Google in its latest news has stated that they are discontinuing the free version of google apps for domains and they have really made this much awaited news just before Christmas time.
Google Kills Free Google Apps For Business, Now Only Offering Premium Paid Version To Companies Of All Sizes
Google started this free lolipop with 50 users per domains later on decresed to 10 users per domain, it was much expected that sooner or later these 10 free users will be also removed and this whole service will be converted to paid service.
Google should have provided 1-2 users for domains so that domain owners can user this service and then if need more users can buy the users.
Anyways it is all upto google, may be they have lots of users in their pocket to end this free service which will definately affected lots of hosting comppanies who user to add google apps with domains to their end users to reduce their own server load. but now they have no other choice to have load back on their own servers.
many companies who were providing one click google apps setup have said that this is really a hard decision of google on their sale. Now they have to redirect all traffic to their own servers
See what google says on this
Google is making some changes to its Google Apps cloud computing services for small businesses. In the past, Google Apps was free for groups with up to 10 users, but from now on, new small business customers will be required to sign up for a paid plan. However, SMBs that already signed up for free accounts will be grandfathered in to the free service.
Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin reported, “The free version of Google Apps for businesses that was offered to organizations with up to 10 employees is being killed off. The free tier was long touted as an advantage of Google’s online office suite over Microsoft’s productivity products, but in an announcement yesterday Google said the service wasn’t useful to enough people to justify its existence.”
According to The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati, “Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president in charge of Google Apps, said Google wants to provide small businesses that use the free version of the software with dedicated customer support—something only paying customers currently get. ‘We’re not serving them well,’ he said of the free users. Mr. Pichai added that the millions of people who already use the free version will continue to get it free.”
ZDNet’s Michael Lee recalled, “Google Apps was first born when Google provided Gmail for San Jose City College in 2006, and a year after, Google launched its premier edition for all businesses. At the time, Google Apps’ lead software engineer, Derek Parham, wrote that ‘Google Apps also won’t forget its roots anytime soon. The Standard and Education Editions will continue to be offered for free, and we’ll keep working on all three flavors of Google Apps with the help of feedback from all of you.’ While that might remain true for the Education Edition — Google is keeping Google Apps free for educational institutions — there isn’t a free version for individuals any more.”
The Register’s Simon Sharwood noted, “Office 365, Google’s main rival in the online apps market, currently offers only paid plans. Both companies offer free trials.”
Now Google will offer new customers only the premium version, according to a blog post by Clay Bavor, product management director for Google Apps.
“When we launched the premium business version we kept our free, basic version as well,” Bavor wrote. “Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn’t quite right for either group. Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes. Similarly, consumers often have to wait to get new features while we make them business-ready.”
The change, effective immediately, means that no new small business customers can sign up for the free applications and must subscribe to the for-fee application set, which includes word processing, spreadsheet, email and presentation graphics tools. But businesses now using the free version won’t be affected by the changes, Bavor said.
Google Apps competes with other cloud productivity suits, including Microsoft’s Office 365, and application services for small businesses from Intuit, Sage and other companies.
Individuals can still get free access to the applications by signing up for a personal Google account. Google also continues to offer the free Google Apps for Education for schools and universities. Google Apps for Government remains $50 per person, per year.
So from now you are have to pay for using google apps services ..