Gmail drops 'beta' label to woo business customers

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(AP) -- After more than five years officially in testing mode, Gmail is finally graduating from "beta."

Google Inc. says its e-mail service and three other applications in the Apps suite for businesses are now finished products in name as well as function.

But that doesn't mean Google is finished improving upon them. Nor were the extra features announced Tuesday cause for dropping the label.

So why drop it?

Google concedes the move is aimed more at wooing business customers than marking any real developmental milestone.

The premier edition Apps suite sells for $50 per user to business customers, but the "beta" label was scaring businesses off.

Google Calendar, Google Docs and Talk are also now out of beta mode.

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