From the Official Google Blog. 7/07/2009 08:02:00 AM
We’re often asked why so many Google applications seem to be perpetually in beta. For example, Gmail has worn the beta tag more than five years. We realize this situation puzzles some people, particularly those who subscribe to the traditional definition of “beta” software as not being yet ready for prime time.
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.
Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk — both enterprise and consumer versions — are now out of beta. “Beta” will be removed from the product logos today, but we’ll continue to innovate and improve upon the applications whether or not there’s a small “beta” beneath the logo. Indeed, today we’re also announcing some other Google Apps features that we think will appeal to large enterprises: mail delegation, mail retention and ongoing enhancements to Apps reliability.
We have much more in store, and IT managers can read more about how to make the switch to Apps in our Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes resource centers. One more thing — for those who still like the look of “beta”, we’ve made it easy to re-enable the beta label for Gmail from the Labs tab under Settings.
Posted by Matthew Glotzbach, Director, Product Management, Google Enterprise