Google Apps Premier and Education users will be able to create and use private Google Groups to improve their online collaboration processes for free.
The acquisition of Dejanews by Google in 2001 gave birth to Groups and after years of being left to linger in the dark, the search engine giant brought the tool set, which it describes as being "one of the most widely used applications" and attracts some significant traffic as a web-based service.
Google product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair said in a blog post that "This launch is a major expansion to the mailing list functionality and content sharing we released earlier this year".
Google Apps currently has 24 products compared to only a handful back in 2007 when it was launched. At $50 per year per user, it has started to make inroads amongst small and medium businesses who are keen to save on more expensive traditional software licences.
Setting up Google Groups is straightforward and will only take a few seconds; system administrators only need to activate the groups in the Google Apps dashboard and invite members.
Groups is the latest tool from Google aimed at breaking Microsoft's strange hold on the enterprise sector. it has already launched a Google Apps Connector for the Blackberry Enterprise Server and Sync For Microsoft Outlook.