Google has decided to reverse its decision to let go of users who were using its G Suite apps and services for free. Earlier this week, the company tracked back from an announcement made earlier this year, and stated that as long as users continued to remain non-commercial (or non-business) in nature, they will be able to continue using the free, Legacy G Suite service tier, which includes apps such as Google Meet and Drive (allocated as per the free tier) – along with a custom URL – without having to compulsorily upgrade to the paid Google Workspace tier.
Interestingly, Google will allow users who have already upgraded, and those who have moved to a different ecosystem to not need to pay for their site’s adjoined apps and services, to come back to the free tier as well. According to Google, users who have already paid for the Google Workspace upgrade will have a tool in the Help section that will assist them in reverting back to the Legacy G Suite free tier.
Those who have shifted out of the Google ecosystem and want to re-setup their accounts on Google services again can also opt for the free tier, but this process will be complicated since it would require users to migrate all their apps, services and data back from a different cloud platform, to Google’s. Nevertheless, if a user should want to do so, the option remains.
Google’s rationale remains that users who are not running a business, such as an artist looking to showcase their artwork through a custom domain – and would need adjoined Google services for email, basic cloud storage and video conferencing – would be able to do so. On January 19, Google had announced that it will be pulling the plug on the free G Suite tier for individuals and family accounts as well.
Google’s support page on the matter states that businesses still using Legacy G Suite will no longer be able to do so after June 27, this year. If they do not update their billing segment with a valid payment option, accounts will be suspended from August 1. For now, non-commercial users do not have a deadline to stop using the free tier, although Google warns that “certain” features may be pulled from the free tier at any time in future. In essence, while Google is keeping the free G Suite tier alive for now, it may not do so for too long.
Google’s Workspace for Business tiers start at Rs 125 per user per month in India.