Note that twice in this eleven-word mission statement, we mention that this is a global effort, not just a problem we’re solving only for English-speaking users in the U.S. That global focus is critical, because fully 65% of Internet users around the world speak a language other than English. In fact, the Internet’s top 10 languages still only account for around 85% of users — and the remaining 15% represents almost 200 million people.
As part of our broader effort to make Google accessible to more people in their native languages, we’re announcing a number of updates for Google Apps, our customizable package of hosted communication and collaboration applications for businesses, schools, and other organizations. Several features and components previously available only to English users and administrators of Google Apps are now available in other languages, too. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new for non-English speakers:
Google Apps Premier Edition for companies and organizations needing an uptime guarantee for email service, 10 gigabytes of email storage per user, integration APIs and multi-lingual telephone support for critical issues (support experts are available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch). Also, for a limited time, you can try Premier Edition for free for 30 days.
Google Apps Partner Edition for ISPs and portals that want to offer Gmail and other applications to their subscribers.
Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which lets Google Apps users create and collaborate in real time, right from their browsers.
The Start Page, a central place for Google Apps users to preview their inboxes, calendars and documents, access their organizations’ essential content, and search the web.
A more user-friendly control panel interface for Google Apps administrators.
Mail migration tools for administrators who want to switch from a different email system (available with Premier and Education Editions only).