Google’s premium version of their Google Apps service for $50 per year and user —named Google Apps Premier Edition, is live now. This package will include 10 gigabytes of email storage. The service will have a 24 hour tech support as well as a promised uptime of 99.9%. Blackberrys will be able to have mobile access to emails. The package will also include Google’s Docs & Spreadsheets program, that is, word processing and Google’s Excel clone.
Google describes their existing Google Apps for Your Domain service like this:
Google Apps for Your Domain lets you offer private-labeled email, instant messaging and calendar accounts to all of your users, so they can share ideas and work more effectively. These services are all unified by the start page, a unique, dynamic page where your users can preview their inboxes and calendars, browse content and links that you choose, search the web, and further customize the page to their liking. You can also design and publish web pages for your domain.
While Google continues to claim they’re not directly competing with Microsoft, their likely Google Apps Premier announcement is heating up the competition with products like Microsoft Office or IBM Lotus... some companies may be convinced that GAPE (nice acronym, though we may just end up calling it “Google Office” in some years) justifies delaying buying MS Office 2007.