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After flaunting the now-fashionable "beta" label for more than five years, Gmail has finally grown up. As Google says in its official blog, the popular web-based e-mail service came out of beta earlier today along with the rest of the Google Apps suite.
Here’s what triggered the change, according to Google’s Enterprise Product Management Director Matthew Glotzbach:
Ever since we launched the Google Apps suite for businesses two years ago, it’s had a service level agreement, 24/7 support, and has met or exceeded all the other standards of non-beta software. More than 1.75 million companies around the world run their business on Google Apps, including Google. We’ve come to appreciate that 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. So we’ve focused our efforts on reaching our high bar for taking products out of beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark.
Glotzbach goes on to say the change applies to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Talk, both in their consumer and enterprise flavors.
This isn’t the first time Google has pulled a product out of beta to woo enterprise users. Last December, the company suddenly released Chrome 1.0 after just three months of public testing.