If your organization (business or school) is using the G Suite legacy free edition, you will soon need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to continue using their services.
Google has already started sending out emails to users of the G Suite legacy free edition account informing them of the change, according to a report from 9to5Google.
Those using the G Suite legacy free edition will be automatically switched to a paid edition based on the features they currently use, if they do not sign up for a paid plan by May 1, 2022. Google’s Workspace will no longer be available starting July 1, 2022.
“If you have the G Suite legacy free edition, you need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your services. The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting July 1, 2022,” Google said on a support page.
“If you choose to wait, Google will begin upgrading subscriptions automatically on May 1, 2022. We will upgrade your organization to a new Google Workspace subscription based on the features you currently use.”
For customers who don’t provide their payment information, their Google Workspace subscription will be suspended until they set up billing. After 60 days in suspension, they will no longer have access to Google Workspace core services, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Meet. However, customers may still retain access to additional Google services, such as YouTube and Google Photos.
Once upgraded, they will immediately get switched to a paid Google Workspace subscription and use the new subscription free of cost until at least July 1, 2022. Customers who do not want to subscribe to a paid Google Workspace subscription should use the Data Export tool to export their data.
Google’s Workspace subscription pricing starts at $6/month (per user) for the most basic membership, while it is $18/month (per user) for the Business Plus plan. However, organizations with free Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals or Google Workspace accounts for non-profits will not be affected at all.
For those unaware, prior to December 6, 2012, Google offered a legacy free edition of G Suite that had a reduced set of business features. However, as of December 6, 2012, Google stopped offering the free edition to new customers, but customers who had signed up for it prior to that were still allowed to use it after the deadline.
“Today we notified customers using a legacy free subscription for our communication and collaboration apps, including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Docs, that they will need to transition to a Google Workspace plan by July 1, 2022. The legacy free subscription was available from 2006 to 2012, and provided a basic set of business features and integration with a custom domain,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Register.
“We’re now asking these customers to upgrade to Google Workspace, which offers solutions tailored to the unique needs of our broad range of customers, as well as increased storage and security, 24/7 support, and more. We’re offering deep discounts to help ease the transition, and are excited for our customers to have more choice and flexibility in their collaboration experience.”