Practical Technology

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Look Out Microsoft! Here Comes Google and Postini

The combination of Google and Postini is exactly what CIOs need for their corporate e-mail systems and what Microsoft doesn’t offer.

When you think e-mail servers and service, do you think POP/SMTP and MAPI? Or, do Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPPA come to mind? If you think of the former, youre thinking like a system administrator; if youre thinking of the latter, youre a CIO.

Google, with its purchase of software security company Postini, is trying to win the hearts and minds of technology friendly users and administrators this time. No, they want to open the wallets of midmarket and enterprise CIOs. And, you know what? Theyre going to get those checkbooks opening.

Gmail, while trailing far behind Yahoo! Mail and Windows Live Hotmail, is quickly picking up users since it finally opened the doors to anyone. Not long after that, Google announced Google Apps Premier Edition.

For those of you who dont know it, Google Apps Premier Edition is a hosted office suite. It combines a customizable start page with chat, e-mail, calendaring, word processing, a spreadsheet and a simple Web page builder into a package that Google sells for $50 per user per year. For that, you also get a 99.9 percent SLA (service-level agreement) for Gmail uptime, and 24/7 phone support.

At $50 per user, you can set up your office users at a price well below any Microsoft deal. The list price per user per year for Microsoft Exchange is $225 and Microsoft Office Professional Edition will run you $499. Of course, Google Apps Premier does not offer a PowerPoint clone. Yet. Google seems to have that in the works too in a skunkworks project code-named Presently. Besides all that, Googles applications can read and write the older Microsoft Office formats like .doc and .xls.

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