We launched Google Apps so that it would be easier for employees to communicate and share information while reducing the hassles and costs associated with enterprise software. Companies are responding: every day, more than 1,000 small businesses sign up for Google Apps.

Larger enterprises, however, face a challenge: though they want to deliver simple, useful hosted applications to their employees, they're also required to support complex business rules, information security mandates, and an array of legal and corporate compliance issues. In effect, many businesses use legacy systems not because they are the best for their users, but because they are able to support complex business rules. This isn't a tradeoff that any business should have to make.

We realized that we needed a more complete way to address these information security and compliance issues in order to better support the enterprise community. That's why we're excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Postini, a company that offers security and corporate compliance solutions for email, IM, and other web-based communications. Like Google Apps, Postini's services are entirely hosted, eliminating the need to install any hardware or software. A leader in its field, Postini serves more than 35,000 businesses and 10 million users, and was one of our first partners for Google Apps. Their email and IM management services include inbound and outbound policy management, spam and virus protection, content filtering, message archiving, encryption, and more. We will continue to support Postini's customers and we look forward to the possibilities ahead.

Here's the press release announcing the deal, and there's more detail in our FAQ and on the Enterprise blog.