Google is finally cleaning up its legacy free G Suite mess
Almost five months after Google declared that G Suite legacy free edition customers will have to pay for their accounts, it appears that a path has been established that most people will be satisfied with. According to reports, there is now a no-cost option that would allow customers to continue using their G Suite accounts for personal use, and signing up for it will not need a lengthy process of joining a waitlist or transferring data between accounts.
After nearly a decade of keeping the legacy free tier available, Google stated in January that free G Suite users would have to start paying for Google Workspace if they wanted to preserve their accounts. The business stated that if users did not choose a premium Workspace tier before May 1st, they will be automatically upgraded based on their usage. Later, Google stated that you would be able to transfer to a free account, but that you would lose some benefits if you did so. According to a Google support post, there will now be an option to simply continue using the service for consumers who aren’t utilizing it for commercial purposes.
You can maintain using a custom domain with Gmail, access free Google products like YouTube, Docs, and Meet, and keep all of your data and purchases with the no-cost personal use option. Essentially, nothing will change if you choose the no-cost personal transition plan by June 27th. The directions for doing so can be found in the support document. Google did state that the “G Suite legacy free version does not include support,” and that the company may “remove certain business capabilities” from the plan in the future.
Personally, I believe that this “transition path,” as Google refers to it, should have been mentioned in the first place. Many people were dissatisfied with the previous version of the plan, particularly those who were not part of a corporation and had been using G Suite gratis because it was a solid alternative for power users at the time. For a while, it appeared that Google was going to force them to pay for business services they didn’t require.
It didn’t help that people’s initial alternatives were to either start paying up or export their data and create a new standard account. In April, Google pushed out the deadline and promised that there will be a facility to allow you to transfer to a free account, but you would have had to join a queue and would have lost access to the ability to use a custom domain. Now, it appears that Google has it figured out: if you’re a business, you’ll have to pay. You don’t have to if you aren’t.