. Software tagged beta traditionally represents an unfinished product that is still being tested for bugs.
Gmail has carried its beta tag for over five years, but remained virtually trouble-free during this period. Google points out more than 1.75 million companies, itself included, use Google Apps to run their operations.
Even though the beta logos will be removed today, Google claims it will continue to develop the applications. Users will still have the option in Gmail's Labs tab in Settings to place the beta label and general look back into the Gmail interface.
At the same time, Google announced new Google Apps feature for large enterprises that include mail delegation, mail retention and enhancements to Apps reliability.