Print 34 comment(s) - last by thecolorblue.. on Dec 11 at 8:07 AM

It comes with features like 24/7 phone support and a 25GB inbox

Businesses can no longer use the free version of Google Apps -- instead, they must use a premium business version for $50 per year.

Google announced yesterday that businesses, which previously had the choice between the basic, free version of Google Apps or the premium, paid version, must now choose the latter. The offering is called Google Apps for Business, and it features more business-friendly options for an annual fee. The apps include Gmail and Google Drive.

The new features include 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox and a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime. Businesses of all sizes are instructed to use this version for $50 a year.

Why is Google forcing businesses into this direction? According to the tech giant, businesses tend to outgrow the basic version and have increasing needs in order to run their establishment. This new, paid version guarantees that Google can offer them what they need.

Google will keep the basic, free version for individuals, and will also continue offering Google Apps for Education for free. Google Apps for Government will stay at its normal $50 per year as well.

Source: The Official Google Enterprise Blog

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Not completely accurate
By woody1 on 12/7/2012 1:46:15 PM , Rating: 5
This article is off on a couple of points:
1. The existing free version of the service is grandfathered for existing users, according to Google

2. The regular business service actually costs $50/a yer per mailbox , which isn't evident in your article.

I've been a free user for quite a while and I'll keep using it for free as long as Google supports it. I'm concerned, though, that the free version is going to orphaned and will not get any new features going forward.

RE: Not completely accurate
By bebimbap on 12/7/2012 6:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
How is Google identifying which emails are used for businesses? Is it on an honor code system?

RE: Not completely accurate
By mcnabney on 12/7/2012 10:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
The business service does a bunch more cool things than the basic service. Much more polished.

RE: Not completely accurate
By Solandri on 12/8/2012 8:18:21 AM , Rating: 3
Google Apps for business (formerly Google Apps for Domains) is based on your business domain name. If you sign up for it (as I did many years ago), your gmail address is actually Going to redirects you to a gmail landing page set up specifically for this service.

It used to be you were allowed up to something like 50 users/email addresses for free. I'm grandfathered in at that level on both my personal and business domains. A few years ago they reduced it to 6, so I'm not surprised they're getting rid of the free version.

I wish they'd given more notice though (they gave a few months notice for the 50->6 switch). My sister is starting a web-based company and I was gonna suggest having Google Apps handle her email (best free spam filter I've found). But the first notice I got was an email on 12/6 saying they were ending the free version effective 12/6. Oh well.

RE: Not completely accurate
By NellyFromMA on 12/10/2012 4:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
You get what you pay for I guess ;)

RE: Not completely accurate
By sprockkets on 12/8/2012 1:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
It didn't matter if it was for a business or not. You had storage and user limits on the free account, and no free phone support.

RE: Not completely accurate
By thecolorblue on 12/11/2012 8:06:54 AM , Rating: 2
phone support?

pretty much a useless non-feature.

RE: Not completely accurate
By MadMan007 on 12/8/2012 7:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
$50/year per mailbox sounds like a lot to people used to free email, but then you think about it and realize that Google probably saves business users many thousands of dollars in IT costs. Seems fair even if it's not as good a deal as $50/business.

RE: Not completely accurate
By Hieyeck on 12/8/2012 3:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
I work for a business that uses Google. It's beyond amazing cost-wise, saving on mail servers, and needing only half the office licenses.

Pratically, it does need some work. Not quite enterprise ready IMO.

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