As of December 6, 2012, Google stopped offering the free edition of G Suite (also known as the legacy free edition of Google Apps) to new customers. The free edition of G Suite offered a reduced set of business features. You can find the G Suite Terms of Service for the legacy free edition here.
What This Means for You and Your Business
Beginning May 1, 2022, you will no longer have access to the G Suite legacy free edition as Google will start transitioning you to the paid Google Workspace subscription. You will have access to Google Workspace until July 1, 2022, at no cost.
If you currently use the G Suite legacy free edition, you will need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your existing services.
PK Tech Takeaways
- As always, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND USING FREE SOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS USE. If something’s free, you’re what’s being sold.
- If regulations that involve safeguarding sensitive information (HIPAA, FINRA, etc.) apply to you, and you are using the “free” G Suite, you are out of compliance because Google does not treat your information the same way it does for paid business accounts. For example, Google will never sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement for any free plan.
- Now is the time to consider moving to your final email solution — Microsoft’s Office 365. G Suite simply is the odd man out for businesses that operate via Microsoft solutions like Office and Windows. G Suite has its place for personal email, the education sector, non-Microsoft centric organizations, and micro-business that only need a handful of email addresses. However, you probably want the most popular productivity software out there (Office), a company-wide chat platform (Teams), a way to share files native to Windows 10 (OneDrive), or countless other examples. Guess what? That’s all part of Office 365, AND it’s your mailbox. Using G Suite outside the earlier mentioned usage cases will likely end in a later migration to Office 365.
- Something to consider is that fewer IT companies will support G Suite in a business environment as time goes on. Businesses generally want to choose solutions with the most supportability and long-term future. IT companies focus on the solutions most businesses use, e.g., Office 365. A small business using G Suite looking for an outsourced IT department as they grow will face a large and complex migration later to the solution that the IT company specializes in — Office 365.
We talk more about What Using a Free Email Service Says About Your Business and the risks of using free email accounts if your business is subject to HIPAA compliance in our blog, Free Email Accounts and HIPAA Compliance.
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