Google announced the latest development in their Google Apps product, Premier. It also updates the standard Google Apps with a new service, Docs and Spreadsheets.
I’ve set up our family’s domain (bruintjes.us) on Google Apps a couple of weeks ago, getting GMail to our domain, and some shared stuff thrown into the mix. It requires some fiddling with the Domain Name settings of your domain, but the Google help files are great.
The Google Apps Premier product adds bigger mailboxes (10GB), single sign-on support, Email gateway, Email whitelist, no ads displayed on Google services, and access to Google partners. It will be free until April 30th, after that it will be $50 per user per year.
I think Premier is a serious Windows Office contender. At a price of $50/user/year, if you have a small-medium business with 100 users, you can run a mail server, web server, calendar, and collaboration environment for $5000 per year, without having to buy any hardware or hire any support personnel (Google provides the support, and the hardware).
The only drawback is that your office is dead when your internet (or Google’s) goes down, but then again, some businesses depend so heavily on reliable internet connections that that is the case nowadays as well.