If you’re a free G Suite user, you have until May to use it without paying anything.
Free G Suite Users: Your Free Ride is Over
As part of Google’s mission to reorganize its apps for the future of work, it changed G Suite’s name to Google Workspace. Since most plans have been migrated over to Workspace, Google wants to eliminate its free edition. It now wants its users to pay based on their usage.
Thus, if you’re part of a school or a business using G Suite legacy free edition, your organization must sign up for a paid subscription to use Google Workspace. After May, Google will automatically upgrade free users to a subscription.
Before Workspace, there was Google Apps introduced in 2006. Then, Google Apps became G Suite in 2016. In 2020, it rebranded again to Google Workspace. It bundles Meet, Sheets, Docs, and Calendar, along with other features.
The legacy free edition has been stopped in December 2012. However, Google still allowed its existing users to access the services as a courtesy to them. But the grace period is over.
Four Tiers of Workspace
Google Workspace has 4 subscription tiers. Or the company will choose a plan that suits you best according to your usage.
The most popular plan is $9.60 per user per month. This plan includes custom and secure business email with 2 TB cloud storage.
If you wish to use a free plan, you need to be a part of an educational institution or a non-profit organization. These groups are eligible to use Workspace for free.
You have until May 1 to choose a new paid plan. As mentioned, Google will also do it for you according to your usage. Billing won’t start for two months if you were upgraded automatically.
If you don’t upgrade your account, though, Google will suspend it. You can’t access Workspace until you subscribe.
People have been expecting this to happen considering Google’s rebranding to Workspace. Google didn’t state how many people are still using Google Apps.
Even though Google stated that it will assist organizations with the transition, non-enterprise users will surely be affected. Google’s decision to get rid of its free edition is controversial. However, Google has been streamlining its offerings for businesses. The end of the free edition will help the company with its ongoing and future work.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to pay, you can rebuild your account under a consumer Google account. But it’s going to be a lot of work. Some features aren’t available in the consumer account. Plus, you can’t export things, like movies and apps. You may also lose your Google Voice number.
If you’re not sure about your Google business account, you can head to your Admin account and visit the Billing page. If you’re a G Suite legacy user, expect an e-mail that will detail how you will be affected by the change.
You may check out Google’s support page to help you transition to a paid plan.