Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has had some good response from enterprises and others with its pay Google Apps service. However, the company is unveiling some new benefits for those Apps subscribers who generally use the Chrome browser. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) just announced in a recent blog post that it will now provide both phone and e-mail support to paying Google Inc. (GOOG) customers who use Google Apps through the Chrome browser. This may be part of encouraging users to move more into a proprietary ecosystem.
“The Chrome browser helps businesses get onto the web securely and quickly – and today, we’re adding phone and email support for Chrome for Google Apps customers,” wrote Google’s Fred Beckebanze in the Google Enterprise blog Tuesday. “Moving forward, Google Apps for Business, Education and Government customers may contact Google via phone or email to receive support on Chrome installation, functionality, security, browser policy settings and Google Apps interoperability for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.”
The Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Apps for Business accounts start a $5 a month or $50 a year, and the phone and e-mail support is not available to anyone using the free Google Apps services. Those who use Google Apps through Chrome will have access to features like offline document editing, receiving notices on the desktop and access to apps on the homescreen. However, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that those who use Internet Explorer 8 by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will not be allowed to access Google Apps after November 14, due to Microsoft’s announced release of IE10 in late October.
“As we announced last year, we support the latest version of Google Chrome (which automatically updates whenever it detects that a new version of the browser is available) as well as the current and prior major release of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis,” Google officials said in a blog post. “Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.”
Whether this new benefit will increase Google Apps subscribers is certainly something to watch, especially investors like billionaire fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, who will be keeping eyes on the company’s revenue numbers.