Google Apps today sprouted a new limb to lure more US business users and school kids away from collaboration software rivals Microsoft and IBM.
According to the search engine firm, Google Apps Team Edition will allow companies' IT departments to more easily integrate and configure the apps for workgroups.
Previously, Google Apps users could share web-based documents and files with groups of workers only after IT administrators did some jiggery-pokery with the configuration to verify valid domains.
Google reckons that hassle has now been removed with Apps Team Edition, which – like Google Apps Standard and Apps Education Edition – is free.
It said users within a single organisation's domain who sign up online can immediately share documents and calendars securely by verifying their business or school email addresses.
The whole thing has been been given a Web 2.0, social networking style lipsticking to draw in the punters, with log-on features that appear similar to Facebook.
Google said Apps Team Edition was only available in the US at the moment but added that it's "working on localisations" with an aim of pumping it out to other parts of the world at a later date.
Meanwhile, earlier this week Google announced several new hosted security packages which it has punted at UK businesses of all sizes.
The Postini message filtering, encryption and archiving services work with any mail system including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and Novell Groupwise.
Prices range from £1.50 per user to £12.50 per user depending on which product businesses fancy signing up to, said Google in a statement.
Google bolted on Postini's better spam filtering, outbound content controls, policy reporting and visibility features in September last year as part of a wider move to plug the credibility gap Google Apps has with large corporations. ®