Did not know this, but Amit Agarwal writes about some benefits your Gmail account gets when you use Google Apps. Besides getting 25 gigabytes of email storage (eight times what a regular account has), uptime guarantees and hiding advertisements, you get certain benefits from Postini, which has recently been added to Apps.
What do you get?
The ability to create a list of approved senders and approved email domains. Any email from those addresses or those domains will go straight to your inbox, no worries about them getting stuck in the junk mail filter. You also can make a list of blocked email addresses and blocked email domains, and you’ll never see emails from them.
Postini backs up your deleted email, so if you delete something, you can still recover it for up to 90 days. Search Postini’s archive and you can get them back.
Google Apps is $50 a year, so if deleted email recovery is worth that to you, go for it.
Smart readers will note that I’ve been calling Google Docs & Spreadsheets just “Google Docs” for a while, since it became obvious that a name that mentions everything in the suite would probably be shortened to Docs eventually anyway. Google’s done exactly that, so Google Office is going to be called henceforth Google Docs, as it should be. Google also made the smart move of not giving it an awful name like “Presently”.
Go to docs.google.com and click New, and you’ll see a new entry for Presentation. Here’s the basic interface:
You can create new slides, duplicate slide, insert images and text, change themes, re-order slides, share your presentation, publish your presentation to the web, and run a slideshow.
Presentation comes with 15 themes (including “Blank”, natch) you can set for your slide backgrounds. There is no way to add one of your own, though you could probably fake it with an image.
When you create a new slide, you can choose from five pre-set layouts (including Blank) to pre-populate it.
You can right-click on items to delete them or re-order them.
When playing a presentation, you are given an interface with a chat room (which also shows you how is watching the presentation online), a URL to share it, and the option to go full-screen with the F11 button. The chat window is present even in full-screen mode, though you can click a divider to hide it. There is no option to chat in a seperate browser windows. Standard keys will advance and rewind through the presentation (space, backspace, enter, left mouse click).
So, how does it look? It’s pretty basic. Put things here, move around, set a background, publish. The chat room is nice, and the fact that collaboration is as easy as it with the other Google Docs products is good, too. Otherwise, you won’t be creating anything spectacular with this, but it adds another feature for Google, and it doesn’t suck. PowerPoint killer? Not anytime soon.
UPDATE: Another thing: You can import PowerPoint files (but not PowerPoint 2007 files) into Presentations, and you can output your Presentations as a zipped HTML.
Very well implemented.
Another thing: Chats in the chat frame are saved in your Gmail account. Nice, nice, nice!
Not so nice: Everyone’s email address is revealed.
Microsoft has sent out an email from a corporate spokesman listing the top ten concerns companies should have before switching to Google Apps (top ten? They trying to make Digg? It didn’t work). Mary Jo Foley was the first to print the list. Here is the list, along with my editorial comments:
“1. Google touts having enterprise level customers but how many “USERS” of their applications truly exist within the enterprise?
Not even sure what this question is asking. Are they saying that Google has customers, but those customers don’t use the product? Are they saying that Google’s customers are customers for publicity reasons, but that they don’t actually deploy Apps? Are they saying that companies sign up for Apps, but only use it for the portion of their employees that they deem not important enough to get copies of Office?
That last one is possible, and yesterday’s CapGemini announcement seemed to indicate as such. Microsoft could win a major battle on that point alone, that important people use Microsoft Office, while low-level clerks and lackeys are forced to use the inferior Google Apps. It makes Google Apps look like a punishment.
“2. Google has a history of releasing incomplete products, calling them beta software, and issuing updates on a “known only to Google” schedule – this flies in the face of what enterprises want and need in their technology partners – what is Google doing that indicates they are in lock step with customer needs?
Uh, Microsoft has a recent history of shipping late. Still, it’s a good point, but release schedules are more important if you are buying upgrades, not if you are paying for subscriptions. In a subscription market, you want to know when new features are coming, but you don’t pay more for them, so planning ahead isn’t as important.
“3. Google touts the low cost of their apps –not only price but the absence of need for hardware, storage or maintenance for Google Apps. BUT if GAPE is indeed a complement to MSFT Office, the costs actually become greater for a company as they now have two IT systems to run and manage and maintain. Doesn’t this result in increased complexity and increased costs?
