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Google rules out Gmail and Drive apps for Windows 8

12 Dec 2012
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Google has revealed that it has no plans to develop dedicated apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 for its business app products such as Gmail or Drive.

Speaking to V3, the firm's product management director at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said that due to what it sees as a lack of interest from its clients on the systems, it is holding back on any work at present.

"We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8," he said.

"If that changes, we would invest there, of course."

Instead Bavor said the firm was committed to continually improving and updating its iOS and Android products.

Google product management director of Google Apps Clay Bavor"In 2012 we've laid some of the ground work and really improved the experience of our core apps on mobile devices, such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps," he said.

"We really see these as the first versions of our mobile experience, though, so we will continue to make big investments in mobile in 2013 with the goal of having beautiful mobile apps."

Google is determined to make this push around its enterprise offerings as the demand for mobility continues to rocket and the use of cloud systems become an accepted way of working.

"Cloud is no longer a mystery. Almost every company we talk to is going through a monumental change where everyone is using not just one or two devices but sometimes as many as five with tablets, laptops, smartphones and desktop machines," said Bavor.

"The only way you can really provide a user experience that fits this is by using a cloud architecture, so staff can get data on all devices and ensure applications are up to date."

Despite the growing push to the cloud, issues around reliability and availability can still cause headaches, as was witnessed on Monday when both Drive and Gmail dropped offline for around 30 minutes, causing outrage from users.

Bavor said the firm was "less than happy" about the situation and it was "all hands on deck" as it worked to determine the cause.

"People run their lives on our products so we hold ourselves to very high standards.  so we are never happy with any sort of issues and we aim to do better," he added.

Google has since revealed a software update for its load balancers contained code that caused its systems to "incorrectly interpret a portion of Google datacenters as being unavailable".

This caused some services such as Gmail and Drive to go offline, but the system was able to keep others including Maps and Search online.

The importance of the business market to Google was recently outlined by its UK head of enterprise Thomas Davies in a recent interview with V3 on its ongoing push around big data and collaboration that it sees as key offerings for firms of all sizes.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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