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Google Axes Free Google Apps For Businesses 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the bringing-home-the-bacon dept.
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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Google Axes Free Google Apps For Businesses

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  • by Kingkaid (2751527) on Friday December 07, 2012 @10:39AM (#42214803)
    Google's blog post notes that "this change has no impact on our existing customers, including those using the free version."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2012 @10:53AM (#42214911)

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

  • by dodgerfan (994874) on Friday December 07, 2012 @10:54AM (#42214921)
    Yes. As a paid subscriber, we have the ability to turn off ads in Gmail.
  • What about families? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Friday December 07, 2012 @11:05AM (#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)

  • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Friday December 07, 2012 @11:12AM (#42215069) Homepage
    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
  • by Morris Thorpe (762715) on Friday December 07, 2012 @11:13AM (#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.

  • by robmv (855035) on Friday December 07, 2012 @11:24AM (#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

  • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Friday December 07, 2012 @12:05PM (#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.

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