This point is excellent and needs some explanation. Microsoft is saying that if you are running Office for some employees and Google Apps as a complement for other employees, then you are now running two seperate application platforms for the same purpose, and your cost saving may evaporate in the IT costs for running two system.
In addition, it’s worth pointing out again that the “complementary” system is a loser, admitting that Google Apps is not even trying to be the best. It also creates an upper and lower class of employees, and can cause a lot of problems as workers get pissed off at being stuck in the lower class.
“4. Google’s primary focus is on ad funded search. Their enterprise focus and now apps exist on the very fringe and in combination with other fringe services only account for 1% of the company’s revenue. What happens if Google executes poorly? Do they shut down given it will them in a minimal and short term way? Should customers trust that this won’t happen?
Good point. Google could just up and quit, realizing that Apps is going nowhere years from now. If they do, what happens to years of subscription fees, wasted away on software you don’t own? Companies could still now be running Office 95 or Office 97 because software is mostly forever, something that would not be possible with Google Apps.
“5. Google’s apps only work if an enterprise has no power users, employees are always online, enterprises haven’t built custom Office apps – doesn’t this equal a very small % of global information workers today? –On a feature comparison basis, it’s not surprising that Microsoft has a huge lead.
Again, Google Apps is being positioned as the office suite for people who don’t need power or features. Its a crappy marketing position, but its true, and both Google and Microsoft are using that to sell their side of the argument. Microsoft argues Apps is not good for power users, offline user, those who use the big features; while Google argues that Apps is good for those that only need occasional document tasks.
They’re both right. I’d like to argue that companies didn’t pay hundreds of dollars for Office because their employees used it for simple tasks, that they only bought it so their employees could use advanced features and be more productive, but that hasn’t always been the case. How many of you have an expensive desktop computer, Windows, Office, and play a lot of solitaire, write up a few memos, and add some numbers to a spreadsheet? More than Microsoft would like to admit.
“6. Google apps don’t have essential document creation features like support for headers, footers, tables of content, footnotes, etc. Additionally, while customers can collaborate on basic docs without the above noted features, to collaborate on detailed docs, a company must implement a two part process – work together on the basic doc, save it to Word or Excel and then send via email for final edits. Yes they have a $50 price tag, but with the inefficiencies created by just this one cycle, how much do GAPE really cost – and can you afford the fidelity loss?
Yes, Google’s Apps are missing features, features that if all the hype about Google and high-speed coding were true, Apps would already have them. I’d never use Apps for a document I intended on printing out, and it doesn’t look like they even care if it is used for desktop publishing. And Microsoft is right on one thing; any company editing in Apps, then finishing in Office is just being stupid, and should stick with Office for the entire workflow.
“7. Enterprise companies have to constantly think about government regulations and standards – while Google can store a lot of data for enterprises on Google servers, there is no easy to use, automated way for enterprises to regularly delete data, issue a legal hold for specific docs or bring copies into the corp. What happens if a company needs to respond to government regulations bodies? Google touts 99.9% uptime for their apps but what few people realize that promise is for Gmail only. Equally alarming is the definition Google has for “downtime” – ten consecutive minutes of downtime. What happens if throughout the day Google is down 7 minutes each hour? What does 7 minutes each hour for a full work day that cost an enterprise?
The first half is an oft-cited point, and a good one. Google needs to implement local backups, preferably through Google Gears. If they hype on Gears is to be believed, this could have been done in a simplistic fashion months ago. Google’s got a lot of hype it doesn’t deliver on, and that doesn’t make them trustworthy. Company-side backups for compliance is 100% necessary for many, and until it happens, those companies can’t consider Apps.
The second half is unrealistic. 7 minutes, every hour? Please. Users would shit a brick if that happened. Google needs a more solid uptime guarantee, but this doomsday scenario isn’t helping anyone.
“8. In the world of business, it is always on and always connected. As such, having access to technical support 24/7 is essential. If a company deploys Google Apps and there is a technical issue at 8pm PST, Sorry. Google’s tech support is open M-F 1AM-6PM PST – are these the new hours of global business? And if a customer’s “designated administrator” is not available (a requirement) does business just stop?
Where did Google get those hours? Ah, 1 AM Pacific is morning in the foreign call centers Google has probably employed. Glad to see Google going with outsourced foreign customer service, which as we all know has a great reputation.
