Since 2006, Google has been offering a free version of its Google Apps offering. However, the search giant has now announced that it is abandoning the free version and from now on, businesses will have to sign up for the subscription version of Google Apps if they want to make use of them.
Apparently, the decision has been made because many businesses who sign up for the free version are quick to move to paid, premium accounts, says Google. The Director of Product Development at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, wrote in a blog post, “Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes. Similarly, consumers often have to wait to get new features while we make them business-ready.”
When the company initially launched its Google Apps offering, it came in three flavors – The Standard edition, The Education education and The Premier edition.
Companies were able to test out the Google Apps by using the standard edition which they could utilize for free. However, the only free version now is the education version which can be availed by educational institutions.
Thankfully, such users who are currently availing the free version of the service won’t have to worry – they can continue making use of it and these new changes won’t affect them. The pricing of this paid edition for both business and individuals comes at $50 per user per year, which is the same as the premier edition of Google Apps that had been offered until now.