Google has had a change of heart about a recent decision affecting non-paying legacy users of its G Suite productivity applications.
At the start of 2022, Google sent out a message (opens in new tab) to anyone using G Suite legacy free edition – which lets users access its email, cloud storage and other apps on a custom domain – and said that, starting in May, users would need to pay.
"For businesses, the G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting June 27, 2022," the company now says (opens in new tab). "We recommend you upgrade now to a Google Workspace subscription that meets your needs to begin using your new security and collaboration functionality at no cost through August 1, 2022."
"If you’re using the G Suite legacy free edition for non-commercial purposes, you can opt out of the transition to Google Workspace," the note reads. " You can continue using your custom domain with Gmail, retain access to no-cost Google services such as Google Drive and Google Meet, and keep your purchases and data."
A battle for the office
After the pandemic set the stage for remote and hybrid working, Google has been in an intense battle with Microsoft, Slack, and other enterprise software developers for company dollars and employee eyeballs.
Microsoft 365 is perhaps the most dominant platform, thanks to the company's deep relationships with companies, but Google Workspace is getting there.
The biggest thing Google has going for it is the fact that many, many people already use its services because they're free, unlike the Office suite, and that's especially true in educational institutions.
While that might not move the needle at the moment, over the coming years, familiarity with Google's services among the workforce could prove to be a huge boon for the company.