Jeez, pay a little extra for Americans. You’ll win some happy customers that way, trust me.
“9. Google says that enterprise customers use only 10% of the features in today’s productivity applications which implies that EVERYONE needs the SAME 10% of the feature when in fact it is very clear that in each company there are specific roles people play that demands access to specific information – how does Google’s generic strategy address role specific needs?
Good point. I use a bunch of high quality charts and visual materials, other require mail merge and form controls, others are heavy into macros, others into PowerPoint madness, others into… You get the point. I don’t even know some of the roles Office users fall into, and that means a lot of people to satisfy. Microsoft Office has something for everyone, while Google is a lot more limited and specific. There are few things Google has that Microsoft doesn’t, and there’s a ton of stuff Office has that Apps can’t and won’t.
“10. With Google apps in perpetual beta and Google controlling when and if they rollout specific features and functionality, customers have minimal if any control over the timing of product rollouts and features – how do 1) I know how to strategically plan and train and 2) get the features and functionality I have specifically requested? How much money does not knowing cost?
This is pretty much question 2 all over again, but there is a good argument here. Microsoft’s Office development process has become a thing of beauty over the years, to the point that if Office’s development team where working on Google Apps, Apps would be able to kick Microsoft Office’s ass. Google’s been moving slowly, especially in an environment where new versions should be coming monthly, not every three years like Office, and the development of Apps doesn’t make it seem like we should have a lot of confidence in their ability to move fast, compete and innovate.
I don’t know how much I agree with Microsoft, but they’ve got the superior product from now and speak from a position of strength. It’s hard to side with Google on anything but potential, and enterprise customers don’t usually sign giant contracts on potential. What do you think? Is Microsoft ridiculous for taking this tactic? Is it ridiculous because they are so far ahead? Do you agree with them? Are they just being naive?
Interestingly, Microsoft isn’t the only one striking like this. Zimbra, another competitor, is sending out emails challenging Google and saying the limitations of Apps (again citing government regulatory compliance) make it a terrible choice for businesses.
Google Apps, Google service for running corporate email, calendaring and documents, has gotten a new partner in the form of Capgemini, a major systems consulting firm. Capgemini will incorporate Google Apps into its outsourcing service, which currently manages over a million corporate desktop PCs. The goal of the partnership is to bring Apps into larger companies, past just the educational and small business clients the service currently enjoys.
I asked Jones about the commonly heard claim that Google Apps, while fine for little organizations, isn’t “enterprise-ready.” He scoffed at the notion, saying that the objection is just a smokescreen that some CIOs are “hiding behind.” Google Apps, he says, is “already being used covertly” in big companies, behind the backs of IT staffers. The time has come, he argues, to bring Apps into the mainstream of IT management in order to ensure that important data is safeguarded and compliance requirements are met. Jones foresees “a lot of big companies” announcing the formal adoption of Apps.
They go on to say that Apps will be marketed as a complement to Microsoft Office, but that it should prove a good idea for employees who the company can’t afford to give copies of Office. Both are interesting arguments, but here’s a counter:
Yes, some employees are using Gmail behind the scenes instead of their corporate email, but plenty are using Hotmail or Yahoo Mail. Employees are always going to have personal webmail accounts in addition to their corporate accounts, and it proves no trend.
If the arguments goes beyond that, that employees are collaborating in secret with Google Docs, as surprising as that may be, it wouldn’t surprise me if plenty of those employees are also using OpenOffice. In fact, It would surprise me even less if stats backed up this hypothesis: More outsourced employees, without licensed copies of Microsoft Office, are pirating Office than using a free alternative.
I’ve long argued that at $50 per user per year, Apps is either barely cheaper than Microsoft Office, or actually more expensive as that subscription fee adds up. This decision can’t be made on a purely financial basis, but has to be won on features.
Both Carr and TechCrunch point out the obvious problems with accounting under current U.S. law, and the fact that no new customers were being announced with this news. Supposedly a big telco is going to announce a switch to Google Apps on some of its computers, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Barry listed these search engine (and related) stuff being done for today:
This ran on Dogpile:
and this on Search Engine Roundtable:
Google didn’t run anything, and neither did Yahoo, Ask or Windows Live.
New Google Web Toolkit
Google released a new version of its Web Toolkit, a toolkit for creating high-end Java applications in the Google style. Read more about it here.
Google Earth, Windows Live Maps & Others In Flash
Flash Earth now lets you use a Flash interface to get around Google Maps, Windows Live Maps (aerial and labeled), Yahoo Maps, Ask Maps (aerial and physical), OpenLayers and NASA Terra daily satellite imagery.
(via, via, via)
Google Sued For Email Patent
Polaris IP, one of those soul-sucking companies that appears to exist for no reason except to sue companies who do productive and innovative things over patents they own and don’t use, has sued Google, Amazon, Yahoo, AOL, Borders and IAC over some email patent. The patent has something to do with email rules and automatic message routing.
Considering they didn’t invent anything, but bought the patent from a company that did, and the patent shouldn’t have been issued (other companies were doing the same thing before the original patent holder filed for the patent), this is just another one of those patent lawsuits that would go away in a world with a sensible justice system.
Some Quintura Stuff
Someone pointed out Quintura to me. They’ve got this kid search engine (I think they may have just launched it), which has a kid-friendly interface (including only five results per page, to make things easier). Both their kid search engine and their regular search interface include this really cool tag cloud feature, where you roll over a word and it rebuilds the cloud (without you clicking anything) based on that word, and does so endlessly as you roll over new words.
YouTube Competitor Gets A Crappy Name
NBC and News Corp revealed the name of their YouTube competitor, which they have been talking about but still haven’t launched for half a year. The name: Hulu, exactly the sort of means-nothing non-offensive crap name that you’d expect six months of focus groups to turn out. Good work, time to move on to being a failure!
Not only does the name mean nothing of importance to users and is likely to bore people away from visiting the website, it actually means “cease and desist” in Swahili. So, at least we know they have their priorities straight! Where would you rather go: (a) YouTube or (b) SafeguardingIntellectualPropertyTube?
They say that they didn’t need to convince or force employees to use it, it just happened, and that 87% of Googlers used it in the last week and 96% in the last month. Which sounds nice, but a better stat would be: How many have stopped using Microsoft Word and Excel? If Word and Excel usage have dropped by half, then you’ve got some real confidence, and I apologize.
AdSense Vista Gadget
If you need to check your AdSense earnings every few minutes without loading a webpage, there’s an AdSense Gadget for Windows Vista’s Sidebar. And if you can get the Gadget to actually work, you deserve a hug (and send me an email).
Google Docs Gets Right-Click Menu
Google added a good UI feature to Google Docs & Other Things, letting you right-click in the file manager to get a context menu. While it would be unfair to say they’ve now caught up with Windows 95 (they are trying very hard, and this takes time), it is good to know that the interface is maturing. Ionut Alex has examples with screenshots.
YouTube Partners Winning Over YouTube Users?
Ionut Alex wrote a post looking at the new branding for YouTube partner pages I mentioned recently, with a different YouTube player and a giant advertisement, but he also noted something strage: The Universal Music Group official version of a music video had 14 million views, compared to the user uploaded version, which had 378 thousand. This despite the fact that the user version could be embedded on any website, and the partner version was trapped in the walled garden.
Could it be that these partners are solving a problem for YouTube, bringing the user onto YouTube with their market power, instead of having users leech most of the bandwidth from external embeds? Could the partners be winning? I have so many questions, but this is supposed to be a lazy post, so, moving on…
InfoWorld has an article about a study by a consulting firm that says Google Apps isn’t the right move for any sort of decent sized mature business, that it better fits smaller businesses with very limited needs. Bad enough to have in the press, no doubt, but then there’s this:
Even at Google’s offices, Apps is used internally only as a collaboration add-on to Microsoft Office, the report says.
It never sounds good when your employees are using your competitor’s product, not your own, because your product has a number of glaring limitations that limit its use in major corporations. How can Google expect any business even a tenth the size of Google to use Google Apps or Google Docs if they don’t use it themselves?
Some of the limitations the report lists:
– Documents: “Google Docs does not support a table of contents, headers, footers, automatic creation of footnotes or end notes.”
– Spreadsheets: “Google Spreadsheets does not support some of the more esoteric functions within formulas (e.g., database functions), and cannot hide rows or columns.”
– Presentations: “Google does not yet offer a presentation application, although it is in the process of developing one.”
