Google announced tonight the availability of “Google Apps for Your Domain” which currently includes private-labeled: Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar and Google Page Creator. A free version and a paid version are available, without any further details on the paid version at this time.
Sign up and setup for the service is pretty easy and requires the same kind of validation as Google Sitemaps.
For Gmail, you can send and receive email using the designated domain name, but with all of GMail’s features. For Google Page Creator, you can create pages to be published under a subdomain, example, seo.yourdomainname.com so you’ll need to add a CNAME record.
Basically, Google Apps for Your Domain is a way for you to offer free, branded email and other services under a certain domain name where Google ads can be displayed and the potential collection of user data might take place. I would encourage any organization signing up to be certain to read the Terms of Service very closely. As would be expected, Google’s got everything covered down to the kitchen sink in the agreement.
A lot of the buzz about this announcement so far has been about how this will be a big threat to Microsoft. With office-style apps such as MS Word (Writley) and MS Excel (Google Spreadsheets) being added later this year, maybe Microsoft has something to worry about. Or maybe not.
We’ve been testing out the Gmail for Domains service with another domain name since March of this year and it’s been convenient being able to send and receive email using a domain name that has all the features of Gmail. Testing of the new Apps under a domain name have started today and we’ll report back findings in the next week or so.