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Google Businesses Communications The Internet

Google Beta Testing "Gmail For Your Domain" 283

ndansmith writes "Google is looking for organizations to beta test its new hosted email service. From the information page: 'This special beta test lets you give Gmail, Google's webmail service, to every user at your domain. Gmail for your domain is hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software for you to install or maintain.' The beta test is limited, but Google is accepting open applications."
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Google Beta Testing "Gmail For Your Domain"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:36AM (#14694326)
    POP is soooo 90's.
    • by Em Ellel ( 523581 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:45AM (#14694358)
      Yeah, I am with you in some respects, but how do you reconcile IMAP with the GMail's way of creating "folders" (labels)? You'd end up downloading messages (or at least headers) multiple times and with 2.5GB of storage, the bandwidth required will be insane.

      On the other hand, what I see as a bigger issue for companies, is the fact that you probably do not want to store your email on some unrelated big corporation's servers.

      If they had a gmail appliance however, this may solve both of the above issues - but now you own the software/hardware - going agains google's pitch.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well, in Thunderbird, I'd just have one big inbox folder, then use saved searches on labels (which I presume Google would add as some sort of standard header). So I could just as easily use my labeling there.
        • Well, in Thunderbird, I'd just have one big inbox folder, then use saved searches on labels (which I presume Google would add as some sort of standard header). So I could just as easily use my labeling there.

          Yeah, but then how is this different from using POP to do same? The main benefit of IMAP is consistent multi-folder support.

          I did not mean to say that it is an unsolvable problem, just one that does not have an EASY GOOD solution, and while I use IMAP everywhere - I do not see immediate benefit of using
      • Companies have been offering this service for years, USA.net [usa.net] is one example. It is not good for everyone but there are a lot of businesses where this solution seems much cheaper and easier then maintaining their own email system (at least on paper it looks that way). In general, the more spread out your employees or offices are, the more advantage you get by outsourcing your email. I worked at a company with roughly 100K employees spread throughout the world that switched over. I left before it was comp
      • I'll use fastmail until gmail has IMAP.
      • If they had a gmail appliance however, this may solve both of the above issues - but now you own the software/hardware - going agains google's pitch.

        They do this already with their google search appliances.

        http://www.google.com/enterprise/gsa/product_model s.html [google.com]

        I don't see a good reason they couldn't do this with email as well. It wouldn't be cheap, but all but the smallest businesses will want to keep their business communications in house. email is too central to business operations to let it out the d
      • As far as storing the emails on another coroporation's servers go... externally hosting your email is a common solution for small businesses. Assuming the privacy policies are in line, this would be no different and it would lower the cost of infastructure and administration for the business. This beta even provides an administrator console so you have complete control over how your users are using it. If Google makes it either Outlook compatible in all regards, or if they add serious Calendaring/Scheduling
  • by tetrode ( 32267 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:38AM (#14694332) Homepage
    I'd rather keep al my e-mail to my self, as a company...
  • spellcheck? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Will they have the chinese goverment spell check my e-mails & filter it for spam too?
  • by SmithSmytheSmith ( 843884 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:41AM (#14694341)
    If they price this right, it could really take off, especially for small companies. I know we've been considering hosted Exchange solutions for a while and have been putting it off due to the price. And our POP/SMTP based solution is just too clunky. Does anyone think they'll try the all-in-one approach that Exchange provides?
    • They may, but I'd rather pay for a service that keeps my information private. I don't need google scanning all my email (and tasks/notes/etc if they do full Exchange type stuff) to market crap to me, and I'm sure that would be best case. The other uses they may find for my data, I'd find even more offensive.
    • by Bungopolis ( 763083 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:48AM (#14694368)
      If they price this right Why are we assuming that there will be a price? By incorporating the domains of organizations, Google will be getting a massively increased userbase to which they can continue to target ads. Hosting 1000 accounts as part of an organization's domain costs Google no more than hosting 1000 regular GMail accounts, so I see no reason to think they would charge the organization (unless they remove the ads).
  • by KilobyteKnight ( 91023 ) <bjm.midsouth@rr@com> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:42AM (#14694342) Homepage
    Add Exchange type calendaring and this could seriously hurt Outlook and Microsoft in general.
    • yeah right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:03PM (#14694431) Journal
      no sane business would outsource there email this way. Outlook as a rich client does a lot more than calendar and email and even small businesses wouldn't (shouldn't) do anything like this. Where is the google helpdesk? where is the google backup/restore policy? who takes the calles when it's slow? who will restore deleted messages? who will verify that email is fitting the corporate policies?

      which company would allow people to integrate with a service that shows competitors ads as well as archives and allows you to interface with online chat?

      not many that i know or would want to work with if you ask me. Businesses use services that can provide the above or they do it themselves. If it's a mom and pa shop sure it may work for them, but hardly an attack on Exchange if you ask me.
      • There are lots [google.com] of comanies that do exchange outsourcing. You run outlook and connect to their exchange servers. Pricing starts at about $8 per user per month. Yes, thats $96USD per person per year.

