Since 2005, Google has made its Google Apps for Business free to small businesses around the globe; however, this is coming to a screeching halt. Not to worry, if you are currently on the free version of Google Apps for Business you will not be affected by this move, however, new subscribers will be forced to use the premium version costing $50 per user each year.
This premium version, now called Google Apps for Business will continue to be $50 annually for each user in the organization, regardless of the size of the organization. The GMAIL account will only be available to personal users at no cost.
Google Apps offers a small business services such as their GMAIL email platform, Google Drive cloud storage, 25 GB of cloud storage, 24/7 telephone support and, according to their website, 99.9% up time which equals approximately 43 minutes of downtime each month.
When asked why the shift away from a free version of Google Apps for business use, Google explained on their Google Apps blog that both the customer experience on the personal side and the business side was lacking. Small Business began to quickly outgrow the storage limits imposed on the free account which left personal users waiting on features that needed to become “business ready” before launching.
Individual users can still sign up for the Google free personal accounts, which allows access to web applications across all of Google’s services. In addition, Google Apps for Education will remain a free offering to accredited organizations.
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