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Google Axes Free Google Apps For Businesses

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the bringing-home-the-bacon dept.

Cloud 141

New submitter Macfox writes "In a move to focus on serving small business better, Google has axed the popular free edition of Google Apps for businesses. From Dec 6th, it will not be possible to sign up for the free edition. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Google's senior vice president in charge of Google Apps said Google wants to provide small businesses that use the free version of the software with dedicated customer support — something only paying customers currently get. 'We're not serving them well,' he said of the free users." Google's blog post notes that "this change has no impact on our existing customers, including those using the free version."

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141 comments

To better serve you... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214763)

We are now charging you more...

Re:To better serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214909)

In our corporate pursuit of not being evil, we have done some intrusive data mining. Our ethicists have concluded that allowing any of the rest of you to continue living would be a far greater evil than genocide. The missiles are on the way.

Re:To better serve you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214937)

Yeah, how awful of them to charge some money to host very powerful email servers with antispam, as well as integration with just about every Google service out there. How awful.

Re:To better serve you... (5, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214953)

I just don't understand why they have to blatantly lie like that. There is nothing wrong which changing your pricing strategies to improve your income. Google even retained the free service for existing users, so it can hardly be seen as a bait and switch

If they had said; "we believe the service is good value at $$ and providing the free service doesn't provide us with enough revenue", I would have completely understood it. Weasel speak was utterly unnecessary in this case and makes me wonder if some people are just so accustomed to lying that they can't avoid it.

Re:To better serve you... (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215103)

It's hardly lying. You might just about get away with calling it spinning, but even so.

It would have been lying if Google had said "To better serve you, we're removing the following features of the free Google Apps", or "To better serve you, we're now restricting free apps accounts to three users". But saying "To better serve you, we're eliminating a free service so that we can get the revenues necessary to support the product properly", that's entirely fair.

Disclaimer: I'm sortadisappointed by this, I'm a free GA user myself and planned to use it for other projects/domains. Glad I get to keep what I have, but still.

Re:To better serve you... (0)

GauteL (29207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215741)

With all due respect it seems your tolerance levels for corporate weasel speak may have become somewhat inflated. It is up to the users, not Google, to decide whether they "weren't properly served". When Google decided to introduce dedicated customer support to all new customers at the expense of $$ they decided this for the users and guess what, they chose the option which made Google more money.

And given that you were planning to expand your use of free GA, you make it clear that you were actually well served by the existing free solution, so your disclaimer lends further evidence towards this Google statement being untrue.

Google did this to increase their profits for the benefit of their share holders and employees. There is nothing wrong with it, but they should have called the spade a spade.

Re:To better serve you... (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215851)

Google did this to increase their profits for the benefit of their share holders and employees. There is nothing wrong with it, but they should have called the spade a spade.

Or maybe they did it because their Apps For Business was getting a bad rep from the folks using the free version being unable to get real-human support, getting a bad taste in their mouth over that, making the supported, ad-free, upscale version a harder sell.

In both cases the bottom line is revenue, but in only one case are they lying.

I haven't seen the data. Neither have you; it's all a matter of which preexisting bias we'd prefer to confirm.

Re:To better serve you... (5, Interesting)

mattiaza (2567891) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215237)

I don't think it's a blatant lie. I think it's more to do with expectation management. Many people still expect customer support for free services, and get upset if their calls or emails are ignored - which is much more expensive than running the web service itself. There was a Slashdot discussion about a similar problem at an Open Source company last month: http://ask.slashdot.org/story/12/11/26/2345214/ask-slashdot-troubling-trend-for-open-source-company [slashdot.org] No matter how many disclaimers you put on your website or how many times you repeat the "support costs extra", many free users are still upset at you, and will complain about it on the internet.

Re:To better serve you... (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215391)

This is called being 'grandfathered'. Consider yourself lucky when it happens to you. Bottom-line is if you signed up to the favorable terms on-time, you're in. Otherwise, you're out.

I think I just heard Nelson say "ha ha!"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_clause [wikipedia.org]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN3gSjHsr1o [youtube.com]

Now unless you want to get yourself soaking wet, step away from that last remaining dry patch of grass, please.

