There was a heady time between 2006 and 2012 when Google’s G Suite was completely free to use. On a particular tier, of course. G Suite allows users to use Google’s range of apps along with a custom email domain, instead of the conventional ‘gmail.com’. That freedom, however, is coming to an end.
G Suite started out as Google Apps, a name that was retired in 2012. That’s when G Suite took over, and when a whole batch of users was grandfathered into the free version of the app. Then, in 2020, G Suite became Google Workspace. Now, in 2022, Google has decided that the free ride is over.
No more O-G Suite
First spotted by 9to5Google, the search giant is turning off all free legacy access to Workspace. It’s likely that emails like the one found pointing this out are en route to Google Apps administrators, but here are the basics. Legacy users have until 1 May to choose a new plan (or else Google will pick based on the previous usage). Then they have until 1 July to add payment info or else access to that lovely custom Google-hosted email domain will be suspended.
After 60 days in suspension, access to things like Gmail, Calendar, and Meet will disappear completely. That’s… not ideal for a business, obviously.
There are a couple of options. Pay Google — prices start at $6 (R65) per user per month — and nothing will change, unless you upscale or downscale your plan. Or you can use Google Takeout to download everything you’ve got hosted and try again elsewhere. That’s probably far more work than it’s worth. Google may be counting on this it comes to turning the last few Google Apps users into paying customers.