A few weeks ago, GigaOM got an invite for the beta version of what would eventually become Google Apps for Your Domain offering. It seems like such a great idea for early stage companies like ours or small and medium sized businesses. A free email and scheduling package with Google’s backing, how could you go wrong. I was pretty excited about signing up, and it was a painless process. All that remained was changing our MX records to point to Google’s servers.
At the very last minute, a red flag popped up that made us change our mind: the privacy disclosure. Of course there was the whole issue of getting email on the go; many on our team wanted to use BlackBerries, while I wanted to use my Nokia E61 with Good (by far the best push mail offering on Symbian), so instead we decided to go the traditional route. Okay, perhaps I was being a bit too paranoid, but given the recent AOL DataGate, it is prudent to be wary of the big guys.
Reading between the lines, our good friend Dan Farber says that this is Google Office version 1.0, and the search engine giant will add Writely and Spreadsheets to the package and poke Microsoft in the eye. Kent Newsome offers a strong counterpoint. Our readers in response to a previous post are involved in a hot, intelligent, educational and a rather enjoyable debate.
[Update: just to clarify again - the beta invite we got was for Mail and Calendar, and there wasn't called Google Apps for Your Domain.]