Re:To better serve you... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215917)

Where I come from, "grandfathered" means having oral sex with an old man (over 45).

ex: How did your CraigsList hookup go?
Don't ask! I was grandfathered!
Bummer, dude. I hope he took out his dentures before he sucked your penis.

APK

Re:To better serve you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216729)

Wow, what a terrible life that must be.

Re:To better serve you... (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216861)

50 dollars is not bad just wish they offered web hosting as well

Newspeak citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214773)

Seriously?

"In a move to focus on serving small business better,..."

How the hell have we gotten to a place where this sort of thing can be said with a straight face?

Re:Newspeak citizen (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216089)

I have a feeling people number of people using it for free are greatly reducing the availability of support people to help those who are actually paying for it. As someone who currently uses the free version and wanted to switch over a couple of other domains, I'm less than thrilled, but can understand it. I would have preferred it if they kept it available but said "you get zero support".

One of the rare cases where... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214797)

you aren't the product, you're the customer. A brave new world for Google!

Re:One of the rare cases where... (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214829)

Do the paid Google Apps have advertising? (If so, you can be both!)

Re:One of the rare cases where... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214911)

No. They're free of advertising. You can even replace most of the Google logo's with your own corporate logos.

Re:One of the rare cases where... (3, Informative)

dodgerfan (994874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214921)

Yes. As a paid subscriber, we have the ability to turn off ads in Gmail.

Re:One of the rare cases where... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215079)

As a user of Adblock Plus, I did not realize there were ads in gmail until I watched someone else use their email.

Re:One of the rare cases where... (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216069)

The problem with ABP is that it doesn't filter all those ABP ads^H endorsements

Re:One of the rare cases where... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215555)

Even the free version allows POP3 and IMAP access, no ads there.

Re:One of the rare cases where... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215599)

Ads in Gmail, say what?

Re:One of the rare cases where... (2)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214923)

The administrator can disable the ads on the paid version of the service

Re:One of the rare cases where... (1)

Dupple (1016592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214933)

It is both, you're free to use it, but to use it you gotta pay!

Re:One of the rare cases where... (1)

davecb (6526) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218801)

Alas, they may just be phasing it out. I tried the for-pay service for a customer of mine and found it lacked tables, which was what the customer wanted it for. and, of course, I couldn't offer money, because I already had. Not what I'd do with an offering I was planning to keep...

I found the hidden code on the blog... (5, Informative)

Kingkaid (2751527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214803)

Google's blog post notes that "this change has no impact on our existing customers, including those using the free version."

Re:I found the hidden code on the blog... (1)

Kingkaid (2751527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214823)

And now I find out /. filters out html comments.... sigh.

Re:I found the hidden code on the blog... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215017)

...yet

For how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215459)

Yeh, but if they have to charge for this service, rather than advertising or something similar.
And if they use double speak, this PR is clearly double speak (presenting a service become paid only as an improvement to give support, but if it was an improvement enough to justify the price, then they'd offer the service as *optionally* paid if you *want* support).

Thus how long before they IMPROVE it further and existing customers GET TO ENJOY THE 'IMPROVEMENT'.

It means I'll start looking around now. Quite frankly, I like that I have my own domain, but I don't like the adverts Google shoves at me, or that they mine the emails to serve me adverts, then serve me the same adverts outside my emails. Sometimes to other people on my NAT.
I'm using gmail with my own domain and if I was paying for that service I'd be bloody p1ssd, as it is I'm already thinking its too much just to host my emails even with the adverts problems.

I think this marks the time to move it to my own domain properly and try and end that mail service working.

Look$ like, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214837)

$omeone i$ with financial trouble :)

Re:Look$ like, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215033)

Probably can't squeeze any more out the advertising and advertising rates a falling. Android is a money pit. They will have to find new ways of making money.

I use apps for business as a family account (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214949)

I used to run all my own email etc. on a server in my house, but a year or so ago I moved it all onto a 'google apps for business' account. Since then, my kids and wife have all started using google stuff much more often and it's hugely useful for us to be able to collect all that under accounts tied to the family google apps domain.

