Newsletters
Business News for Technology Decision-Makers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Business Briefing Mobile Industry News Small Business Business Intelligence More Topics...
Small Business
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Google Apps No Longer Free for Small Businesses Signing Up
Google Apps No Longer Free for Small Businesses Signing Up

By Barry Levine
December 7, 2012 12:06PM

Bookmark and Share
Analyst Charles King described the Google Apps for Business pricing plan as a natural evolution of the 'first one is free' market-building strategy. He added that there's "been a great acceptance among smaller businesses" for Google Apps, whereas larger ones tend to have issues with compliance, business processes and security.
 



If you're a small- to medium-size business, you may have gotten accustomed to using free Google Apps. You can continue to do so, but now the "free" part is ending for any new signups, with Google's announcement that it will henceforth charge for businesses with up to 10 accounts.

The Apps suite includes calendars, word processing, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, online storage and branded e-mail, and the service will now be offered to new business customers for $50 per user per year, or $5 per user if on a monthly basis.

On the company's Official Google Enterprise Blog, Google Apps Director of Product Management Clay Bavor wrote Thursday that Google Apps started in 2006 with the idea of helping "businesses and schools work better together without the hassles of managing software and server."

Businesses 'Outgrow' Basic Version

The next year, the company offered a premium edition for businesses at $50 per account per year, with such added business-oriented features as APIs, conference room schedules in Calendar, 10 GB of inbox storage, extended business hours phone support, and mobile access to e-mail on BlackBerry smartphones.

When the premium version was launched, a basic version was kept free for businesses and individuals. Bavor said that "time has shown" that businesses "quickly outgrow" the basic version and want additions like 24/7 customer support or larger inboxes, while consumers have to wait for new features until they were business-ready. In other words, Bavor said, the same package had trouble matching the needs of both markets.

Over the past 12 months, any business with more than 10 users paid $50/person/year, while before 2011, only those with more than 50 users did. Now businesses of all sizes are charged the $50/user/year or $5/user/month rate for Google Apps for Business, which includes 24/7 phone support, a 25 GB inbox and a guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime. Individuals can still have a free, personal account, and a Google Apps for Government is still available at $50/user/year.

The company said existing small-business users can continue without a charge, and Google Apps for Education is still available as a free service for schools. Google Apps has more than 40 million users and, according to The Wall Street Journal, the suite provides about $1 billion in annual revenue for the technology giant.

'Inevitable'

Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, said Google's move to charge businesses at the lower end of total users "was inevitable," and added that the $50/user/year amount "wasn't a big pain point" for most companies.

However, she noted that, unless "they offer inducements, they'll lose half the companies right away." DiDio said she expects Google is waiting to see the reception, and, if the drop off rate is acceptable, companies will "probably see some additional rate increase" in the not-too-distant future.

Pund-IT analyst Charles King described the pricing plan as "a natural evolution of what you might call the 'first one is free' market-building strategy." He added that there's "been a great acceptance among smaller businesses" for Google Apps, whereas larger ones tend to have issues with compliance rules, business processes, security and functionality in the suite.

At this point, King said, the main question for SMBs is "what's the alternative," given that Microsoft's Office 365 goes for $4 to $20 per user per month.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Craig:

Posted: 2012-12-08 @ 9:51pm PT
Next up, Chrome.

Jonathan:

Posted: 2012-12-08 @ 7:20am PT
Yeah, $5/user/month still sounds cheap compared to all the alternatives I've found.

Sean:

Posted: 2012-12-08 @ 5:05am PT
The whole idea of using Google Apps is it's free and it can be accessed from anywhere.
It was never because it is better or easier than Microsoft Office suite installed on a local computer. Indeed, running business productivity applications inside of a web browser is so awkward and limited, not to mention it is slower, and you cannot use it without Internet connection (e.g. on an airplane). Now it is no longer free, SMBs really should look for better alternatives. DriveHQ.com has offered cloud IT service to SMBs since 2003. It is a one-stop shop for all core IT services such as file server, email server, FTP server, static web server, online backup, folder synchronization, group file sharing and collaboration with user access control. It has tons of high-end business features all bundled for the same low prices. Our user license costs only $0.6/user/month, why not give it a try?

Ricky:

Posted: 2012-12-07 @ 4:23pm PT
Google Apps still has a free version. Here is the guide on how to get it. Check it out: http://techwalls.com/news/register-free-google-apps-standard-account-single-user/
I don't think Google will kill it soon.

Adrian:

Posted: 2012-12-07 @ 2:57pm PT
The Microsoft alternative to Google Apps is hosted SharePoint that costs about $8/month for unlimited users through vendors such as Apps4Rent...



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Small Business
1.   Sprint Becomes Google Apps Reseller
2.   BlackBerry BES 10 Now Hosted
3.   Female Yahoo Exec Lashes Back
4.   Seagate Unveils Networked Drives
5.   For Partners, Microsoft Is in the Clouds


advertisement
Backlash Stirs Against H-1B Visas
Debate over foreign workers continues.
Average Rating:
Most Networks Not Ready for IoT
But most enterprises are prepared.
Average Rating:
Small Biz Learns Recession Lessons
Rebuilding smarter, more tech-savvy.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Business
Home/Top News | Business Briefing | Mobile Industry News | Small Business | Business Intelligence | Innovation | E-Commerce | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.