Hangouts added to Google Apps for Business, drops Google+ requirement

Google Hangouts for Google Apps for Business

Google is stripping Hangouts of its Google+ heritage as it makes the communications service a core component of its Google Apps for Business package. Starting today, Google Apps customers will no longer require a Google+ account to log in and join or start a Hangout.

However, there are some some restrictions. The lack of a Google+ account will prevent Hangouts apps use, with the notable exceptions of Screenshare or Chat. Google Apps account access also only applies to meetings via desktop or Chromebox, as Google has yet to allow for mobile access (this will be changing soon, likely with a forthcoming app update).

Those disappointed by the lack of mobile access should be happy to know that Hangouts inclusion in Google Apps for Business does provide some additional benefits, including a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 phone support, and a variety of security certifications (ISO27001, SSAE 16/ISAE 4302, and SOC 2, to be exact). Google has also promised integration with Google Apps Vault by the end of the year.

[source]Google Enterprise Blog[/source][via]TechCrunch[/via]