Google has launched Google Apps Premiere today -- see the link below for the full comparison between the Premier services and the standard Google Apps for your domain service -- and here are some of the big points that differentiate the Premiere service:
- $50 per user account per year
- 99.9% e-mail up-time guarantee
- 10gb of e-mail storage per user account
- No maximum number of user accounts
- Text-based advertising is optional
Even though it seems a little spendy, bear in mind that it's $50 per seat per year, meaning that it costs less than $5 per month per seat, which is an amazingly good deal considering everything that is being provided. I am a little disappointed to see that they are not offering IMAP and/or push-IMAP as part of the Premiere package, but perhaps that will come later. Interestingly Google Apps doesn't make mention of Blogger hosting a blog on your site even though the functionality is built into Blogger, though they do make mention of Docs and Spreads.
In looking at some of the screenshots, it does appears that the interface for managing Google Apps Premier is much more polished than the previous version that was for Google Apps for Your Domain, but then I logged into my what I suppose is now termed "Standard" account and noticed that the Standard account shares the same, updated interface, which is great.
Also, be sure to check out the solutions gallery because there are some cool products and services already being offered by 3rd parties using the APIs, and I'm guessing these solutions will continue to grow (maybe someone will even come up with a 3rd party IMAP/push-IMAP solution).
Link -- Google Apps comparison chart
Link -- Solutions Gallery