Gmail and Google Apps finally leave beta

The applications that make up Google Apps Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk have finally been taken out of beta for both consumers and enterprise.

The word "beta" is now removed from the product logos for apps like Gmail, which has worn the tag for more than five years.

Google said that it realised having its applications constantly in beta confused some people, especially those who thought of beta' as being not ready for prime time' use.

However, it seems that Google's movements in the enterprise space was the real motivation for the company to get rid of the label, to make sure that it was thought of as a mature' product suite.

"We've come to appreciate the beta tag just doesn't fit for large enterprises that aren't keen to run their business on software that sounds like it's still in the trial phase," said Google Enterprise product management director Matthew Glotzbach.

"So we've focused our efforts on reaching our high bar for taking products out beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark."

Glotzbach said that 1.75 million users around the world use Google Apps since it was released for businesses two years ago.

In the UK, the Guardian News and Media group is one of the high-profile organisations that already use Google Apps, which we reviewed earlier in the year.

Google Apps has also has two new features. One is email delegation, which allows IT staff to screen and send others' email.

The other is email retention, which gives administrators the ability to set up policies and comply with regulations, so they can determine what email is purged from the system.

In May, Google Enterprise's Dave Armstrong claimed that Google were well positioned to offer consumer tools better than ones found in the workplace.