        Compared to the average discounted cost of an exchange CAL, $96 a year is twice as expensive. But once you factor in the cost of the hardware and the admins to run it, it would make sense for small to mid-sized organizations to outsource this sort of operation. Once you hit about 500 mailboxes, it starts to beco

        • Re:yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

          by petermgreen ( 876956 )
          Yes, thats $96USD per person per year.

          plus if your users are in the habbit of moving large files through the system i'd imagine the bandwidth costs and/or time waiting for transfers could be quite significant compared to in-house hosting (this partly depends on where you live ofc). and how much more productivity will it cost you if internet goes down when your internal e-mail is outsourced?

      • Re:yeah right (Score:2, Insightful)

        No sane company uses Outlook:
        - Not RFC compliant and it should die horribly alone for reverting the order of replies;
        - What a red flag is for a bull, is Outlook for script buddies and crackers. A company that runs Outlook is like a matador in red: not smart.
        Personally, being outsourced so many times, I see Outlook used only in clueless companies where the PH management started using Outlook, and either don't know or don't want to know anything else. I agree that no sane company should use centralized e-m
      • Sure, but it's free, and it works much better than the email system in half the companies using Microsoft's solution. I've experienced plenty of MS based email systems that work really poorly, losing emails, breaking aliases after each reorganization, doing a bad job with spam and viruses, etc., and all of these for lots of cash (email sysadmins + software licenses). Outsourcing and outcosting email to Gmail is really attractive for plenty of organizations, especially small to medium size ones. Universitie
      • Outlook as a rich client does a lot more than calendar and email

        Other than integration with Active Directory, what else does Outlook do out of the box?

        (I do know that it's relatively simple to extend Outlook, and that for many organizations getting rid of Outlook would be as impossible as getting rid of Excel or Word. But without paying a developer, what does Outlook do other than directory, calendar, and email?)
      • Re:yeah right (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jim Hall ( 2985 )

        Yes, but what I'm also wondering is: can I use Gmail as my mail service for my free software project? It's often easier to find (or provide your own) web hosting than (good) mail hosting. If I could use Gmail for my very small email domain (4-6 email addresses) then I'd be a happy guy.

        Google: Are you listening?

    • Add Exchange type calendaring and this could seriously hurt Outlook and Microsoft in general.

      how many times have we heard this one before?

      you think your boss wants Google to become the "one-stop" shopping center for corporate records under subpoena? e-mail, contact lists, schedules. it's a gold mine.

    • Google vs Microsoft.. Allways the same deal.

      Get a look on :
      Microsoft Live Custom Domains http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=1 1b1081d-cfb0-4511-acb5-55db6b49f7de [live.com]
      Microsoft Office Live http://www.microsoft.com/office/officelive/default .mspx [microsoft.com]

      Let's go for a new battle..
      Round 1

    • http://domains.live.com/ [live.com]

      Microsoft is already offering this. It's been around for about a month, I think.
  • by Eric Coleman ( 833730 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:42AM (#14694343)
    Google offers a search appliance, why not an email and/or web office equivalent? You buy the rack mount brains and hook up some hard drives, and you would stay in possesion of your data/email.
  • Excellent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lukewarmfusion ( 726141 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:42AM (#14694345) Homepage Journal
    My small business is dealing with so much spam - plus the difficulty of using several machines to check our mail on - that we're actually forwarding our stuff through Gmail [zawodny.com] in order to filter spam. Not only that, but the interface is far more usable than alternatives we've used [horde.org].

    I keep saying "I wish we could use Gmail for our business email without having an @gmail.com in there."

    This is very exciting to me.
    • Re:Excellent (Score:2, Informative)

      by MikaelC ( 584630 )
      Under GMail try:
      Settings/Account/Send Mail As...

