Google is still having a hard time pursuading companies to sign up for its paid Google Apps service, a source told us earlier this month. As a result, Google’s (GOOG) Apps business is still a tiny money maker.
So how does Google plan to build its paid user base? By gradually — but significantly — making its free Apps service available to only the smallest of businesses.
Sharp-eyed TechCrunch proprietor Michael Arrington noticed that Google keeps shrinking the number of user accounts per domain that it’ll allow new free accounts to use. It’s currently 50 accounts per domain, down recently from 100; before that, 200; before that, unlimited.
That could help Google boost its Apps revenue, but it’s still not likely to make up a significant portion of Google’s overall sales any time soon.
Perhaps more important: It’s still a big threat to Microsoft — it will still help disrupt more expensive email/docs/collaboration services, such as Microsoft’s (MSFT) Exchange, Office, etc.
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