In a bid to earn more money from small businesses, Google is lowering the cap on the free version of Google Apps from 50 users to 10 users.Customers will also get a new monthly payment option, echoing Microsoft’s similar small business pricing plan for Office 365, although the Google offering is slightly cheaper.
Google announced the changes to Apps for Business pricing on Tuesday:
- New apps customers will have to begin paying for the service at 10 users. Existing Apps customers are grandfathered in to the old plan, and can add up to 50 users without having to pay. (Google Apps for Education is still free with no limit on users.)
- Customers who sign up online can buy a new flexible pricing plan at $5 per user per month. (Microsoft charges $6 per user per month for the cheapest tier of Office 365.) The new plan could save some companies money if they downsize or remove Apps users during the year. However, assuming usage remains stable, the annual plan of $50 per user per year is a slightly better deal.
Google has also introduced a new set-up wizard that will reduce setup time to less than an hour, and is planning to introduce a sign-up page that will take “minutes.”
The changes take place in a few weeks.