Google considers dropping beta tag

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Google considers dropping beta tag

Google has revealed that it is considering taking some of its products out of beta, after years of keeping flagship applications such as Gmail in test status.

According to reports, Google executives speaking at the firm's I/O Developer Conference this week admitted that moves were afoot to deal with the 'beta' conundrum, after a Gartner analyst pointed out to the search giant that business users could find the tag off-putting.

Matt Glotzbach, product management director for Google's enterprise products, initially countered that Google Apps Premier Edition is not labelled as a beta. However, he conceded that many of the applications within the corporate suite still carry the beta tag next to the logo.

"It's a minor annoyance and something you'll see addressed in the not-too-distant future," he said.

Google Docs product manager Jonathan Rochelle added that the firm does not treat the applications as test versions, and that it was "almost traditional" for Google to retain the beta tag.

Google has long been a fan of beta status for its products. Google Mail is still in beta, five years after its initial launch, as are Google Docs and Calendar.

After the recent service blackouts that Gmail and Google News customers have suffered, the firm is no doubt keen to reassure business users that its applications are stable, final release versions and are not still in the trial and development phase.

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