Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Google Makes It Easy To Try New Apps Right Away, Or Not

IT managers crave stability because new applications and features have a tendency to create chaos. If you’ve ever worked in an office where the IT manager hasn’t upgraded to the latest version of this or that application, you’ve probably seen that craving in action. New things can have unintended consequences, and so don’t get deployed until they’ve been tested–which in some places doesn’t happen until long after they’re new.

Cloud applications like those found in Google Apps are a little different. Since everything works within the browser, there are fewer, if any, things that are likely to break when a new app or feature gets introduced. And Google likes nothing more than pushing the latest shiny things–new features and apps–to its users as soon as they’re ready. Not all IT managers are cool with that, however, because it forces them to get familiar with the new apps and features before they’re ready to field questions about them from their users.

Today, Google is making it possible to choose between being an early adopter or taking a more careful approach by giving Google Apps administrators a two-track deployment approach. One track, known as Rapid Release, gives users access to new apps and features as soon as Google rolls them out.

The second track is known as Scheduled Release, and gives admins a week to familiarize themselves with new apps and then allow their users to get them on a weekly basis, with updates taking place every Tuesday. Google says new features for GMail, Contacts, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Sites will follow this new release schedule going forward.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik