Why Are Google Apps Users Always at the Back of the Line?

appslineHere’s the way it goes when Google announces some new feature, like today’s announcement that Gmail users can make phone calls right from Gmail.  First, I read a little about it to see if it’s something I’m interested in.  Often, it is.  I get excited about it, and when I get home, I eagerly sit down at my computer to try it out.

Only to find out that the nifty new feature is not available to Google Apps users.  You know, those who use the platform Google wants us to use instead of those expensive Microsoft Office apps.  The same apps that Google would like for us to pay for.

The Gmail blog post announcing this new feature has this all-too-familiar nugget:

If you’re using Google Apps for your school or business, then you won’t see it quite yet. We’re working on making this available more broadly – so stay tuned!

I can’t imagine how pissed off I’d be if I was paying for Google Apps.  It’s sort of like if Microsoft rolled out feature after feature to its Docs users and promised to get back with paying Microsoft Office customers “soon.”  That probably won’t happen.


But it keeps happening with Google Apps.  It’s messed up.  It’s backwards.  And it irks the dickens out of me.

5 thoughts on “Why Are Google Apps Users Always at the Back of the Line?

  1. But you can simply use your standard Google Account right?

    What annoys me most of all is that Google so often limits it’s releases to Americans. You’d be surprised how many Google’s services are non-existent outside of America.

    I’ve come to expect that any new service Google releases won’t be for anyone else in the world so when I saw the news of the release of this new one I didn’t even bother looking.

  2. I could use my regular Google account, but since my mail is in my Apps account, it wouldn’t be calls from my email application.I’m sure it’s hugely annoying not to get the newish Google stuff over there, and then have to read everybody and their dog talking about it. I got a taste of that with Spotify. Everyone’s gushing on about it, but only the elite blogging class can get it over here.

  3. Kent, great point. Recently, I’ve POPed my mail from my Apps account back over to my regular Gmail account, simply due to the lack of new features (and access to regular features – like Picasa, Blogger, Reader, etc) in Google Apps.

    While the goog promised we will have access to some of these features in Apps “this fall” it also seems understood that many of the VOIP goodies in Gmail may not make the jump, because of the difficulty large businesses might have enabling phone access through email. I think I’ll be forwarding my domain email back to Gmail pretty soon.

  4. One more thing – I think Google shafts Apps users simply because they are trying to create an impression of enterprise class stability in the service. After all, if you are trying to lure Joe Bidness Man away from Microsoft, you can’t be enabling things like “Buzz” in the employee’s accounts can you?

    Apps users (especially, perversely, paying Apps Users) will always be at the end of the line for new rollouts because Google doesn’t want to alarm business clients or their admins with new features. Note that Google constantly calls regular Gmail “consumer” class, and stresses that Apps are increasingly business ready. Like me, you use the free standard Google Apps version – have you noted how difficult that is to find now on the Apps sign-up page? Google almost brushes that under the rug now, attempting to sell the paying version of Apps. I believe they want everyone else using a regular google account.

  5. Good points, all. My point with Google would be that (a) companies who are super-security conscious are not going to use Apps anyway, and (b) companies can always elect not to enable new features. The way for Google to expand Apps would be to make the suite awesome for individuals and small businesses, and then have it weed its way into corporate America- sort of like the iPhone.I think almost all of the Apps problems and limitations arise from the fact that they are really just things that Google bought and tossed together. I think that makes it harder to add things in an elegant way.Really, Apps needs to be completely redesigned and rewritten.

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