TechRadar Pro has learned that Google Workspace will not be available immediately to all existing G Suite customers, with Education and Nonprofit users facing an additional wait.
"While the new integrated workspace is now generally available for consumer and business users, the rebrand will not apply to education and nonprofit customers right away (it will be rolled out in the coming months)," said a Google spokesperson.
"For the foreseeable future, G Suite for Education and G Suite for Nonprofits will remain as offerings until Google updates."
Google has unveiled a major overhaul to G Suite (opens in new tab), which has been rebranded as Google Workspace.
The new suite features all the old favorites - Gmail (opens in new tab), Calendar (opens in new tab), Drive (opens in new tab), Docs (opens in new tab), Sheets (opens in new tab), Slides (opens in new tab), Meet (opens in new tab) etc. - but offers, according to Google, a more “deeply integrated user experience”.
In essence, Google has improved the interoperability of its various productivity services, blurring the lines between each product for a more fluid feel.
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For example, users will be able to create and collaborate on documents from within a Chat room and preview a file sent over by a colleague without needing to open it in full.
Another upgrade brings Google Meet picture-in-picture mode to Docs, Sheets and Slides (on top of existing support in Gmail and Chats). This means workers can both see and hear colleagues while working collectively on a document, spreadsheet or presentation deck.
The process of tagging co-workers in documents has also become more feature-rich; @mentioning someone will now throw up a menu that contains contact details, suggests actions and provides further context.
Google Workspace is available immediately to all existing G Suite customers, although not all new features will land at launch. The company has also introduced a new service tier, called Business Plus (opens in new tab), which features “enhanced security and management controls”.
G Suite is dead, long live Google Workspace
The transition to a less siloed model, according to Google, is the product of years of incremental evolution, now codified under the new Google Workspace branding.
The shift will also be marked with a shiny new set of multi-colored icons (in keeping with the Google logo color scheme), consistent across the product range.
“10 years ago, when many of our products were first developed, they were created as individual apps that solved distinct challenges. Over time, our products have become more integrated, so much so that the lines between our apps have started to disappear,” wrote Javier Soltero, VP and GM, Google Workspace.
“Our new Google Workspace brand reflects this more connected, helpful and flexible experience, and our icons will reflect the same.”
The change also coincides with a fundamental shift in the way staff collaborate with one another, catalysed (if not caused) by the global pandemic.
“This is the end of the ‘office’ as we know it. From here on out, teams need to thrive without meeting in person, protect their time to focus on the most impactful work, and build human connection in new ways,” Soltero added.
“Google Workspace gives people a familiar, fully integrated user experience that helps everyone succeed in this new reality - whether you’re in an office, working from home, on the frontlines, or engaging with customers.”
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