Before Google kills free G Suite accounts, why not offer a family email plan?

Before Google kills free G Suite accounts, why not offer a family email plan?

Before Google kills free G Suite accounts, why not offer a family email plan?

Some longtime Google users are facing a difficult transition. In the early days of Google’s business-focused productivity service, first called “Google Apps for Your Domain”, then “G Suite” and now “Google Workspace”, Google offered free domain-branded Google “business” accounts. From 2006 to 2012, users could create a free Google Apps / G Suite account with a custom domain, then their email ended with a domain they owned, instead of “@”. In January, Google announced a significant policy change and told these users they had to start paying the standard corporate rate for their Google accounts or face account closure. It’s an unfair carpet roll for users who created a free account years ago with no warning that Google may eventually charge it. These folks are deep inside, with all the data, emails and purchases stored on these accounts, and it feels like data extortion to suddenly tell them to pay or lose everything.

Google later caved in a bit and offered a vague option to quit, promising that one day these “Legacy G Suite” users might transfer their data and purchases to a free consumer Gmail account, with the caveat that Google won’t host. plus their custom domain email. Many of the important specific details of this transition plan are not yet public, but what is specific is the deadline for payment and account closure, and users are left fluttering in the breeze as their anxiety builds.

A key problem is that Google actually stopped sending custom domain emails to consumers and now these legacy G Suite users don’t have an obvious upgrade path. In the past, there was nothing wrong with using Google Apps / G Suite for non-commercial purposes, and Google has even encouraged it. Just look at the original blog post from Google Apps for Your Domain, which claims that Google launched the service after “hearing feedback from thousands of small businesses, primary and secondary schools, nonprofits, universities. even families with their own websites “. Google has encouraged families to use it and is now telling these families that they are companies.

My question is, why does this have to be so difficult? Here’s an idea: Offer a Google Workspace (or Google One) “family plan” that supports a custom domain at a reasonable rate for consumers. This is not a crazy idea why all of Google’s competitors already offer this. In my conversations with various people affected by the policy change, free G Suite users aren’t necessarily bothered by paying for a custom email domain. However, they are often not companies and don’t want to pay corporate rates for G Suite.

Hey Google, copy Microsoft's pricing plans.
Zoom in / Hey Google, copy Microsoft’s pricing plans.

Microsoft / Ron Amadeo

Let’s compare what Google offers the competition. Google Workspace’s closest competitor is Office 365, and in addition to business 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 mailbox, access to all Microsoft Office apps, and best of all, custom domain email accounts. Even using the cheapest “Business Starter” plan, Google Workspace costs $ 6 per month per user. If we match Microsoft’s six-user one-year offer, that’s $ 432 per year and with just 30GB of cloud storage per user. With 2 TB of cloud storage per user, the next tier 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 user per month. That’s six times less than what Google charged, and Apple offers an extra 20GB per user, 50GB in total. For six people, that would be $ 72 per year, while Google would charge $ 432 per year for a lower tier of storage.

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