Google should do something family-related in this area, they could cut out 95% of the features of apps for business, but the most useful stuff is creating sites, sharing docs and drive between members and most importantly for me to be able to manage the accounts of all of us. There are alternatives, but this is a nice setup which works well.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215379)

They could also lower the price (not that $50/user/year is much) but they could continue to grow their subscriber base, make some money AND keep people happy.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (5, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215751)

I would pay money for this.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216123)

You can pay money for this. The problem is that currently it's a bit too much money for a lot of people. The value is very good for what you get, but the price is still high considering that most families don't *need* it. I family pricing plan would be a great idea.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216667)

For a small business it's a godsend.

50$/person/year and you can forget about the hassle of running a mail/calendar/file server.

To beat this I'd have to spend less than 1 hour per person per year managing internal servers.

Of course, keeping your own copies of everything as a backup is just common sense.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

eggnet (75425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216185)

That's good because you'll have to now.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

defcon-11 (2181232) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218447)

Well, it was free up until today, and now you can pay $50 per year per person for it. It's only marketed to businesses, but they don't check to make sure you're a business when you sign up, anyone can use it.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216713)

Indeed. The only functions I use are Gmail, Calendar, and Drive.

Mostly because I don't want to deal with the annoyances of running my own mail server and spam filters.

Re:I use apps for business as a family account (1)

aclarke (307017) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217377)

I completely agree. I own three domains based on mine or my wife's name, plus one more that I started for a business that went nowhere. Just between those, my small family would be paying $50/year for at least 11 accounts, probably more if I took a closer look. This means that instead of paying $0 which I do now, I'd be paying at least $550 per year. That's a LOT for what's essentially personal convenience and some testing accounts for work, not to mention the other family members who would have to start paying as well. There's one account in there I use professionally, and for that I'd be willing to pay $50 per year.

There needs to be a limited version of this for somewhere closer to $1/month + advertising, or $2/month without, per user. Maybe this will give a boost to smaller and lesser-known competitors.

I'm served just fine by the free Google Apps (4, Interesting)

dodgerfan (994874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214967)

I have been a free Google Apps user for years and I've never had any issues with it. The lack of support hasn't ever bothered me. I've helped several other people sign up for the free version as well and no support has ever been needed for them either. This is just a case where the free version was good enough and was keeping people for signing up for the paid version. It's always about the money. They have been thinking about killing this service for while now. When I originally signed up, I had access to 100 address. Soon after the limit had been dropped to 50 and then to 10 accounts. I think when the service launched, there was no limit on accounts.

Re:I'm served just fine by the free Google Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216915)

I have been a free Google Apps user for years and I've never had any issues with it. The lack of support hasn't ever bothered me. I've helped several other people sign up for the free version as well and no support has ever been needed for them either. This is just a case where the free version was good enough and was keeping people for signing up for the paid version. It's always about the money.

You do realize that users can get a gmail account for free, right? People who don't want to pay still won't have to, they just won't have their own domain.

Re:I'm served just fine by the free Google Apps (1)

balbus000 (1793324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217111)

You don't lose access to accounts. You keep the number allowed when you signed up for the service. I have two domains on Google Apps: one I signed up when I was allowed 50 users, and one domain after they dropped the limit to 10 users. I can still use up to 50 accounts on the first domain.

Re:I'm served just fine by the free Google Apps (1)

dodgerfan (994874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217863)

Balbus000, Sorry, I did not intend to imply that access to accounts was lost or removed, but that Google has systematically been making the service less attractive and more restrictive in order to drive customers to the paid version. Thanks.

What about families? (4, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215003)

Google's senior vice president in charge of Google Apps said Google wants to provide small businesses that use the free version of the software with dedicated customer support - something only paying customers currently get.

What I'm not entirely clear about is what happens to the middle ground of people who own their own domain and want to be able to have email address for each member of their family linked to the various Google services.

If they are now trying to push those people onto the business tier then a family of 4 with 2 grand-parents each side is going to cost $400 a year - which is way too expensive to properly consider.

(I'm thankful I set my family up several years ago before they reduced the number of users from 50 to 10)

Re:What about families? (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215067)

They will likely point out that you can use any address for a Google Account, not that it helps with Gmail.

Re:What about families? (0, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215091)

A person who isn't willing to pay $400/year for 50 email addresses and all of the associated services is somebody that Google and any other rational, for-profit company would not want for a customer. In essence, they're firing customers like yourself. It's a smart move, and it's business 101.

