Google announced in January this year that its “G Suite Legacy free edition” user will have to upgrade to a paid plan no later than the 1st of June, 2022.Failing to transition would lead to automatic subscription by the company itself and charges for tiers it deems fit when the day arrives. However, this would only happen when u have Workspace billing set up.
Google Workspace has decided to stop offering the G Suite Legacy Free edition which users have been using for many years now. This was likely an attempt by Google to regain the money from businesses getting away with no pay for decades, and transition them back on the updated Google Workspace paid plans. This move disgruntled a lot of Legacy G Suite Customers and even filed a possible class-action lawsuit. However, Google hinted in a survey that it would provide legacy customers with using less than 10 seats and more options in the coming months.
Whereas, they did not anticipate angering their loyal customers, admins who have been using Google Apps from the very beginning. It’s not the first time and it definitely won’t be the last time that Google ends free usage of one of its services. Last year, it was the end of Unlimited Google Photos Storage and now it’s the turn of the G Suite legacy free edition.
In 2006, Google rolled out a new service called Gmail for your domain. Back then, it doesn’t even have the full capabilities of a Gmail account, however, it was a refresher to fans of Gmail who owned domains. It was the special year when Twitter was launched, Facebook opened to sign up for anyone, Blu-Ray disks were introduced, Disney took over Pixar and Apple was 8 months ahead of launching its revolutionary iPhone.
In 2020, Google re branded G Suite as Google Workspace to tailor its services to better fit its customer demands. Now, it forces G suite Legacy, free edition users, to either upgrade to the G Suite free edition or risks losing their account indefinitely.
In January 2022, Google announced that they will be discontinuing the G Suite Legacy free edition which users have been using for so long, and now forcing everyone to either upgrade their or delete their accounts.Though, they are offering discount options for months following the 1st of July, 2022 as a way to give relief from the blow of having to pay for these accounts.
After a month of silence, On 4/5/22, Google finally updated the help article once again to give more information about the transition from the Legacy free edition to Google Workspace subscription and more importantly NO COST OPTION.
There will be a new option (No-cost option) which will be launched in the coming weeks. This option includes access to Google Drive and Google Meet and additional services such as Maps, Search, YouTube, and paid services such as movies purchased in Google Play Stores.
To sign up for the no-cost options you need to navigate to the banner in Admin Console which will appear in the coming weeks. In the meantime, once you have joined the wait list before the 1st of June, 2022, you will not automatically be upgraded and remain on your current G Suite Legacy free edition until this no-cost option arrives.
Once it becomes available, you will have 60 days to evaluate the no-cost option or choose to upgrade to Google Workspace paid edition. By joining the wait list, you are effectively going yourself for a minimum of 60 days. If you still haven’t made up your mind, or not ready to make a decision or want to see what Google is offering.
You should keep checking your Admin Panel for the no-cost option wait list banner to show up. When it arrives, sign up for the wait list and continue waiting until Google come to their senses and offers a family plan which could be more affordable.
What if users don’t want to pay?
There are mainly two ways Google offers to maintain such data on Google Workspace.
Both options are somehow confusing, the new offering called Google Workspace Essentials and Cloud Identity Free which are the same thing. Google
Workspace Essential Starter is Google’s newest entrant as a part of Workspace. This would allow users to continue using all of their purchase storage apps, in-app purchases and login to Google account-linked apps.
Google Workspace Essential Starter is a free workspace account with email and offers only 15GB of storage. This is designed for people to use at companies that don’t use Google Workspace and sign up with their current work email to use Sheets, Slide, Chat, Meet, Drive, Docs and many other services.
What is Google Suggesting?
Google advise setting up billing information before July 2022 to prevent Google from account suspension. Later, users have 60 days to upgrade before Google restricts the access to all core activities like Gmail, Calendar and Meet.
Of course, it is advisable to upgrade from June 2022 to avoid any havoc or disruption to the services. Google automatically upgrades the account to a subscription based on what you use and for how much time is the usage.
Can users migrate off of Google Workspace?
The migration option is Google Takeout. Also, users can back up their data with Takeout.
ZOHO also offers a free forever plan
Amazon Workmail could be a better option
If Google rolls out service in future for reasonable prices that would allow users to keep accounts and custom domains, the majority would sign up in a heartbeat.
Till now, users have already been paying for the increased storage, and are willing to pay for the wonderful services Google provides but not at the business rates which is not only too expensive for most the people, but it’s not worth it when there are other options such as Microsoft’s Office 365 for the family which is quite reasonable for 6 people offered for a year.
Ultimately, it would be great to have a family/ group version of Google Workspace with services such as custom domain, ad-free email and 10TB of shared storage