Google Shocker: Gmail Drops Beta Tag

Google's online apps are apparently finally ready for prime time, so the company finally dropped the beta moniker from Gmail, Gtalk, Docs and Calendar on Tuesday. The move, however, doesn't seem to signify much more than a change in the Web-based application logos.

"Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk — both enterprise and consumer versions — are now out of beta. 'Beta' will be removed from the product logos today, but we'll continue to innovate and improve upon the applications whether or not there's a small 'beta' beneath the logo," the company said on its blog. "Indeed, today we're also announcing some other Google Apps features that we think will appeal to large enterprises: mail delegation, mail retention and ongoing enhancements to Apps reliability."

Google is no stranger to the beta tag. The company's Gmail service was branded "beta" for five years, and the Google Apps business suite has been beta for the past two years.

Despite the loss of the beta moniker, Google promised to continue working on the products. "We have much more in store," the company said.

For users that aren't ready for such a drastic change in Google's product logos, there is an option in user settings to re-add the beta tag -- because five years in beta isn't enough for some people.