Google Applications for Your Domain currently allows you to run Gmail, Gtalk, and Gpages (a web publishing tool) through your own domain. One immediate advantage of doing this is that Gmail’s spam filters seem to be very good so running company mail through it should reduce spam problems you may be having.
It is also planned to integrate Google’s online word Processor (Writely) and Google Spreadsheets so that Microsoft Office need never be fired up (or even installed!).
When you sign up you get the following screen:
The functionality is sparse right now but the great thing about software as a service is that updates are constantly being rolled out to the benefit of the consumer. One nice feature in the setup is the bulk uploader which allows you to upload a csv file for setup of your users:
Microsoft needs to be worried. Not because this threatens them from the point of view of functionality but because this new model is quickly becoming the accepted norm. And although Microsoft are getting into this arena too, who would you trust with your company’s data, Google or Microsoft?
UPDATE: D’oh! I forgot to title this post. Title added subsequently along with bang on the head to remind me not to do that again!