Oh boy! It has been over 5 years that Gmail has been in beta. It sure took Google A LOT of time to shed its “beta” label, I wonder why?
Like many other software products, Google’s Gmail service too was launched in “beta.” A product in Beta means that it is still in its testing phase. Typically, Beta versions are squeezed between internal versions called “alpha” and the final versions, which is the “release”, for a time frame of a few weeks to maybe even months.
But, in Gmail’s case it was five years and millions and millions of users later. Well, better late than never, I’d say.
Bye-bye to beta
Both enterprise and consumer versions are now out of beta which means you will not see the beta label on the product logos anymore. In a blog post yesterday, Gmail announced this change, which in fact is effective across all Google Apps sites:
- Google Docs
- Google Talk
- Google Calendar
Breaking the barriers
Although this change will mean little to millions of Gmail users, however, it will do away with all “beta” labeled barriers that big companies till now have normally shied away from. Now, corporations will be more open to adopting Gmail, Calendar, Docs and other products.
Even though beta is out, Gmail will continue to innovate and improve upon the applications. Google has announced a few other Google Apps features that probably will appeal to large enterprises:
- Mail delegation
- Mail retention
- Enhancements to Apps reliability
Separation anxiety? Go “Back to Beta”!
For those of you who have been using Gmail for a very long time now and find it hard to do away with the familiar grey “BETA” label, then don’t loose heart.
- Just go to Gmail Settings
- Click on Labs
- Turn on “Back to Beta”
…and you will see Gmail with the beta label again!
(Source & Image credits: Gmail blog)