Google Apps Ain’t Free

gmaildollarA lot of my friends tout Google Apps for email. I use them on three sites, mostly as an experiment.

Google Apps for Business isn’t free anymore. You used to be able to go to their pricing and click on free to set everything up for a few users. No more.(Irony, Google Apps doesn’t accept Google Checkout for currency.)

What does this mean? Well a lot of people will have to run their own mail servers again. It’s not surprising to me, given how hard Google had been making it to find the free version, but it is a bit of a dick move to say “And now we’re charging.” I would have thought dropping the number of free from whatever it is now to five, or even one, email account would have been better. Actually, what would be great is if Google had a just email domain mapping you could do, but they don’t.

This sucks a lot for a lot of people, including me as I was thinking it’d be nice to have all my friends who are hosted here using Google for email – they know it and are used to it.

ETA: As Otto pointed out, the no-longer-free is only for new people. Anyone with an existing account is fine. So don’t make any more domains! (And now we see how IP addresses will last…)


5 responses to “Google Apps Ain’t Free”

  1. Those people who still have free accounts get to keep them. They just turned off new signups.

    1. Good point. Though I don’t see that lasting forever either.

  2. I don’t see that lasting forever either.

    I started using Gmail For Your Domain back in ’05 or ’06 when I got an invite to the beta. Since then I’ve added several domains and set up myriad clients, friends and family members with Gmail/Google Apps. Now I feel like I’ll always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. How long do you give it before Google starts charging for existing free accounts?

    1. I don’t think they will unless they change free gmail.

  3. Here’s the email they sent out. This hit my inbox hours after they posted on line.

    Hello from Google,

    Here’s some important news about Google Apps—but don’t worry, there’s no need for you to take any action. We just want you to know that we’re making a change to the packages we offer.

    Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free.

    Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month.

    You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the Enterprise Blog.

    Thank you for using Google Apps.

    Clay Bavor
    Director, Google Apps