Google has offered new alternative options to free Legacy G Suite account holders who it had previously said would have to upgrade to a paid subscription by 1 July.

What Is A Legacy G Suite Account?

Google’s free edition of G Suite, known as Workspace, was first made available to businesses, organisations, and schools from 2006 to December 6, 2012, with Google Apps. Users of this free edition of G Suite—also known as the legacy free edition could host Google accounts on custom domains for multiple users. However, this free version gave users a much-reduced set of business features.

Move To Paid Subscription

Recently however, Google informed users, who had been allowed to keep their free accounts for 10 years, that they needed to either upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription service to keep their services by July 1, 2022, or export their data using Google’s Takeout tool.

Backtrack – New Option

Last week, however, Google emailed users with details of a new option (also now shown on Google’s Support pages). The main new alternative is that users who don’t want to upgrade to a paid subscription will be offered a better data transfer option “in the coming months.” This new option will enable users to move their non-Google Workspace paid content and most of their data to a no-cost option. The new option won’t include premium features like custom email or multi-account management, and users will be able to evaluate the option prior to July 1, 2022, and prior to account suspension. 

Another Lifeline

Google also appears to be offering another lifeline to those who have a G Suite legacy free edition account that’s purely for personal use and who don’t want to upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription. Google has invited these account holders (with ten users or less) to use a feedback form to provide more information. Google says that if they don’t want to upgrade to Google Workspace, they will still be allowed to keep their access to additional Google services (YouTube, Photos, Maps, Pay, Books etc) and any paid content purchased through non-Google Workspace services made with their legacy account e.g., any movies purchased on Google Play.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

It appears Google’s first announcement of a deadline to either start paying by July or export your data out may have ruffled a few feathers and highlighted some of the different needs of Legacy G Suite account holders who may require a bit more help, including the fact that some people have content they’ve purchased through Google that they don’t want to lose. Although Legacy G Suite account holders are likely to appreciate that they enjoyed 10 years for free, they may also have assumed that Google would continue to take the same generous approach when the time for change approached rather than essentially being emailed with a deadline. For Google, it’s at least been a way to get the attention of account holders and help funnel users towards Google’s aim of ramping up its ‘Workspace’ to create something that Google hopes will seriously challenge Microsoft’s Office/365 dominance.

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