Google just dropped a bomb over young webmasters by eliminating completely the Free Version of Google Apps for business. Now you no longer can get your own branded email address like [email protected] that works with all Google property like Gmail, Drive, Youtube etc. For this you need now to subscribe to Google Apps business edition which is charged at $50 per user per year.
According to Clay Bavor, Director of Product Management, Google Apps “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. With this in mind, we’ve decided to make things very straightforward. Instead of two versions, there will be one. Companies of all sizes will sign up for our premium version. Google Apps for Business, which includes 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime. Pricing is still $50 per user, per year“.
We always liked the Google Apps service, as it offers seamless usgae of Google properties, especially Gmail, Gtalk, Google Drive, Youtube etc. As you can see ‘datareign’ domain uses Google Apps free version, which help us to get the service for free up to 10 users. Our mail service powered by Gmail, Calender, documents on Google Drive, online video channel at Youtube and its so on.
We have got some alternatives to Google Apps which provides similar services, like Microsoft’s Outlook (domains.live.com) for getting your custom email id’s or using other providers like Zoho or using your own custom email server.
We also got some workarounds from the web that can help you to sign up for Google Apps free version for new domains. The first workaround is from famous blogger Amit Agarwal, by the usage of Google apps engine. For this workaround you need a free Google account ([email protected]).
- Go to Google Apps Engine (appengine.google.com), sign-in with your Google Account and create a new Application. You can use dummy data from creating the application.
- After creation of the application go to “Dashboard” and click the link that says “Application Settings.”
- Under that choose “Add Domain” to associate a domain with your App Engine application.
- That’s it, you will get a special link to sign-up for the free edition of Google Apps. You can either use your existing domain or buy one through Google Apps.
The second workaround is from Ashish Sinha founder of Nextbigwhat, the trick is by adding a new domain under your existing Google Apps account. Yes you will be needing an existing Google Apps account for this to work, under your account click on the ‘Domain settings‘ tab and click on ‘Domain names‘ link to add another domain to the account. Make sure you add the domain as “Add another domain“, verify the domain, that’s it. This new domain will work as independent to our main primary domain. So this workaround will be best if you have to add a business domains under your main company.
Currently this two ways have come up, to get the free Google Apps account. One good thing is that this change has no impact on existing free version of Google Apps account. We can only hope Google to revert back the decision and bring back the free version of Google Apps that’s been loved by the masses.