No kidding: Gmail is out of beta

Mountain View (CA) – Google today said that all Google Apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Talk, are officially out of beta. There was no information what suddenly happened to remove the beta label from those products. But just in case you are just too used to be seeing Gmail with a “beta” logo, you can customize the interface to show a “beta” remark.
Google and beta software is a running joke and the simple fact that you can add a beta logo to Google Apps may be a sign that even Google does not take its approach to calling some products “beta” that seriously. It seems that especially Gmail has been in beta forever – in fact, the service launched on April 2, 2004 as an invitation only service with a then revolutionary 1 GB of free storage space. Five years and more than 100 million registered users later, Google felt it is time to remove the beta label.

Gmail was transitioned from an invitation-only service to a traditional free email service in February 2007.

Gmail currently offers 7.2 GB of free storage space. Additional storage space ranging from 10 to 400 GB is available for extra fees ($20 to $500 per year).

As far as all Google Apps are concerned, Google said that “more than 1.75 million companies around the world run their business on Google Apps, including Google. 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. 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.”

Google said that it will continue working on improvements for its apps and actually introduced a few new Gmail features such as mail delegation and mail retention.

If you can’t live without the beta logo, you can add it to the Gmail interface simply by re-enabling the beta label for Gmail from the Labs tab under Settings.