Some longtime Google users are facing a tough transition. In the early days of Google’s enterprise-focused productivity service – first called “Google Apps for Your Domain” then “GSuite” and now “Google Workspace” – Google offered domain-branded Google “business” accounts for free. From 2006 to 2012, users could create a free Google Apps / GSuite account with a custom domain, so that their email ended up with a domain they owned, instead of “@ gmail.com.” In January, Google announced a significant policy change, telling these users to start paying the default price for their Google Accounts or face a account closure. It’s an unfair blanket move for users who created a free account years ago without any warning that Google may end up charging for it. These people are in deep, with all the data, emails and purchases stored in these accounts and it feels like data blackmail to suddenly tell them that they have to pay or lose everything.
Google later gave in and offered a vague escape hatch option, promising that these “Legacy Gsuite” users could one day transfer their data and purchases to a free Gmail account for consumers – with the proviso that Google no longer will host their custom domain email. . Many of the important, specific details of this transition plan are not public yet, but what is specific is the deadline for payment and account closures, and users are just left to flaunt the wind while their anxiety builds.
A key issue is that Google actually stopped pitch custom domain email to consumers, and now these Legacy Gsuite users have no obvious upgrade path. In the past, there was nothing wrong with using Google Apps / Gsuite for non-business purposes, and Google even encouraged it. Just look at the original Google Apps for Your Domain blog post, which says that Google launched the service after “listening to feedback from thousands of small businesses, elementary schools, nonprofits, universities, even families with their own websites. ” Google encouraged families to use this and now it tells these families that they are businesses.
My question is, why should it be so difficult? Here’s an idea: Offer a Google Workspace (or Google One) “family plan” that supports a custom domain at a reasonable consumer price. It’s not a crazy idea because all of Google’s competitors already offer this. In my conversations with various people affected by the policy change, free Gsuite users are not necessarily annoyed at paying for a custom email domain. Yet they are often not companies and do not want to pay corporate prices for GSuite.
Let’s compare what Google offers with the competition. Google Workspace’s closest competitor is Office 365, and in addition to the enterprise offerings, Microsoft offers a “Microsoft 365 Family” plan. This is $ 100 a year for a family of six. It has 1 TB of cloud storage per user, a 50 GB inbox, access to all Microsoft Office apps and, critically, custom domain email accounts. Even using the cheapest “Business Starter” subscription, Google Workspace costs $ 6 per share. month per. user. If we match Microsoft’s six users, a year’s offer, it’s $ 432 a year, and that’s only 30 GB of cloud storage per year. user. With 2 TB of cloud storage per user, the next level is $ 12 per. user, per month or $ 864 per. year.
Apple’s comparable product is the iCloud + subscription, which also offers custom domain email support, starting at $ 1 per share. user per month. It’s six times smaller than what Google charges, and Apple offers 20 GB more per second. user – a total of 50 GB. For six people, it would be $ 72 a year, while Google would charge $ 432 a year for a lower inventory level.