After many years of being branded in beta, Google has finally decided to remove the beta label from its key services such as Gmail or Apps. While many people have long forgotten that programs like Gmail were still in beta, this was still officially the case. Even though, unofficially it was finished many moons ago.
From my experience with Google?s Apps suite they almost never release a product out to the public unless it?s really done. Second of all, if you are running a program in beta phase, you don’t need to provide any assistance or any kind of support to its customers by many consumer laws around the globe. Same rules apply in western world, regardless of country being USA, Iceland, Croatia or Japan.
As such, they only really leave the terminology beta on it in order to cover themselves when there are issues. In a blog post today on the official Google blog, their reasoning for removing the beta tags comes as a move to try to allow more enterprises to adopt Google Apps as their core suite of office and business solutions. They state that many companies may have avoided using Google?s Apps suite for businesses in the past simply because of the beta tag that it had associated with it. Because of this they decided that they would remove the beta tag from their Apps, especially considering that some programs such as Gmail have been in "beta" for nearly half a decade.
In addition to this announcement, to further show their commitment to the enterprise community Google made an announcement that they would be introducing new features such as: mail delegation, mail retention and ongoing enhancements to Apps reliability. These developments come as an added bonus to further attempt to lure businesses towards a Google based suite of office software. Although, personally I feel like most businesses wouldn’t be happy if Google was able to read every single email, IM, and appointment that they had. I just don?t think that Google?s applications are fit for a private and secure environment, regardless of how secure Google says their data mining is.
This comes as a technical milestone in the development of Google Apps even though the majority of these programs had left beta the moment they became public.