Google Apps for Your Domain – read the fine print!

I got sent a link to the Google Apps for Your Domain web-site overnight. It is an interesting service and a pretty strategic play by Google for your business. One thing that people should watch though is the fine print on this one – this attached to the word “free”:

“Organizations accepted by Google during the Google Apps for Your Domain beta period are eligible for free service for their approved beta users even beyond the end of the beta period, as described in the Terms of Service.”

That seems to imply that for each new user you bring online after the BETA period you will need to compensate Google. That’s not a problem, fair compensation for products and services is the cornerstone of commerce but the question is – how will Google derive that compensation?

I am concerned that the revenue will be generated off some form of advertising that might eventually reach your/my customers.The other issue with advertising based licensing is the impression that it is “free” and that impression can lead to poor support options when all that fancy JavaScript goes wrong. What really needs to happen with advertising supported software is that some kind of balance of support units needs to be maintained.

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