      This allows you to send mail with no @gmail in the 'from:' field. (You are then asked to verify that you own the account you want to send mail from, probably to avoid mail spoofing).

      Then just forward your mail from the selected adress to gmail and all should be fine.

      Of course people can still identify the mail server the mail was sent from (by it IP) as belonging to Google, but this is only a minor annoyance to me.
      • This feature is awesome and I use it all the time. I used to have a Hotmail account before I switched to Gmail, but when I switched, I didn't want all of my contacts knowing my new email address. I simply installed Getmail+FreePOPs to forward my Hotmail email to my Gmail account, and added my Hotmail account as an option for the From: field.
    • its the only one i know that resets itself almost every other week. I regularly have to stop those "Want to be a cop" or "get a date" or "ebay credit here" emails and they come back only 2 weeks later and i again have to retag them as spam.

      A good rbl and squirrelmail interface does better than gmail for quick and easy online reading and filtering of email
      • Seriously? For me it is FAR better than anything else I use.
        • I used to think it was pretty good, but it seems to have deteriorated.

          I got about fifty pump & dump spams each beginning with "A MAJOR PR CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY FOR" and kept getting them for the next few days. One would think that one would be easy to pick out. Also I get them with "st0ck" in the body all the time. Should be a dead giveaway.

      • its the only one i know that resets itself almost every other week. I regularly have to stop those "Want to be a cop" or "get a date" or "ebay credit here" emails and they come back only 2 weeks later and i again have to retag them as spam.

        I find Gmail's spam detection is very good; 99% of mine ends up in the Spam folder.

        From there I have a script that runs every 30 minutes to check for new Spam in my Gmail account, and pass it through spamassassin.
        Depending on the score assigned to it, my script eith
    • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

      by storem ( 117912 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:18PM (#14694503) Homepage
      I keep saying "I wish we could use Gmail for our business email without having an @gmail.com in there."

      You can actually do this today already. The only thing you need is an e-mail forwarding service for you own domainname. You first forward you@domain.com to you@gmail.com, then goto you gmail account settings. Under the option "accounts" (not available in all languages, but US English will do) you add the email address you@domain.com and make it the default for sending new mail (after account verification).
      • Re:Excellent (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mr_zorg ( 259994 )
        I do this to aggregate several different emails in one inbox. There's one big flaw with this, though. Google sets the address of your choosing as the From: header, but also sets the gmail address itself as the Sender: header. This causes Outlook (not Express, though) to display "xxx@gmail.com On Behalf Of xxx@yyyy.com". This allows people to discover my
        "true" address as well as associate my multiple accounts with each other. I've asked them not to do this, but so far no response. Fortunately, most hom
    • Wow you are routing your business email through gmail.
      With google's reputation for logging and tracking everything for posterity I would be very afraid to send my business communication that way.
    • You may not only be recieving spam but your domain might be used to send spam.
      Your domain doesn't even have a SPF record.

      See SPF Record Wizard [microsoft.com] and instructions [msn.com] on how to add SPF record to your domain.
      • That's a blog post by someone else who's doing something similar to our own. I don't post my own domain on /. because I don't want my clients to search for me or my company and find my ranting, drunken posts on Slashdot. :)
  • what they need next (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CdBee ( 742846 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:43AM (#14694349)
    1). IMAP. Need simplicity of sorting messages in a local client or groupware application. POP is a one-way protocol and less than ideal for this.

    2). Filtering or restrictions on some user or ability to review mailboxes

    3). guarantee that ability to reset POP download count will be maintained, as business users have an absolute need to make remote backups of their mailboxes
  • by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:43AM (#14694354)
    I personally bought my domain simply because I wanted my information to reside on my hardware. I think in the future people will finding giving up control of their information wasn't the best idea.
  • by LoverOfJoy ( 820058 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:57AM (#14694407) Homepage
    "I see you are doing personal emails during work-hours. Click here to see what your boss really wants you to be doing!"
  • The way I read it, you get addresses that use your domain name (e.g. user@xyz.com), but use the GMail system, including storage space and search capability. Sounds nice, but I think I'm already doing that, without some special program:
    1. Set up user@xyz.com
    2. Set up copy@gmail.com
    3. Auto-forward all mail from user@xyz.com to copy@gmail.com
    4. Have copy@gmail.com "Send mail as" user@xyz.com
    5. Read and send your email using copy@gmail.com (with all its abilities), and everyone thinks you're user@xyz.com

    Is there a

  • Skins for gmail (Score:3, Informative)

    by MatthewParker ( 837763 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:02PM (#14694427)
    skins for gmail
    http://gmailskins.mozdev.org/ [mozdev.org]
  • by bbzzdd ( 769894 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:05PM (#14694441)

    My company threw a fit yesterday regarding the potential of internal documents ending up on Google's servers via Google Desktop 3.0. The IT department ordered that all copies of Desktop be uninstalled, even though the dubious functionality is turned off by default.