Re:What about families? (1, Informative)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215217)

400$/year is for 8 accounts, expensive for that small amount of users. I am all for paying for a good service, but a small tier is needed, as I said on another comment, 100$/year flat amount for the first 10 accounts is more reasonable

Re:What about families? (2)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215373)

There's lots of cheap-o email out there. You get what you pay for. You only want to pay $10/year for email per person. Good for you. Find somewhere other than Google. I pay a few hundred bucks per year per person for email. I have really, really, great email service. Why do you think you're entitled to use Google's services at a price you dictate? That's bizarre.

Re:What about families? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215915)

Why are you being so defensive?

Re:What about families? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216535)

He's just realized that he is overpaying for email by a few hundred bucks per year per person.

Re:What about families? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216769)

Then maybe they should let us use our own domains for regular gmail accounts? It's not like they are doing anything different.

Re:What about families? (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215105)

Exactly. If they want people to pay for the service start with something like a flat payment for up to 10 users, say 100$ and any additional user should pay 50$, or something like that.

Re:What about families? (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215517)

If they are now trying to push those people onto the business tier then a family of 4 with 2 grand-parents each side is going to cost $400 a year - which is way too expensive to properly consider.

Well that depends.
$400.00 a year for Email for 8 people with aliases for everyone.
Document sharing, Collaboration between the whole family. Fully integrated with all kinds of useful tools.
Add to that groups and sites if used well is a huge benefit to families.
Then you add to that the calendering and lack of ads and I think that if you can afford it that a good case can be made for its worth.

Re:What about families? (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216193)

Well that depends. $400.00 a year for Email for 8 people with aliases for everyone.
Document sharing, Collaboration between the whole family.
Fully integrated with all kinds of useful tools.
Add to that groups and sites if used well is a huge benefit to families.
Then you add to that the calendering and lack of ads and I think that if you can afford it that a good case can be made for its worth.

When you put it like that, it doesn't sound so bad - until you realise that if you can live without 25MB, no adverts and 24/7 reliability (which those who were signing up for the free account clearly could live without) then you can everything else you've listed for free with a bog standard Gmail account.

So essentially I'm paying $50 per person per year and in return the only benefit I get which I really want is the ability to use my own domain.

At that point, it doesn't sound quite so much like a great deal.

Re:What about families? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216791)

Exactly!

Give us the Gmail app for cheap, leave the rest as an expensive package.

It's not like a few extra records in their mailserver configs to allow mail in/out of our domain name is a terrible drain on their resources. It's the only difference between standard gmail and the one via apps.

Hell, we're the ones who have to set up the MX records properly! They don't even have to do that!

Re:What about families? (1)

Geeky (90998) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217021)

That's all I use it for, and as I've been on there for years I won't have to pay... yet.

If I did, I'd still use it. It works and I'm happy with it. I would, however, start making use of the other features like drive, simply on the grounds that since I'm paying for it anyway, why not? Which in turn would use more of their resources than - as you say - a couple of extra MX records on top of a standard gmail account.

Re:What about families? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42218137)

So what you want is for Google to offer a large number of custom packages so that everyone can pay for only the parts that they feel have worth to them.
Sounds like a great idea, I really hope that at some point Google offers this.
Although my statement still stands. You are getting a great deal for a small price. You judge if you need it or not.

Re:What about families? (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218689)

So what you want is for Google to offer a large number of custom packages so that everyone can pay for only the parts that they feel have worth to them.

It's not really as complicated as that. All I want is for Google to not treat people who own and want to use their own domain for their email address as a business and charge them business rates. Apart from that I'm happy to have all the limitations, advertising, rules and restrictions imposed by the free accounts.

Hell, I probably would be prepared to pay something per year to be able to use my own domain and have my own unique username for that domain - just not $50 per person per year.

very small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215061)

I run my one-man show and I've been using google apps for 2-3 years. That directly led to my decision to get an android phone due to its seamless workflow. Gmail, google voice, etc all works without much setup. I don't know if this announcement will affect those apps I rely, but this sounds like a dickish move.

