Starting June 27, the G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available for business owners. The company announced that users must upgrade to the Business edition before billing begins on Aug. 1 or their accounts will be disabled.
Details: Google Suite — which was rebranded as Google Workspace in 2020 — includes apps like Gmail, Calendar and Docs, which for as long as Google has been around have been offered for free.
- Starting Monday, people who use the applications for business purposes will be automatically switched over to a business account.
- Billing will begin on Aug. 1, when users will need to pay at least $6 monthly per business email address, according to The New York Times.
What they’re saying: Small business owners tell The New York Times that this is like a broken promise.
- “They’re basically strong-arming us to switch to something paid after they got us hooked on this free service,” said Richard J. Dalton Jr., a small business owner who has been using free Google products since 2008.
Can individuals still use it for free? Families and individuals can continue to use Google Workspace for noncommercial purposes for free, Google states.
- The Verge reports that some educational and nonprofit organizations will still be allowed free use of Google products.
What’s next? Users will have the chance to choose from one of four different subscription plans. If a plan isn’t selected by June 27, Google will automatically assign one and begin billing on Aug. 1 if a payment method is attached to the account.
- If a user doesn’t have payment set up, all Google services will be suspended on Aug. 1 until a payment is made.
Subscription plans: The lowest subscription tier is the Business Starter plan, with each of the plans varying in price. Here’s an overview of the four plans that are available.
- Business Starter: $6 per month per user. It includes a business email, video meetings of up to 100 people and 30 GB of cloud storage per user.
- Business Standard: $12 per month per user. It includes a business email, video meetings of up to 150 people and 2 TB of cloud storage per user.
- Business Plus: $18 per month per user. It includes a business email, eDiscovery, retention, video meetings of up to 500 people that are equipped with recording and attendance tracking, 5 TB of cloud storage per user and enhanced security and management controls.
- Enterprise: Contact Google for pricing. It includes a business email, eDiscovery, retention, S/MIME encryption, video meetings of up to 500 people with recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation and in-call live streaming, as much storage as you need, advanced security and enhanced support.