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Google drops 'beta' labels

July 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Google Inc. is dropping the "beta," or test, label from its Gmail e-mail service and other online programs to attract business customers away from Microsoft Corp.

The label will also drop from Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. The Mountain View, Calif., company used the label to show it was still improving the software. Gmail has been in beta since it launched five years ago.

Google is grappling with a slump in ad spending. In the first quarter it had its first sequential sales drop since 2004.

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