Google offers hosted communications apps

Free beta of Apps for Your Domain launches Monday and will let organizations offer Web-based e-mail, chat and more.

Starting Monday, organizations will be able to offer members or employees Web-based e-mail, calendar, chat and Web page publishing hosted by Google for free.

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Take a first look at Google Apps for Your Domain

Google is now offering a

The new service is an extension of Gmail for Your Domain, a service that Google launched in beta version in February. It allows organizations to use Gmail applications with their own e-mail address, instead of the "@gmail.com" domain.

The Gmail for Your Domain test service has tens of thousands of active domains, hundreds of thousands of users and hundreds of universities registered to use it, said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google's enterprise business.

The Google Apps for Your Domain service will allow organizations to outsource their communications applications to Google and to customize the user interface with their own branding and color scheme. Administrators will have access to an English-language Web-based control panel to do things like manage the user account list and set up aliases and distribution lists.

A premium edition with support and additional storage will be available by the end of the year for a fee, Girouard said. He declined to provide more details.

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