    I can't see many large companies trusting Google with their internal email and documents. The ASP model will not be embraced by many. If they were serious about eating Exchange's lunch, they would offer Gmail as a self-hosted solution.

    • If they were serious about eating Exchange's lunch, they would offer Gmail as a self-hosted solution.

      The majority of businesses are small businesses lf less than 50 employees. If they have to have 33 "computer people" because they do all their own stuff internally, they're less competitive than their competitor, who has one "local geek" and hires everyone else on an as-needed basis.

      A lot of them will look at this and say, "hey, who not?" No more lost email, no more hard time finding it ... we're nt tal

      • Aggh! Typo alert! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tomhudson ( 43916 )

        If they have to have 33 "computer people"

        My bad. An extra 3 there. Of course, so many people consider themselves "computer people" because they can actually send an email (thought they can't find the ones they sent, or where the replies went, and their desktop is full of icons from stuff they downloaded and can't figure ut how to clean up ... that ca company of 50 may very well have 33 people who consider themselves "computer people". They are the target for this service.

        And when Google get out their

      • "The majority of businesses are small businesses lf less than 50 employees. If they have to have 33 "computer people" because they do all their own stuff internally, they're less competitive than their competitor, who has one "local geek" and hires everyone else on an as-needed basis."

        But they both are less competitive than the competitor that has one "local geek" that knows his job and can do all their own stuff internally without resorting (except, maybe, some coding, from time to time) to externalities.

      • by Reaperducer ( 871695 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @01:07PM (#14694776)
        I think you've totally hit it there, not just with the aim of Google e-mail, but with an entire Google strategy.

        Google isn't after the megacorps -- it's after small business. Businesses that are nimble, willing to take chances, and small enough to made quick decisions. Google is never going to convince a huge company to offload its e-mail. But something like this could save thousands of small businesses money, time, and frustration while making their employees more productive.

        Now expand mail to the whole range of Google rumors. Remember those Google desktop boxes we keep hearing about? Google is never going to wean the Fortune 500 to unhook from Microsoft's teat. But it can make serious inroads among the other 5,000,000 companies in America that can lay out $400 for a new computer with a trusted brand name that will let them get things done without worrying about viruses, spyware, or the constant upgrade cycle/Microsoft tax. Google, like many other companies would rather have 20% of five million businesses than 20% of the top five hundred businesses.

        And since many of these small businesses are run by people who have things like Google Desktop on their home machines, and search the internet with Google already, Google isn't some strange name coming out of left field promising them the moon. They're a known quantity that the head of Joe's Antiques or Mary's Candy Shoppe can look at and say, "Well, it works great at home. I bet it would be good for my business, too!"

        Think of all the Google things that don't work well in megacorp environments, but work well for small business:

        > Google Desktop - Did the Kelley Girl lose a document? That's OK, Google Desktop will find it.
        > Google Translate - OK for informal e-mails that small companies use to make a sale, but not robust enough for a real corporate contract
        > Google Mail - Small companies don't have the time or technical know-how to manage mail servers.
        > Google Alerts - Small companies can't afford clipping services, but Google can do the work for them.
        > Google Catalogs - A B2B tool, and a method for keeping an eye on the competition and doing industry research.
        > Froogle - Big business buys through contracts and channels and purchase orders and waits and waits and waits. Small business hits Froogle and gets it done.
        > Google Maps - Great for small delivery companies, florists, pizza shops. Useless to megacorps like FedEx and UPS that have their own methods.

        And obviously Google is thinking at least some about business, because front and center on their home page is a "Business Solutions" link.
  • Convenient (Score:4, Funny)

    by Council ( 514577 ) <rmunroe@gma i l . c om> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:07PM (#14694451) Homepage
    I was just looking at forwarding mail from my domain (just to me) through GMail, because I like their interface and I like not having to handle spam filters myself. I was sitting here literally moments ago thinking "how well will GMail handle auto-forwarded spam? It'd be nice if I could use the GMail interface for mail in my own domain." when they come out with this.

