А week ago, Google announced a policy change, where it would shut down the Google Apps accounts of users who signed up during the first years when the service was available for free.
The users were given two options: either to start paying the per-user monthly fee by July 2022 or to lose their account. Consequently, this move led to a huge outcry and now, the company seems to be backing down from most of the harsher terms of its announcement.
Now, Google is launching a survey of affected G Suite users and second, it’s promising a data-migration option to a consumer account before the shutdown hits.
Google has a survey out for Legacy G Suite users facing the free account shut down.
If you have 10 or fewer people on your custom domain account, Google is hinting at there maybe being "more options" available in the coming months.https://t.co/u3bMpESLdi
— Ron Amadeo (@RonAmadeo) January 26, 2022
Google Apps allows users to have a Google account with a custom domain, so your email ends in your website address rather than “@gmail.com.” This is typically used for businesses.
The free tier of G Suite was from 2006 to 2012 and apparently, during this time a lot of geeks did this for friends, families, and other non-business uses.
Google stopped offering free G Suite accounts in 2012, but it was unthinkable that Google would go after its most enthusiastic, early-adopter users and kick them off the service. Users who has been hit by the shutdown have two options:
- To start paying for their accounts, which had been free for years;
- Lose access to core Workspace apps like Gmail.
Users who didn’t want to pay will be able to only export data with Google Takeout.
If you used your G Suite account like a regular consumer account and bought a bunch of digital content from Google, you could be out hundreds or thousands of dollars in purchases. With no way to get all the data out of a Google account in a seamless and easy way, Google’s “pay up or lose your account” options felt like data extortion.
More information, including a link to the survey, is available in the Google Workspace Admin Help page for G Suite legacy free edition upgrades.