Google unleashes Team aware Google Apps

Licensing issues, Piracy and Malware infestation could be a thing of the past if Google's latest version of its Apps gathers momentum and popularises Software as a Service.

Google Apps senior product manager, Rajen Sheth, says Google Apps Team Edition (GATE) is available for those employees who want to use Google apps but whose employers have yet to sign for it and provides with a Trojan horse which could eventually undermine more established players like Microsoft's Office Suite.

Google is pushing for a bottom-up rather than a top-down approach and bets that the fact that GATE is free will convince employees to try it before later moving to the paid version of Google Apps which costs $50 per user per year.

More than 500,000 businesses are using Google Apps according to the Search company.

But this approach might actually backfire if IT administrators consider GATE as a rogue element since it is outside the companies realms (data would be stored on Google servers) and could become an issue with compliance and other legal concerns.

Like the other Google Apps, users will be allowed to work on the same document together rather than shuttling documents to and fro as attachments.

The TE will include Google Apps core services like Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Instant Messaging - which also supports PC-to-PC calls and Calendaring but Gmail will be the notable absentee as TE works with the users' existing email addresses.

According to Google, document and calendar sharing will also be a doodle which users can access even from their cell phones.