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Google Apps to embrace all Chocolate Factory services

Blogger, Reader, AdWords, Picasa...

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Mountain View will soon allow businesses, government agencies, schools, and other organizations to use any Google service from their Google Apps accounts.

Currently, with Google Apps, an organization can use a limited collection of services from a custom domain, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. But beginning in the summer, you'll have the option of using a Google Apps account with everything else, including Blogger, the Picasa pic manager and sharing, Google AdWords, and the RSS-happy Google Reader.

"9 of the top 20 requests from Google Apps customers are for their accounts to work with more services from Google, not just for the core suite of messaging and collaboration applications," reads a company blog post.

"Later this year we’ll dramatically accelerate customer access to innovation, and give users the convenience of using any Google service allowed by their administrator from a single account affiliated with their organization."

The company offers a free Google Apps Standard Edition, a for-pay Premier Edition that includes added storage as well as service and support, and a free Education Edition for schools.

In the fall, Google will automatically move all versions to a new infrastructure that allows the use of extra services, but existing customers will be free to make the switch on their own "during the summer." Initially, services outside the current "core suite" will not be covered by the Google Apps support and service level agreement, but the company says it will "evaluate future support options." ®

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