    So it's as I suspected. The Google Desktop privacy infringements now include picking up my brain waves. That, and time travel, because they couldn't have developed this in 15 seconds.

    And, you know, the scary thing is that I just spent a moment thinking "Google reaching into my mind and indexing my memory wouldn't necessarially be evil. It might be helpful, and --" And then I had to splash cold water on my face.

    You're a seductive one, Google.
  • by Utopia ( 149375 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:12PM (#14694472)
    I have been using http://domains.live.com/ [live.com] along with a Live.com mail account.
    I love the ease of use and the featuresets live.com provides.
    I am going to give gmail a spin too.
    But I believe Live.com custom domains will be hard to beat.
  • GoogleBox hosting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by n54 ( 807502 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:12PM (#14694475) Homepage Journal
    I've been wondering for a while if free webhosting (with or without normal domain names) wouldn't be a perfect fit for Google's business model, it would fit snugly with Gmail for domains.

    - Google already has plenty of hardware and there might not be much need for additional hardware as becoming a hosting provider would remove the necessity of caching those sites (why cache something you have direct access to?)
    - Google text advertising could easily be a mandatory part of any hosted websites (perhaps a minimum of 5 text-ads)
    - however there should be no invisible frames, toolbars or similar unless a user/content owner/provider actually wants it (opt-in)
    - mycoolsite.google.com or similar (I wouldn't actually expect them to use google.com for this) as free domain names (naturally with Google's control/TOC and approval) as well as support for regular domain names
    - the TOC would allow for or mandate that sites do such-and-such for example in regard to robots.txt or better meta-info (and of course the Google-hosted site would have to agree to be siphoned for data)
    - Google could sell (or also swap for ad revenue) ordinary domain names as well as different levels of mirroring, guaranteed bandwidth levels, statistics & analysis, increased hosting space and so on. Imo they would be smart to include such as php, python, and ruby by default
    - if Google provided/made a micropayment system things would possibly become even simpler if a site was already hosted by Google

    Unlimited hosting space as well as (transparent to/readable by Google) database support might actually be the best idea. I'm sure it would blow away plenty of the competitors for those not overly concerned about having Google dissecting every little piece of your website for information on a daily basis.

    Doesn't Google already own Blogger? However Blogger is limited in comparison to a normal website. This is but a tiny step really, a win-win situation increasing Google's reach while providing a service essentially for free (just like Gmail).

    I'm not too afraid of the internet becoming googlenet :) the above would seamlessly coexist with other solutions imo.
  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:14PM (#14694478)
    you not only lose new email for the duration, but also all your stored email unless you take the step of pop3ing stuff down, and if you do that then whats the point of using this service?
  • I'm the web designer in a 50 person company who does our sites, manages our email accounts, and does web design work for outside companies. I've been absolutely dying for google to do this since it occurred to me that they could do this.

    This could be a great revenue stream for google if they want to resell this solution on at relatively modest cost to companies of various sizes- it'd unify instant messaging and email for users under that domain, with tracking & search of previous converstaions and em
  • IMAP and privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by idlake ( 850372 ) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @12:23PM (#14694537)
    I think for this sort of thing to work, Gmail needs to support IMAP.

    Also, they need to make clear and specific commitments to data retention guidelines. It may or may not be a problem for you that your E-mail in your Gmail account could hang around forever, but for businesses, that is an unacceptable risk. E-mail data (like other business records) needs to be retained for a specific amount of time, no more and no less.
  • https://domains.live.com/ [live.com]

    I think so =)
  • Privatized Privacy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
    Of course they should hold copies of all my email, as well as records of all my Internet searches. How else are they supposed to help the government protect me [slashdot.org], even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing [com.com]?
  • history repeating (Score:2, Interesting)

    by maccalvin5 ( 455879 )
    hey slashdotters, how much longer until you scream for a burning google logo to go with the m$ broken windows one? you wonder how monopolies take control? by offering great services for free, or even better, for easy, building up a HUGE user base, and exploiting it.

    you've seen them take unexpected business risks like censoring results in china and europe, more recently (although it's ALL been recently...) you've seen them begin gathering user data via google desktop. how can you be sooo against wiretaps and
  • Mark your calendar. They so rarely do anything at all original. This is not only original (as far as major players are concerned) as far as I can see, but seems like a great ide.

    Good job Google.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"