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Gmail's patrons are still cranky after the Sept. 1 outage that left them without Gmail for nearly two hours. For most users who rely on the free e-mail service, its absence - during prime web surfing hours no less - was a nuisance.
But for Google's enterprise business, the stakes are higher. More than 1.75 million companies pay the annual $50-per-user subscription fee for their employees to use Google Apps, the web-based application suite that includes Gmail for business and other functions.
It's been two years since Google launched the product, and just this past summer it removed the term "beta," explaining Google Apps has "met or exceeded" the standards of non-beta software.
For most of Google's corporate customers, relying on software delivered as a service rather than managed internally remains a new idea, one that many are still testing. A public and lengthy outage can send a chilling effect across the industry.
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