Re:very small business (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215113)

Absolute worst case it will eventually mean spending a couple hundred dollars a year. If your one man show makes any money this will be the least of your worries.

People flamed me when I warned them about this (4, Informative)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215069)

It's based on a business technique that's as old as the hills: Give away free stuff to crush the competition until people become dependent on your free stuff, then you put on the squeeze. Google is just a private company trying to make money, not freaking Santa Clause

Re:People flamed me when I warned them about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215675)

This is not the case. AFAIK Google does no evil.

Re:People flamed me when I warned them about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216277)

"You can't fool me- there ain't no sanity clause!" - Chico Marx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS2khYJZKwA

Re:People flamed me when I warned them about this (2)

asavage (548758) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216351)

You seemed to miss the part about keeping it free for existing users.

Re:People flamed me when I warned them about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216973)

It's based on a business technique that's as old as the hills: Give away free stuff to crush the competition until people become dependent on your free stuff, then you put on the squeeze. Google is just a private company trying to make money, not freaking Santa Clause

Are you trying to argue that google has monopolized the free webmail market, or the email for business market? I ask because I can't tell which is more ridiculous.

You can use a workaround (for now) (5, Informative)

Morris Thorpe (762715) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215075)

I was able to register for a single-user free account this morning by doing this.

http://www.labnol.org/internet/google-apps-free/26926/ [labnol.org]

How to Get the Free Edition of Google Apps

Alternatively, here’s a quick and simple workaround that will still let you sign-up for the free edition of Google Apps even though Google has officially retired the free edition – all you need is a free Gmail or Google account.

        Go to appengine.google.com, sign-in with your Google Account and create a new Application. You may fill in any dummy date and click the “Create Application” button.
        Open the “Dashboard” and on the next screen, click the link that says “Application Settings.”
        Scroll down a little (refer to the video tutorial) and choose “Add Domain” to associate a domain with your App Engine application.
        That’s it. Now you should see a special link* to sign-up for the free edition of Google Apps. You may either use your existing domain or buy one through Google Apps.

[*] You have to access this link through App Engine as Google Apps checks the HTTP Referrer information before serving up the sign-up page for the free edition of Google Apps.

Re:You can use a workaround (for now) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216457)

I just did this with a domain I registered a couple weeks ago. I had been meaning to set this new domain up with the free google apps but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Unfortunately, after verifying my domain with them, I see a message at the top of the screen in the dashboard that says, "Free 30 day Google Apps for Business trial", with a link to "Upgrade Now".

Re:You can use a workaround (for now) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216643)

Ok, I think I misunderstood what I was reading: I just checked my other domain on Google Apps that I've had for years, and I see the same message. So I guess it's just an advertisement for the next level of service, not countdown until your account is closed.

Re:You can use a workaround (for now) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216833)

Question, if someone has registered an account with the 'domainexample.com' domain, can someone else register another free single-user Google Apps account with the same domain?

Re:You can use a workaround (for now) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217655)

I don't think so. I think you could register a subdomain, like 'john.domainexample.com', as well as 'domainexample.com', but if what you're looking for is to have john@domainexample.com and jane@domainexample.com, I think you'd need to add another user to the first Google Apps account.

Best of the Self Hosting alternates?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215083)

So if somebody wanted to do this themselves is there a way to self host this kind of Integrated Stack??

I like the concept of EyeOS but that seems to be a Dead Project

Personal use? (3, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215087)

The page currently has a cryptic entry [google.com] "Google Applications for Personal Use" without any "learn more" which the business and educational versions have. Since many individuals use google apps for their email for a personal domain (for example with WordPress) I hope that a free perosnal version will be available.

Re:Personal use? (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215139)

They call personal use your @gmail.com account, not personal domains

Re:Personal use? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215593)

They call personal use your @gmail.com account, not personal domains

After some searches I think you are right - but I hope you are not! We all know the way this will go "current users are not effected" is followed implicitly with "... yet".

