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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Gold Coast
Thanked 58 Times in 42 Posts
Keeping in mind that we are talking about micro and small businesses her, in response to that, I would say:
1. Ads in gmail are no problem for me, ads are everywhere and services that relate to what you are discussing won't necessarily worsen the experience. They are on Google all day with ads what's the difference? I dont think the ads should be (or really are) a concern for most small businesses.
2. Google apps (free) has never gone down as far as I know while I have been using it. They are extremely reliable. Its google! 10x more reliable than your average host. I don't know if there is data on the uptime on the free vs paid I'd be surprised if it was much different. What exactly does the guarantee mean? You get your money back if it goes down? Why not just not pay in the first place.
3. I've never had to call them. The only questions I think people would generally have would be usage type questions - I.e. how do you add an email account etc. these questions can be asked of your IT support or if you are skilled in using their search engine or help there are easy answers to these questions. I guess its not much money and if you want the support (assuming they offer a good support service for these types of questions) then go for it, but unnecessary for a lot of users I think.
Personally on Outlook I think small businesses have a mindset that it's a good product and necessary for business. But really it's an average way to access email I think. Why have outlook installed when you can have the same experience, a better experience, without software for free from any computer. After switching I'd never go back to outlook. It's kind of like comparing Xero with MYOB (although probably not quite that drastic).
I know we see things differently on this. My point is I don't think Google have done a good job with this product as a 'freemium' type product. Compare this with dropbox or mail chimp. They promote the free product (as opposed to hiding it), they get people addicted to its awesomeness, then they present a compelling offer to upgrade (more space, more features, more subscribers etc). Not 'the free version might go down'.