Google Apps for Business No Longer Free

I use Google Apps free version primarily for the Gmail email service for all my businesses. I love that it Gmail now also integrates directly with Google Drive. The combination of free email, calendar, Google Drive, and all under my own domain for the smashing price – FREE – is too good to be true. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the case as of today.

I received a letter from the Google Apps team that makes this offering a thing of the past, and was worth sharing to readers of WPsite.net. Here it is:

Hello from Google,

Here’s some important news about Google Apps—but don’t worry, there’s no need for you to take any action. We just want you to know that we’re making a change to the packages we offer.

Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free.

Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month.

You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the Enterprise Blog.

Thank you for using Google Apps.

In short, the free version of Google Apps is no longer being offered.

What’s does this mean for Google Apps users?

If you are already using Google Apps free version, then you can continue using it without any impact to your service. However, if you were planning on using it in the future, it seems this option will not be available anymore. My guess is that Google is going the route of possibly making another – paid – offering for small businesses wishing to use their Google Apps service. If you check their refreshed Google Apps for Business website, you’ll notice the the service now costs $5 per user. No free plan whatsoever. Boo! For what it’s worth, they do offer a free trial, however I don’t think that will convert many users as setting up the entire service does require a bit of effort to update your DNS and create users. Though, given how much dominance they have over routing traffic on the web, I don’t think they’re necessarily concerned about attracting customers.

I’m not sure how this will play out for Google Apps or its potential users, but it’s got me thinking about what’s the next best alternative. I think Microsoft’s Outlook.com with their integration with SkyDrive may very well be the best option.

Would you pay for the Google Apps service? Or will you seek another vendor such as Microsoft for your website’s needs? Let me know in the comments.

Charlie

Charlie Patel is a world traveler, WordPress geek, serial entrepreneur, & consultant to big-shots in the corporate world and on the web. Otherwise, he's just planning the next trip or in some far-away land. He runs WPsite.net (this awesome site!).

5 thoughts on “Google Apps for Business No Longer Free

  1. Tried both. Just needing email hosting for family or small organisation use? Outlook.com wins. Its free for up to 50 users within your domain. Google wants $25/month for maximum 5 users. Outlook.com is fast and beautifully clean/consistent UI across desktop & mobile. Google Apps is your usual Google ramshackle design mess.

    After many years of neglect Microsoft finally is taking security seriously. Google on the other hand data mines you at every turn and leaks your private information all over the place. When we discovered that on Android, Google gives your personal information to the app ‘developer’ of every app you install it was the last straw. Apple, Microsoft & Blackberry do not.

    Competition is a good thing. Who would have thought that the rise of Apple & Google in the mobile space would spur the fat complacent Microsoft to good things?

  2. You’re welcome and thanks for the interesting article.
    I took the hint from Google, they keep emailing me ‘inviting’ me to ‘upgrade’ to a paid business account, ahem :-)

    Here’s a measure of reactions : when you go to the Microsoft forums to get help on how to configure your DNS registrar to move your email over to outlook you see a lot of people posting about moving from Google Apps to Outlook… Maybe unscientific but my gut feeling is there is an exodus. Could be short sighted of Google to push ‘little people’ away but then again maybe they are too big to care.. :-/

    1. The constant churn of services/products at Google & the eye popping revelations of Mr Snowden have prompted me to stop being a cheap charlie. I have moved my domain to an eu country where I self host my email/contacts/calendar.
      I hope moving all my business to eu will in some small way send a message to US business to bring their out of control government to heel.
      Friends are starting to ask me how they do this also, I guess they are getting tired of being ‘.the product’.

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