Google Finally Sheds Its Beta Skin

Silicon Valley giant updates status of several of its apps

How fast is life at Google? Beta fast.

To define the speed with which the Internet giant operates we needed to understand speed in Google Speak. Google has shown it has patience but the length it keeps its program in beta is in a class by itself.

On Tuesday the Silicon Valley company announced it was dropping the beta tag from some of its most popular products, such as Google Mail and Google Apps. GMail was in beta for five years while Google Apps was in development purgatory for only two.

"We've come to appreciate that the beta tag just doesn't fit for large enterprises that aren't keen to run their business on software that sounds like it's still in the trial phase," Google wrote on its blog. "So we've focused our efforts on reaching our high bar for taking products out of beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark."

Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk all popped their beta cherries on Tuesday and moved on to the next phase of life at Google. Congratulations.

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