Till now, Google products have been free with reasonable limits — like a 2GB inbox for GMail. This will stay that way with the ‘Standard Edition,’ but as of today with the introduction of Google Apps ‘Premier Edition’ (which is free till April 30th), users will be able to get something beyond that, along with tech support.
They have basically created two packages: Standard (Free) Edition and Premium Edition, which costs $50 per user per year. Both include the usual Google products — GMail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Start Page (IG), Docs & Spreadsheets, and Page Creator. What’s different is of course the extra features and space. Here’s a good comparison chart which outlines the differences.
While there wasn’t a product announcement today, I have a feeling Google will, through time, add more products — like a PowerPoint competitor — and make some of them an exclusive for the Premier Edition, which really is missing some differentiation from the Standard Edition. In the end, I think it’ll be worth it for small businesses and households to consider this option before handing their wallets to Microsoft.