Google just announced a couple of new features and an apology for the outage last week. For me, I’ve already enabled the SSL feature (rolled out over a week ago).
When reviewers compare Google Apps to things like MS Office they don't take into account that it's just a snapshot in time which is no longer valid in Web 2.0 time frames. This approach used to be accepted since competitors would release major changes & features at best every 6 months. What the major zines fail to realize (and possibly desktop application vendors as well) is that web based apps like gMail, and other Google Apps are on a continual release train that delivers in weeks, not months and years. Features arrive all the time. Fixes are applied and instantly used by millions within hours. This is yet another example of that. Sure Google Apps may not be completely on-par with MS Office, but the trend is that it can sneak up and bite them when no one is looking.
In addition to this, innovative hackers have enhanced Google Apps with Firefox plug-ins and whole applications. RememberTheMilk.com is a perfect example. They graft their ToDo list management system directly onto gMail using Firefox in a very innovative way (innovative to me) to make up for missing functionality. Now take all of this together, add mobility detection and other features and you have excellent integration with all Google Apps on mobile device (iPhone for me) that surpasses any total solution out there.
Just as important is that Google is learning to deliver application on a massive scale. Something that comes only with experience and a few stubbed toes along the way. Enter stage right the Google application development environment and the future potential is staggering. Am I a Google groupie? Yes. Does this apply to the SAAS web application delivery industry as a whole, absolutely. We are sitting on the cusp of a very large change.
If you read this far I thank you.