– Customized applications: “Using Visual Studio Tools for Office, developers can create customized business applications that leverage capabilities in Microsoft Word and Excel, for example. While the Google APIs offer some programmatic control, they do not offer the broad level of capabilities that Microsoft does.”
Ah, Google Presentations. That reminds me…
Matt told me about a really useful feature in Google Apps, guest and resource scheduling. Turns out if you use Google Apps, when scheduling an event in Google Calendar, you can check if the people you want to go to that event are free, based on their calendars, and if the resources you need are free as well. If the person you want to invite is busy, but for private reasons, you won’t see what it is, you’ll just know they’re not available.
This is a really great integration feature. A similar feature is available in Microsoft Outlook, but I believe it requires an Exchange server, which is pretty expensive.
Google has announced the acquisition of Postini, an enterprise security company, for the large sum of $625 million. Google hopes to use Postini to boost Google Apps, by bringing it more in line with the security and legal compliance issues corporations are concerned with. While no doubt Google needed to assuage the doubts of potential corporate users by beefing up Google Apps in those areas, I had no idea it would cost that much.
The Google blog says:
Larger enterprises, however, face a challenge: though they want to deliver simple, useful hosted applications to their employees, they’re also required to support complex business rules, information security mandates, and an array of legal and corporate compliance issues. In effect, many businesses use legacy systems not because they are the best for their users, but because they are able to support complex business rules. This isn’t a tradeoff that any business should have to make.
By the way, what’s with the title on the Google blog? “Welcome, Postini team”. No one could come up with something wittier? Previous Google acquisitions have merited punnier post titles, like “All aboard” for GrandCentral, “Adding more flare” for FeedBurner, and “A picture’s worth a thousand clicks” for Panoramio. Nobody could come up with a single decent joke? I’m shocked!
Dave Girouard, VP and GM of Google Enterprise, told attendees of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Alumni 2007 Global Conference that Google in the process of offering JotSpot to businesses as part of Google Apps. JotSpot is an enterprise wiki startup Google acquired last October, that should allow businesses who use Google Apps to have collaborative document editing, an increasingly useful tool. They’ve been moving JotSpot over to Google infrastructure, but there haven’t been many announcements about it since the acquisition.
He also mentioned that 1,000-2,000 new businesses sign up every day for Google Apps.
PC World released their top products of 2007 list, and as usual it only covers the first few months of 2007. Still, Google should be quite happy, as it took the #1 spot with Google Apps Premier Edition, with PC World basically saying that Google’s $50/year docs/spreadsheet/calendar/email/IM software being the best product right now. In the entire world.
Conclusions? Draw them.
Google beat out Intel’s latest Core 2 Duo processor, the Nintendo Wii, Verizon’s fiber optic internet service, Blackberry, Apple Mac OS, Apple TV, the Xbox 360, and Paint.net. With the exception of the last one, all of those are expensive products, with millions in research and development and millions in revenue. But yeah, Google’s not-free “good enough” office apps are way better.
I’m not saying Google Apps is bad, far from it. It’s real good. But to say you wouldn’t trade it for half that list, that’s just silly.
Something I overlooked in all the Google Apps / Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office comparisons, but didn’t go unnoticed by Tony Ruscoe: Microsoft Office Home & Student works on up to three computers. That means that a single copy of Office H&S, which contains Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote, costs $50 a person split three ways, the same as a year of Google Apps, and so cheap that Google Docs has a hard time justifying itself.
Google is working real hard developing office applications, but no one is really going to claim that they are better than the most recent version of Microsoft Office (Tony says of Docs, “it’s basically just a glorified WYSIWYG HTML editor”). If Office is better, has local storage, works with everything, and has a really cool new user interface, isn’t it worth fifty bucks? Being honest with yourself, wouldn’t you say Office is so cheap that Google’s free apps aren’t significantly cheaper, and thus have few advantages?
Google is releasing a presentations app this summer, but Docs and Spreadsheets aren’t fully baked yet. Maybe they need to get serious about competing with Office on features and usability. Otherwise, the PR FUD that Google Docs isn’t competing with Microsoft Office will be very sadly fulfilled.
Google has cancelled today’s scheduled maintenance of Google Calendar, after many users were confused and sent emails to the company. According to PC World, Google didn’t clarify what users could expect, leading to much confusion. Google forgot to include the time zone for which its 8 am to 9 pm maintenance period referred to, and probably should have said from the begininning that downtime would be expected to last no more than five to ten minutes during the entire thirteen hour period.
