prostoalex writes "Google Apps is adding a premium offering: a custom 10-GB Gmail box, Google Calendar, GTalk instant messenger, Writely, Google Pages, Google Custom home page iGoogle and Google SpreadSheets for $50 a year per employee. The NYTimes provides some details on competitive pricing: 'By comparison, businesses pay on average about $225 a person annually for Office and Exchange,... in addition to the costs of in-house management, customer support and hardware, according to the market research firm Gartner.' Boston.com quotes an analyst for Nucleus Research on Google's ease-of-use: '"What we see in the Google Apps is a real focus on making them easy to use and intuitive," she said. "And that's something that Microsoft has been unable to do in all of its years with Office."' But the same analyst is bearish on Google Apps' shortcomings relative to the mature Microsoft desktop products: 'Right now Google's going to give companies a better ability to negotiate with Microsoft.'"