Silly limits

Google's Apps for Domains has been in beta for a while now. The service is a nice way to combine several great Google services with one's own domain. Personalized start pages, calendars and email are a few of the services available. Nevertheless, Google also makes some silly choices. For example in signing up for a new domain name today the following email arrived:

Thanks for your interest in Google Apps for Your Domain. Unfortunately, we are not able to invite your domain into the beta at this time, because you have reached the maximum number of domains per administrator. If we increase this limit, we'll let you know by email.

Now I wonder how they imagine this actually works. Do they imagine that people who are astute enough to reach the "domain limit" will balk at having more than one Google account to sign up additional domains with? That domain administrators reaching this limit do not have more than one Google account already would come as a bit of a surprise.

The meeting where this limit is set likely goes something along the lines of "We want to prevent users from abusing the service and setting up too many domains."

"OK, we'll limit them to 10 domains," says the person eager to get the product out the door.

Thus, it becomes the policy. What is interesting is to look at the ultimate consequence of this decision. Because Google Apps for Domains doesn't provide a single place to manage all your domains the Google account used to sign up a particular domain is of little consequence. There is one time when the user really needs it and that is to retrieve a forgotten administrator login.

From Google's perspective, however, the problem is a bit different. Because Google forces users to use several accounts to sign up Google looses count of how many domains I actually have placed with them. At the end of the day when the bean counters tick off each user one by one, or have their computer minions do the ticking, they will count me as several users with a few domains each instead of the real count of being one user who controls a few dozen domains using part or all of their service.