Saturday, December 8, 2012

Google Apps is no longer free, existing users will not have to pay

Google Apps was initially started as something businesses and schools could use to communicate and collaborate, without the need to deal with their own servers. Over the years Google tacked on millions of people, and had a premium version of Google Apps with more features. Google for a while ran both versions at the same time, with individuals and businesses using either one of these versions. Businesses, according to Google, quickly outgrew the basic limits and wanted features such as larger email inboxes and 24/7 support. Consumers had to wait for features while Google already made them for business versions of their apps.

Google fixed this yesterday, by shedding the free tier for Google Apps. All new users will only have one version of Google Apps to choose from, which is Google Apps for business. Education and Government customized versions will continue to stick around. The educational version of Google Apps will continue to remain free for schools and universities. For business and government, you'll have to pay $50 per user, per year.

For those that relied on the free version of Google Apps you still have luck in other services. Not to promote Windows Live or anything, but I will personally say that I use Windows Live Admin Center for Techman's World and I've never had an issue with it. You can create 500 accounts right off the bat, for free, and you can add more accounts for free if you ask in the official forums. Microsoft also has a premium version of the service, but if you can stand an advetisement or two or use Adblock you should have no issue.

Google does however say that you can still create a personal Google account and have access to all of it's services, but I doubt this will matter if you are trying to get everything on your own domain.

Feel free to look into Windows Live Admin Center if you want, or you can suggest another services provider in the comments below if you wish.