Google has created many products over the years, some of which have managed to stick around, while some have been discontinued. One of the services Google launched back in 2006 was Google Apps (now known as G Suite or Google Workspace) where users could sign up for a free account and use it with a custom domain.
Google stopped offering the service for free in 2012, but users who signed up before then could continue using it for free, but last week, Google made a controversial announcement that basically told (free) legacy users to either pay up or lose their account. It seems that the outcry to this decision was big enough for Google to now backtrack and reconsider.
The company has updated the support page with the new changes and there is also a link to a survey for G Suite admins who have less than 10 users. It seems that Google is trying to gauge how many users their change could affect, because it feels like the company thought that only a small percentage of its users would be affected.
Google has also announced that in the coming months, they will be giving users an option to migrate to a free consumer account.
“In the coming months, we’ll provide an option for you to move your non-Google Workspace paid content and most of your data to a no-cost option. This new option won’t include premium features like custom email or multi-account management. You’ll be able to evaluate this option prior to July 1, 2022 and prior to account suspension. We’ll update this article with details in the coming months.”
Prior to this announcement, users could export their data using Google Takeout but it was less-than-ideal. This is because Takeout only downloads some account data but it would not allow users to export things like purchased content, which could result in users being out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of purchases.
So, if you’re a legacy G Suite user, you might want to fill up the survey and check out the updated support page to learn more about these changes.