Google to end G Suite legacy free edition; Users have to pay or lose their account
Google has announced to discontinue the G Suite legacy free edition plan starting from July 1st. Users can continue to access their accounts by upgrading to a paid Google Workspace subscription.
The free edition was initially available by the name “Google Apps for Your Domain,” which was Google’s custom domain when it was first launched in 2006. Since then, the service has gone by several names, from “Google Apps for Work” to “G Suite” and now “Google Workspace”—but the basic concept has remained the same. In October 2020, Google Workspace was updated with a new collection of cloud-based collaboration and productivity capabilities. Google Calendar and Gmail and Chat, Meet, Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides, Sites, and Forms are all part of Google Workspace.
The legacy free edition of G Suite offered a limited set of business functions, but it was free, and anyone could sign up for it. The service was discontinued on December 6th, 2012, although users who signed up before that date were allowed to continue using it even after the deadline. Google is discontinuing this support for the G Suite legacy free edition nearly a decade later.
According to the company, the free services for early customers of Google’s custom domain G Suite service will end. Google has long allowed users to use Google Workspace on a custom domain, allowing its users to have a Google email address that doesn’t end in “gmail.com.” The basic tier permitted its users to generate a custom domain account for free for the first six years of the service’s existence. You now have to pay a fee to use a custom domain with your Google account. In 2012, Google stopped allowing people to establish these accounts for free, but now it will also take away accounts from anyone who already had them.
From May 1st, 2022, Google aims to transfer all G Suite legacy, free edition customers to Google Workspace. After then, users will be allowed to utilize the service for free until July 1st, 2022. Legacy free edition users have to sign up till May 1st for a subscription; otherwise, Google will select the optimal plan for their customers based on the services they use. If they upgrade, they can utilize the new membership for free until July 1st, 2022. If users do not update payment information by July 1st, Google will discontinue the account for 60 days. And the users will lose access to Google Workspace services such as Meet, Gmail, and Google Calendar, whereas YouTube and Google Photos will still be available to use. Accounts that will be suspended can be reactivated by updating the payment information.
In India, the Google Workspace pricing starts at Rs. 125 per month per person, but it’s substantially more expensive in other places like the US, starting at $6 (approximately Rs. 450) per month per user and up to $18 per user/month. For $9.99/month, smaller companies with only one existing Gmail account can upgrade to Workspace Individual, but they will not receive a customized email address. If you do not enter billing information by July 1st, 2022, Google will suspend your automated Workspace subscription/accounts.
For the first two months, the company will give significant discount alternatives to people affected by the decision to aid them in this transition. Individuals or businesses that the company will automatically migrate to a paid subscription package will not be charged for at least two months. In addition, Google will continue to provide free Workspace subscriptions to Nonprofits and institutions that meet the Fundamentals tier’s requirements.
If the users don’t want to pay, they can utilize Google Export to export specific data, but it’s a lot of work to rebuild an account under a consumer Google account. These are mostly fully operating Google accounts, and there’s no method to export stuff like content purchases for movies, apps, music, and books. You don’t have many options if you have been using your G Suite account in this manner, so you’ll have to start paying. It would have been good to see the company go the extra mile and provide users with a simple mechanism to transfer their data to a free consumer account with a new email address.