Google tried to do a good thing, let users know ahead of time its plans, and it backfired on them because when users hear downtime, they panic. Its a shame. Google now says it plans to change the way it does maintenance for Google Apps, requiring their engineers to find a way to update the software without causing downtime for users. Unlike previous Google services, some companies and organizations rely on Google Apps for everything, and they won’t stand for downtime, giving Google a new set of priorities.
Arie forwarded me this email he received from the Google Apps team:
From: The Google Team
Date: Apr 24, 2007 1:04 PM
Subject: Google Apps Status Alert: Maintenance upgrade for Google Calendar on April 26th
We wanted to inform you that we are planning to conduct routine maintenance to Google Calendar between 8AM and 9PM on Thursday, April 26th, 2007 . During this time, this service may be unavailable to some of your users. Please inform your users about this planned maintenance appropriately. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to improve Google Calendar.
If you have any questions, you can contact the Google Apps Support team through the Google Apps Help center (http://www.google.com/support/a/).
The Google Apps Team
Please do not reply directly to this message. Please contact us through the Google Apps Help Center (http://www.google.com/support/a/) if you have any questions.
There’s a little more info at Download Squad, including that Google is upgrading their servers for better performance, that the maintenance will will be 8 am - 9 pm Pacific time tomorrow, and that downtime is not guaranteed, but certainly possible during the transition. Because Google Apps only guarantees uptime for email, and not any of the other services, it appears no refund will be forthcoming if the service is improbably down the entire 13 hours.
Interesting that Google and Yahoo (Google a lot more so) decided to make quasi-political statements about global warming, but I guess Earth Day is political in its own way. Google’s melting glaciers has to be the first time they’ve sent a message like that.
Google has bought the conferencing software developed by Marratech, giving it a powerful desktop-based collaboration tool with video, text, VoIP and whiteboard features. Google’s blog post indicates they will be using the software internally, for employee communications, but it is certainly reasonable that Google may eventually fold it into a more powerful version of Google Talk, or use technology in Gmail or the Google Apps suite.
Wouldn’t it be funny if Google just bought a copy of some software at Staples, and issued a blog post that read like they had bought the company? I mean, the Marratech press release/blog post almost read like they did exactly that. I can picture it now…
Collaborating with Microsoft
Thursday, April 19, 2007 at 8:10:00 PM
Posted by Douglas Merrill, VP Engineering
As a company, we thrive on fun interactions and spontaneous video gaming. So we’re excited about acquiring Microsoft’s video gaming console, the Xbox 360, which will enable from-the-couch gaming for Googlers in videogaming meetings wherever there’s a TV.
We look forward to learning from the extraordinary ingenuity of Microsoft’s engineers as they focus on video gaming research and development in Seattle, where they will continue to be located.
Update: To clarify some confusion, we bought an Xbox at Best Buy, not the company itself.
ComputerWorld has an article about trouble some users and organizations had accessing their Google Apps services recently. According to the article, this was the third time this month the service suffered downtime, this time on Tuesday of this week from 10:00 am to about 4 pm. There was a previous outage on March 12 for about two hours, and another on March 1 for at least 8 hours. Paid users of the Premier tier of service received an extra 15 days of free Premier service.
Premier users are guaranteed 99.9% uptime, which I have mentioned earlier translates to 43.829 minutes per month. Adding up ComputerWorld’s three reported outages, Google has had at least 16 hours of downtime in just the first month of the current version of Apps, the first to come with the uptime guarantee for paying users.
Ignoring the fact that 16 hours of downtime a month, from a service that could be used to provide corporate email, calendaring, web pages, documents and spreadsheets, is an unacceptable option for any organization with important work to do, these numbers mean Google only had uptime of 97.8096%. Every time Google exceeds that 43 minute number, it will be forced to give another free month (or 15 days for 22 minutes) to paid users, completely defeating the purpose of charging for Google Apps.
In fact, if Google can’t get their uptime under control, you could use Google Apps Premier completely for free! Obviously, this is something they have to fix, because bad uptime makes you look terrible, and it gives away your service for free, taking away any hope of profit. I’m hoping Google is finding ways to fix this, because making an uptime guarantee is a serious deal, and thus far, they’ve failed.