Re:Personal use? (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215817)

I think they will have a lot of problems if they try to kill the current Free edition users service. So many things are tied to the Google Account, your Android purchases, your published videos on Youtube, (they add a warning on YouTube about the tie with your domain). Unless they provide an account migration from a Google Apps domain to the free service, they will be hit by a lot of adversity

Note: They did a migration from standard accounts to Google Apps a few years back, but it was very problematic and not all services allowed migration, so you got two accounts with half the data tied to it. I learned that day to leave my Android publisher account as an standard one a never tie it to the Google Apps domain

Re:Personal use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42218775)

There is no longer such a thing as a "standard account" or a "google apps account". Quite a while ago Google finally fully integrated all accounts in one central system and also added the capability to be signed-on to multiple accounts (both apps and non-apps accounts as well) at the same time.

Currently I'm logged into four different accounts, one of which is a Google Apps account.

Customer Service (1)

ravenswood1000 (543817) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215099)

'We're not serving them well,' he said of the free users.
Well, now they won't be able to serve them at all.

Hobbyist sites (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216425)

Exactly. I run several hobbyist sites for gaming and such. I don't run ads, I don't charge for it, it's just for fun for games I play. The free version of Google Apps was absolutely perfect for us as a free alternative to paying for hosting our own e-mail services. Plus, everyone was pretty much familiar with the Gmail interface. I've set up several gaming "guilds" with basic sites and e-mail addresses.

Back when you could have up to 50 or so accounts, this was absolutely perfect. When they reduced it to 10, that put a serious dent in our ability to host all but the smallest of our guilds. Now that it's zero, well, I suppose I'll be finding and alternate solution because I simply cannot afford $50 per user per year for something that's just a hobby.

I don't understand why Google doesn't come up with some happy medium. For example, have a more limited free tier, something that allows you to manage 50 or 100 free e-mail accounts and calendars (with Google ads on them) with access to Gtalk, a total of 100 Google Docs (or 10 MB or some other limitation), and a few pages. If you want all of the full suite of hosting services, access to discussion groups, metrics, advertising, a larger site layout, etc. then you charge the $50 per user per year.

As it is, might get Google a few more paying customers, but more likely than not, it will just drive a lot of people away from Google and to another service. That's too bad, because I'd really like to continue using Google for these groups I set up.

Double Dipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215131)

Considering they built their model on analyzing all of your content and selling that information - now they are making you pay for the privilege - seems like they are having their cake and eating it too.

Customer Support like they support App Engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215159)

One morning a couple of months, App Engine went down. Here's how Google "supported" the situation:
- Community support had already been pushed to Stack Overflow, out of all places. Of course the mods there had never heard of any arrangements with Google and modded out any questions relating to ops or outages. Like they should, to maintain the integrity of their site. Later I posted a question re: the situation with a Silicon Valley Google Dev community forum that's run by Google dev advocates. No response.
- Paid subscribers of GAE were just as hosed as their support portal went down with GAE. Except they got to pay for the privilege.

Prepare....what's next? (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215421)

How soon for Gmail or other services to follow this route?

Really it's the correct path: give something away free to get clients, then start charging when competitors are mostly dead. No real surprise.

Re:Prepare....what's next? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215713)

Yes. Except Gmail is not even the largest email provider - much less the only "alive" one - so this case doesn't fit that prediction at all.

Re:Prepare....what's next? (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216765)

Sure, not today. But...sooner or later, likely.

Speaking as a keeper of my own email of course. :)

Smells Like Phase Out (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215601)

I have a really small biz and just use the Apps email as I like the web interface instead of the local pop client thing.. Even though thats all I use, it is critically important to my tiny web biz.. I really cant afford to wake up to no biz email which might not be whats happening today..but looks like the direction its headed. I guess I will be doing some MX updating and either use the roundcube/squirrel that my webhost provides or break out the local email client.. it was good while it lasted..

Corporate Speak (1, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215637)

Ookay, this sounds like corporate speak. Translation: This is costing us more money than we are earning through ad-based revenue so we have to transition to a non-free model. This has absolutely zilch to do with providing adequate customer support.

Re:Corporate Speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217015)

Ookay, this sounds like corporate speak. Translation: This is costing us more money than we are earning through ad-based revenue so we have to transition to a non-free model. This has absolutely zilch to do with providing adequate customer support.

There were no ads in this product. They ran it for years without any obvious source of revenue. Try again.

