Talking tech since 2003

Today, after 5 long years in beta, Google is dropping the beta label from Gmail. Gmail which launched on April 1st, 2004 has revolutionized web based email. Over the past year in the U.S. alone, according to comScore, Gmail has grown 48 percent to 36 million unique visitors which puts them in the number two spot for web based email, still trailing behind Yahoo. Meanwhile, on a Worldwide level, Gmail had 146 million unique visits in May.

The move is not surprising in the least though, however, what is surprising it the amount of time it has took for Google to actually pull the beta label from the logo. It’s no secret Google is looking to compete with Microsoft in the business world for email (Google Apps vs MS Exchange), documents (Google Docs vs MS Office), calendars (Google Calendar vs Outlook), and messaging (Google Talk vs Live Messenger). While the label may mean nothing at all for consumers, it means something to most businesses.

Beta typically is associated with bugs, problems, and other negative connotations. While Google’s products are not perfect, they definitely do not fit the typical beta description and should no longer be labeled as such. This is a good (smart) move for Google to expand their products into the corporate world.

In addition to Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Docs will be losing their beta label today as well.

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