Thursday, March 23, 2023

Google is holding all your old free G Suite accounts hostage

Gmail 2 On Smartphone Stock Photo

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

tl; Dr

  • Google will migrate all G Suite legacy free users to paid Google Workspace accounts.
  • There is no provision to get back to a regular Gmail account.
  • Users have until 1 May 2022 to select a plan and add the billing option before 1 July 2022.

It’s been a long time coming, but Google has finally sounded the death knell for G Suite legacy free version users. Launched back in 2006, the service allowed businesses and schools to set up custom domains for use of Google’s popular Gmail services. Being a free service, Google Apps gained significant popularity among enthusiasts as well as businesses.

In 2012, as part of its G Suite rebrand, Google discontinued the free Google Apps tier. However, it allowed existing users to continue using the custom domain at no charge. Now, as G Suite is further integrated into Google Workspace, Google is finally discontinuing the legacy free version of G Suite.

G Suite Legacy Free Version

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

All users will be transferred to equivalent Google Workspace accounts based on usage patterns. Plans start at $6-per-month for each user and go up to $18-per-month/user. The move follows Google’s recent trend of removing free services, such as the unlimited storage tier for Google Photos.

More importantly, Google is not offering any way to exit Google Workspace. While you can migrate your data from G Suite, there’s no way – simple or otherwise – to get back to a regular Gmail account.

What does this G Suite free account change mean to you?

Google Workspace Pricing Plans

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

For a service that Google initially marketed to appeal to anyone wanting to set up a custom domain, this is extremely problematic. Personally, I have two Google Apps accounts with one for use by my family. While I used the account primarily for personal correspondence, switching to Google Workspaces meant I’d have to pay at least $30 each month or risk losing nearly fifteen years’ worth of email. It’s also worth noting that only 30GB of storage is included in the base plan. It’s not a lot. Additionally, the inevitable extra storage we’ve added over the years will add to the cost. This adds up to hundreds of dollars each year for the privilege of using a custom domain.

I think Google is paying more attention to businesses for its workspace solutions. However, this is a classic example of bait and switch. I would happily pay a small fee per domain for the convenience of using a service that Google initially marketed as free were it not for the limitations. Google Workspace users still cannot use Google Pay, nor can the accounts be used to subscribe to any family, including YouTube Premium’s family account. In fact, Google won’t even allow you to invite other users to the Google Home account that was set up using the Google Workspace ID. Adding further insult to injury, Google Assistant couldn’t even access the Google Workspace account’s calendar until 2019.

See all: Do Google, Facebook, or Apple handle your death better?

It gets even worse if you’re using features like Google Sign-in. Migrating a custom domain from Google Workspace will mean that any app or service user who signs in via Google Sign-in will fail unless you’ve already set up an alternate email ID.

These legacy G Suite free accounts host not only email but calendar entries for years as well. There’s Google Photos backup, starred maps for travel, notes, and even browser bookmarks. It’s easy enough to remove that data from G Suite, but hosting it elsewhere? Not so much. Unless you migrate to Workspace, you are likely to lose any purchases you made on the Play Store

Can you opt out of Google Workspace?

All existing users have until 1 May 2022 to choose a new Google Workspace plan. After that date, Google will automatically upgrade the user to the most appropriate payment plan. While Google will not bill users for the first two months after the transition, the company will suspend any account after July 1, 2022 without any billing details attached.

Hey Google, if you expect users to pay for the privilege of using services that were marketed for free to small organizations or families, you can at least migrate to a regular free plan. options can be provided. While you’re at it, here’s how to go about fixing the shortcomings of Google Workspace to make it worth the attached monthly fee.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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