Where's the replacement? (1)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215799)

Well, I didn't see this coming, but now that it's happened I'll be looking at possible replacements. I love the gmail interface, and it's the only thing I'm interested in (don't care about docs, etc). I imagine there will be some competitors come and break Google's stronghold on web email now though, particularly in managing your own domain for free

Great Service But Expensive for Small Businesses (5, Insightful)

jest3r (458429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215845)

As a web designer I have always recommended customers use Google Apps for their Email instead of the web host, CPanel or whatever.

Lots of benefits.
- Apps interface way better than whatever most typical hosts offer.
- If the host goes offline your email still works.
- Great mobile support.
- List goes on.

However most small businesses spend maybe $10-$15 / month on web hosting (Dreamhost, GoDaddy, most Cpanel hosts etc..).
And they might have 5-10 email accounts which you can always setup free at the host.

So $50/year per email account on Google Apps is suddenly WAY OUT OF THE BALLPARK. A small busness with 10 email accounts would be paying Google $500 / year for Email .. and only $120 / year for Web Hosting which always includes Email (albeit not as good).

It should be ~ $50 / year for a Google Apps account that supports 10 users ... that is market bearable for a small business who's pricing expectations are set by the shared hosting company.

Re:Great Service But Expensive for Small Businesse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216503)

Google is slowly but surely staying away from its original path.

At least they're not a monopoly in domain email services, both outlook and yandex provide domain email services(With much greater number of emails then 10 free user google apps before they shut it down) though i preferred google...

Re:Great Service But Expensive for Small Businesse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216691)

Seriously, if you are a small business who cannot afford to spend $50 a year for each employee how the hell are you still in business, and maybe you should rethink your entire internet strategy.

Re:Great Service But Expensive for Small Businesse (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217203)

The big problem here is that Google is commingling all their services and there is only one level of payment, for example, they announced a few days ago the distribution of Android applications for your business using the Google Play infrastructure, for that, you need a Google Apps domain, so If you have all other services covered, for example you have your email infrastructure already in place (where you can have intranet only email accounts and public accounts something impossible with Google Apps) then you still have to pay 50$/year per user to distribute Android applications using their service and you don't use email, chat, docs. This is wrong!

Re:Great Service But Expensive for Small Businesse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217179)

$50 / year for a google apps account that supports 10 users! I would pay for that. No question.

Re:Great Service But Expensive for Small Businesse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217991)

Users that can not afford it can still use the emails hosted on their servers from gmail and benefit from gmails spam filters for free.
I am doing this right now and I have emails from different domains inside my gmail account for free.

Oh please (0)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215909)

Why even use google apps in the first place? These apps are so damn primitive. LibreOffice and even OpenOffice are better alternatives. There is so much free software for both linux and windows desktops that put's these google and microsoft apps to shame. Business wants E-mail for their users either pay for the gmail or create gmail accounts for each of their employees for free, fuck company domain name. Or purchase exchange but it's expensive and not sure about linux alternatives.

Cloud will never get bigger because the majority of the country still uses those ripoff, crappy, internet services such as TWC and comcast, both complete shit. This is why we need the government(fiber wire all over) to layout the internet backbone and not private businesses.

don't care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42216009)

Moved all my business off Google and avoid their services (easier than you think) since I found out they are tax dodging scumbags.

Better serving you?... really Slashdot? (1)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217123)

Perhaps the author of the summary to exercise a bit more "journalistic integrity"....

Good timing, with the postini shutdown looming. (1)

Valgar (225897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217905)

I'm curious how this will affect businesses that are currently using postini. Since google is moving postini functionality into google apps, does this mean a business will now have to sign up for google apps to continue using any postini features?

It seems that google has been fairly quiet about exactly what the postini shutdown means for business, and I've only found vague talk of how a business is supposed to transition to google to continue the service. Especially businesses that do not use gmail, but use their own mail servers.

The first one is always free (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218471)

Just like drug dealers.

Seeing the words "Google" and "customer support" in the same sentence is amusing.

Re:The first one is always free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42218923)

Google seems to be strange drug dealer, still handing out the drug free to the established users. And not even that, but they also keep giving them what they were promised at the first time.

Say: The free users who had 50 hits (accounts) free, still have them, despite that later free users only got 10 hits (account) freely. So this is a clear indication that they do not intend to take this away.

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