Google has announced Google Apps Team Edition as the simplest and fastest way for groups of employees and students to collaborate within an organisation using Google Apps.

Once users verify their business or school email address, they can instantly share documents and calendars securely and "without burdening IT for support".

Team Edition can be switched to Google Apps Standard, Premier or Education Edition for communications and collaboration across the entire company.

"More than half a million businesses have already chosen Google Apps to collaborate and share information across the organization", said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of enterprise, Google.

"With Team Edition, groups of individuals at school or work can just as easily get the benefits of Google Apps by simply signing up online."

Together, teams of people within a business or school can:

* Work on the same document, spreadsheet or presentation (instead of emailing changes in multiple copies of the same attachment)
* Publish documents and calendars for the team to view and update
* Access information from any computer, even mobile phones

Google Apps Team Edition currently includes:

* Google Docs to create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations
* Google Calendar to arrange meetings, set schedules, and publish event information
* Google Talk for instant messaging and free PC-to-PC voice calls
* Start Page where users can access their Google Apps services and customised content