Google, in its continuing push to lure more enterprise customers to its Apps suite of products, rolled out three new Apps features today: it’s incorporated Tasks as a standard Gmail feature, added Labs to Calendar and enabled a seamless migration to Apps from Lotus Notes. The rollout comes on the heels of other strategic moves Google has made aimed at allaying businesses’ concerns about switching to Apps, including rolling Apps out of beta and, with an eye to Microsoft, the ability sync Apps with Microsoft Outlook.
This time Google has shifted its sights onto IBM, with a tool lets Lotus Notes users instantly move email, calendar and contacts to Apps. Google Senior Product Manager Chris Vander Mey said most small businesses use Lotus Notes and the new tool was specifically developed to encourage them to use its suite of Apps products. Meanwhile, after taking it out of beta last week, Google is incorporating its Tasks feature into Gmail, the first Gmail Labs feature to become a standard offering. Tasks was a highly anticipated feature for Gmail users, but hasn’t changed much since it was first released in December, when it received lukewarm reviews.
While Google’s Calendar just moved out of beta as well, Google is still keeping a beta edge to it by adding Labs to the application today. Under the Settings link in Calendar, people can access six new Labs features in the application, including one that lets people view different time zones when they schedule meetings and another that shows how many hours and minutes people have until their next appointment. Google is also rolling out an open API for the Calendar application that allows developers to create their own features.