While Google’s free legacy G Suite accounts may be on the verge of being phased out, it appears that the company’s free Workspace plans will continue to be available. The business has just launched a new Essentials Starter plan for Google Workspace, which requires no credit card and does not require a “trial” period of any kind. Just one (obviously, very significant) caveat: you must furnish your own email account, and it does not provide access to Gmail or other similar services.
For those keeping track at home, this means that it isn’t a full-fledged Google Workspace package, as are all of the other available choices. It’s possible that if you’re on an internal or server-hosted email system such as an Exchange Server, this could be very appealing, as it provides 15 GB of storage and access to Drive and its various productivity tools (Docs, Sheets, and Slides), as well as Duo and Chat, as well as Microsoft Outlook plugins for all the expected bits. The following is a list of all of the “apps” that are included with the plan:
Google Drive is a cloud-based storage service.
Google Docs is a free online document management system.
Google Sheets is a spreadsheet application developed by Google.
Google Slides is a presentation tool.
‘Google Meet’ is a meeting between Google and a group of people.
Google Chat is a service provided by Google.
Google Calendar is a web-based calendar service that allows you to schedule events.
Utilize Google Forms to collect information.
Sites hosted by Google
Google Keep is a free online storage service.
While a “team account” can have up to 25 members sign up for it, you can create several team accounts from the same domain. If you find yourself needing additional storage or integrated email, big-boy Workspace accounts start at $6 a month for unlimited storage and email integration.
If you were one of the people who lost access to the free legacy G Suite, this new free service will regretfully not fill the void left by the shutdown. These new Essentials Starter accounts will not have the same functionality as the existing Essentials Starter accounts, despite the fact that Google is reportedly mulling creating extra choices for anyone affected by it (in light of a prospective class-action lawsuit).