Google Phases Out Free G Suite For Small Business

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As of June 27, 2022, Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL, GOOG) ceased offering to businesses its G Suite legacy free edition, a bundle of basic Google applications. As of that date, subscribers automatically have been transitioned to a paid Google Workspace account. Google stopped enrolling new customers in the G Suite legacy free edition on Dec. 6, 2012.

Google Workspace Business editions are designed for organizations with up to 300 users. The monthly charges range from $6 to $18 per user per month, depending on the level of services chosen. As a result, an organization with 300 users that previously had enjoyed free use of the G Suite now will be charged from $21,600 to $64,800 per year. Organizations with more than 300 users must choose an Enterprise edition, with pricing to be determined in consultation with Google.

Key Takeaways

  • Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL, GOOG) stopped offering its free G Suite bundle of apps to businesses as of June 27, 2022.
  • Subscribers must migrate to the Google Workspace bundle at a cost of $6 or more per user per month, depending on the level of service.
  • Educational institutions, nonprofits, and other non-commercial users that meet specific requirements can get a free Google Workspace account.

Google Workspace Features

Google Workspace includes all core services available in the G Suite legacy free edition, such as Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Drive, and Chat. It also offers more storage, increased security, and 24/7 support, plus recent innovations such as Spaces. Spaces is a collaborative tool designed to increase the efficiency of employees working at different times and locations in remote and hybrid work environments.

Google Workspace Pricing

Google Workspace has four plans: Business Starter, at $6 per user per month; Business Standard, at $12 per user per month; Business Plus, at $18 per user per month; and Enterprise, for which the potential buyer must contact Google sales for pricing. The first three plans are available only to organizations with 300 or fewer users. Larger organizations must buy an Enterprise plan, but the Enterprise plan also is available to smaller organizations that want the top level of service.

The key factors driving the pricing differences across the four plan types include: the number of participants supported in video meetings; ancillary services in conjunction with video meetings, and e-mail; the amount of cloud data storage allowed per user; security and management controls; and the level of support.

Qualified educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and individuals and families that had been using the G Suite legacy free edition for non-commercial purposes can apply to get free subscriptions to Google Workspace. For example, K through 12 schools and higher-education institutions are eligible to use Google’s new Workspace for Education only if they meet specific requirements. For businesses using Google Workspace, the deadline for setting up billing is Aug. 1, 2022.

The Bottom Line

Alphabet ceased offering its G Suite legacy free edition on June 27 and subscribers have been moved to a new paid account for Google Workspace. Google Workspace includes all core services available in the G Suite legacy free edition, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Chat. It also offers more storage, increased security, support, and collaborative tools. Educational institutions can continue using G Suite legacy edition for free if they meet certain requirements. For businesses using Google Workspace, the deadline for setting up billing is Aug. 1, 2022.

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