Google Apps No Longer Free

December 29, 2012 - My Advice to Clients Just Got Easy

For several years I have sung the praises of Google's free offering of Google Apps, the one that allows up to 10 accounts and the ability to use your own domain name (xyzzy@fastie.com instead of xyzzy@gmail.com). Earlier this month, Google quietly discontinued the free service. Businesses of all sizes must now pay, $5/month/user or $50/year/user.

This makes the price of Microsoft Exchange Online (MEO, $4/mo/user) about the same as Google Apps when email and a calendar are the only concerns; Google Apps includes documents while the slightly more expensive ($6) Office365 is required to get Word and Excel access. From my perch, MEO is a superior email offering, especially when your office uses Outlook. With no difference in price now, I think MEO is a no-brainer. And Microsoft isn't reading your email.

For those who are currently using the free version of Google Apps, Google is not pulling out the rug from under you. You can continue indefinitely or until Google changes its mind.

The only bad news is that MEO is harder to configure than Google Apps. I've heard that a major update is coming in early 2013, so maybe MEO will get easier to use.

Tags: Email, Google, Microsoft

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