Google has revamped Google Apps. Google is to release a version of its family of hosted collaboration and communication suites tailored for ISPs (internet service providers) and web portals.

Google Apps Partner Edition will feature Gmail for email, Talk for instant messaging, the Docs & Spreadsheets applications, Page Creator for web publishing, Calendar for schedules and task management and the Start Page suite entry point, Google said.

Google didn't give pricing details about the new Partner Edition. The Standard and Education versions of Google Apps are free. The Premier Edition costs £25 per user per year and offers uptime guarantees and more email storage than the other two.

In an information page Google hints that the Partner Edition will not be free. The Google information page suggests that it is designed "to meet the specific needs of service providers - affordably". The company also did not explain how this version will cater specifically to ISPs and web portals.

All versions of Google Apps let organisations brand the Google applications with their own logos and provide them using their own internet domain.

The move has placed Google in competition with Microsoft's Office suite of desktop productivity software. Google executives have repeatedly said that the Apps suite represents the future of software provisioning, because it facilitates workgroup collaboration and simplifies software installation and maintenance, as opposed to desktop software like Office.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.