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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Interesting business model
By JackBurton on 12/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting business model
By sprockkets on 12/7/2012 5:00:17 PM , Rating: 3
You are an idiot. Paid google apps for business has no ads and never did,'s paid.

Stupid apple troll can't think straight for even a moment...

RE: Interesting business model
By JackBurton on 12/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting business model
By mcnabney on 12/7/2012 10:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
Google's paid services are kept private and are not mined. My wife's law firm switched to it and that was the first question they had due to client confidentiality. The freeloaders exchange 'privacy' for a nice service at no charge.

RE: Interesting business model
By sprockkets on 12/8/2012 1:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
Um, you could read up on how Google apps is certified SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402 Type II meaning the data from each company is kept separate via standard practices and how law enforcement agencies around the US already use it.

Or continue to be a dumb ass...

RE: Interesting business model
By messele on 12/9/2012 3:09:31 AM , Rating: 2
Those standards only stop third parties from getting in and they also cover integrity, they do not prevent Google from mining the data at all, so irrelevant.

Maybe they do mine this surface, maybe they don't but there is no way I'm storing anything anywhere unless it's encrypted at my end by my rules.

Wonder why Google don't offer this fundamental protection yet many others do...

RE: Interesting business model
By sprockkets on 12/9/2012 10:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, the only reason for data mining is to display ads that are relevant to you. It's kinda pointless to mine data that they can't use since they don't serve ads.

Think of it this way, it's Exchange in the "cloud" just as MS offers the same competing service. Both have had to prove their integrity to gov agencies before they would win bids for their service.

RE: Interesting business model
By thecolorblue on 12/11/2012 7:55:08 AM , Rating: 2
just as there is no reason for google to snoop on people's private wifi

and when google says they will do something they will... as in when they were ordered to delete illegally acquired 'wifi snoop data' in europe... and google promised to delete the data... except then they didn't

in closing, you're a fool

RE: Interesting business model
By NellyFromMA on 12/10/2012 4:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
Does that apply to Google Apps in general or just paid apps?

I'm assuming it can't be the free apps for obvious reasons, but just trying to clarify to confirm or deny for my own purposes.

RE: Interesting business model
By augiem on 12/7/2012 6:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
mine your data

Just where did you read adware into that statement?

RE: Interesting business model
By Arkive on 12/10/2012 12:55:48 PM , Rating: 2

Because as the user above recently pointed out, there's no reason to mine the data other than to display relevant ads to the user. They can't sell information you haven't released to them without your consent so if there's no ads, then there's no revenue and no reason to mine it.

RE: Interesting business model
By blue_urban_sky on 12/7/2012 7:02:49 PM , Rating: 4
Hummm Supermarkets mine data for <1% off your shopping, do you bitch about that?

the truth is no one cares about your data, yes you buy an above average amount of tissues and have an interest in adult web sites. Is that going to make Google rich?

I was similarly amazed when I saw people complaining that google only allowed them to upload 20,000 mp3s to the cloud for free. people were complaining that they were not allowed to upload 20,000 flac files or 100k of music files? How much do people think you can get out of data mining?

I have 2 10GB email accounts, 5Gb Google drive, All photos on G+, 50Gb! on google music, apps, docs, calenders and a host of other crap for free. Sometimes I click the paid adds out of a feeling of obligation. All Google knows is I don't talk to my mum enough my wife is seemingly obsessed with pictures of cats and if I was half as competent at my job as I pretend I would not frequent stack overflow quite as much as I do... I think I do ok out of this deal.

RE: Interesting business model
By thecolorblue on 12/11/2012 8:04:37 AM , Rating: 2

google does care about your data, as does big bro'... and google hands that over readily
and big bro snoops it regardless... and it is used for retroactive surveliance... it is used to target 'inconvenient' people and you are here to sign yourself up and defend the practice.

and nice straw man with the 'tissues, adult websites google rich' comment
only a complete ignorant would ever suggest that, so congrats on refuting the ignorants who don't even post here.

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.

Google should create a separate company
By vision33r on 12/8/2012 1:09:26 AM , Rating: 2
Google is still an ad/search company. How can a company trust a media company to manage and secure data is beyond me. Of course, geeks don't look at it that way. From a IT managerial POV, the red flags are there when you see the way Google does it's business.

If they are serious about becoming a serious cloud based business app company they should consider branding under a different name or market it heavily that it's managed under a different entity than their primary tech team.

RE: Google should create a separate company
By SKiddywinks on 12/8/2012 4:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what you are talking about. Look at comments further up if you want clarification as to how a company can "trust a media company to manage and secure data".

By thecolorblue on 12/11/2012 8:07:46 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Google should create a separate company
By MadMan007 on 12/8/2012 7:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Amazon sells books, what are they doing hosting cloud services and doing high-end government work? Oh, that's right, they are a technology company, not a 'book seller'. Same deal with Google.

By NellyFromMA on 12/10/2012 4:33:09 PM , Rating: 1
Um, Amazon earns substantial profits from sales, no ads.

Kind of a key difference here, although I know what you're getting at.

He's not dumb for assuming this, and thepeople here could at least CITE something for him to read as opposed to shitting on him for assuming something based on there ACTUAL business model. I'm now curious myself.

By spaced_ on 12/9/2012 9:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose the impression of seriousness is the most important factor necessary when convincing many IT management that you can provide better security.

Perhaps you're right, perhaps Google needs another brand name with someone looking 'stern' to convince the many IT illiterates in the management sphere that their technical architecture can be trusted.

It's difficult after all to understand security in the technological space when one has no technological experience, qualifications or understanding. But, you can feel better about decision making, if someone gives you lots of assurance.

They certainly need to get more serious about being serious about security. Seriously.

Perhaps they need to hire more security managers to manage all that extra security.

Am I missing something?
By jharper12 on 12/8/2012 7:38:06 AM , Rating: 2
Because at our company we've been paying $50 a year per user for at least a year now.

RE: Am I missing something?
By MadMan007 on 12/8/2012 8:00:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, sounds like you're missing 50*(number of users) dollars!

Office 365 $20
By Gunbuster on 12/10/2012 8:28:33 AM , Rating: 2
Pulled up the Office 365 page. $20 per user. Mainstream compatibility, users already know the product, cheaper. Why would you go with Google over Microsoft?

RE: Office 365 $20
By Rukkian on 12/10/2012 1:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
Because it is $20/user/MONTH instead of $50/user/YEAR.

By othercents on 12/7/2012 12:02:51 PM , Rating: 3
I just moved away from the paid version. There are already restrictions on the free version including limited number of mailboxes and space. I doubt most people using the free version actually need the extra space which is why they choose that version in the first place. Now I might just forward my domain to my Gmail account and call it good.


Grandfathered In
By ebakke on 12/7/2012 12:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
For those, like me, wondering if current customers are grandfathered in I found this in Google's blog post:
Please note this change has no impact on our existing customers, including those using the free version.

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