logo_google_apps.gif…Google style. Google has done it again, first they took the search engine market by storm then they raised the ante in the email space with Gmail. Prior to them you had a couple of choices that were so damn stingy with storage space it was pathetic, Yahoo had a 5 or 10mb limit and Hotmail was around 2mb, but then Gmail came to the rescue and offered 1gb from the get go and now is hovering around 2.7gb.

Anyways, Google has quietly been beta testing a new product called Google Apps. It allows small companies to use Google to host all their files, websites and use Gmail. The whole thing smells of network computers from way back in the day, where all the data resided on a server and you got to it via a terminal (in this case a web browser). I’ve had a chance to use it and so far it’s been great. They just introduced the service yesterday to the public at USD 50 a head/a year, which is next to nothing considering all the support costs for having a mail server, backup server, etc. This product should really take off in India, since with frequent power outages you know you always have an updated copy of your files backed up on Google’s vast server farms.

The are still working out the kinks such as no BlackBerry support with the Google Apps Gmail edition, however my BlackBerry does work with regular Gmail.

If you are a small business and want to stop wasting time tinkering and fidgeting with websites, mail servers, shared folders, backing up data, etc…then Google Apps is the way.