Prime Time for Google Apps

Starting Oct. 3, companies using Google Apps Premier Edition, the for-pay version of Google’s suite of online office-productivity applications, will see a new button to add security and compliance services for free from Postini. Google bought Postini for $625 million, closing the purchase only a few weeks ago.

Although there’s further integration of Postini services to come, the speedy addition of Postini security and compliance services indicates how serious Google is about building a presence in online office applications, in direct competition with Microsoft. Postini services will make it that much easier for larger companies to justify using Google Apps, because they can manage spam and viruses, enforce policies on what content can be sent via email, what emails should be retained and for how long, and the like.

So far, most users have been small and medium-sized businesses. Google now claims hundreds of thousands of them, representing millions of people, are using Google Apps. Repeat after me: Microsoft Office is not dead. Nonetheless, Google’s adding 1,500 businesses a day—not nearly all of them customers of the paid version, but impressive nonetheless.

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